Last week, the President released a memorandum for Federal agencies to manage all permanent electronic records in an electronic format by the end of 2019, each agency due to develop and begin to implement their plans by the end of 2013. Following similar themes of open government and transparency, POTUS’s memorandum states that the objectives are “to promote openness and accountability and reduce costs in the long term” in the slow march towards a digital government.
While we can all applaud the goals of cost-savings and efficiency, is this vision of a paperless federal government by 2019 realistic? Many federal agencies and offices have embraced digital communications and public accessibility to online records, but the government is also made up of slow moving behemoths that can be resistant to the idea of change, especially when talking about anything made digitally available to the public.
To all of the govies out there, do you think your agency could rise to the challenge to meet this 2019 goal or is this memorandum just another starry-eyed mandate?