A New Approach to Archiving Government Email


‘Capstone’ addresses preservation and disposal.

A new method for sorting through government email is ready to help agencies properly manage and archive daunting volumes of electronic correspondence, the National Archives and Records Administration said Thursday.

The simplified approach, called Capstone, is the fruit of two years of Archives research and consultation with agencies, the Archives said in a release published as an NARA bulletin. “It is designed to preserve permanently valuable email and provide a pathway to dispose of temporary email,” the agency said. Capstone “allows agencies to manage email without having to use `print and file’ or `click and drag’ methods for each email message.”

To use Capstone, which is voluntary, agencies must identify the key officials whose emails are most likely to merit permanent storage, and are encouraged to adapt Capstone to their own needs.

The approach complies with President Obama’s 2011 Managing Government Records Directive, which set a goal of managing all email records electronically by the end of 2016, as well as a joint Aug. 24, 2012, memo from the Archives and the Office of Management and Budget.

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