recommended reading

State Department on the Hunt for Electronic System to Manage Emails

Balefire/Shutterstock.com

The same day the State Department released the latest tranche of emails dating to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, the agency kicked off the process for acquiring new technology that will automatically store officials emails as part of a governmentwide push on digital record keeping.

The State Department on Nov. 30 issued a request-for-information, seeking ideas from industry for both commercial, off-the-shelf technology as well as customized software for managing the department’s email.

Under a 2012 presidential mandate, agencies must manage all email records in an electronic format by Dec. 31, 2016.

The agency is looking for a tech solution that includes storage, search and secure backup among a host of other requirements. For now, State is only looking for a system to manage email records, although the agency said it prefers technology that can be expanded when a 2019 deadline for managing other types of digital records kicks in.

To comply with federal record-keeping regulations that predate the Internet, many agencies still print out hard-copy versions of emails covering official business and file them away. 

In 2012, President Barack Obama issued a directive requiring agencies to implement electronic record keeping by the end of 2016.

The National Archives and Records Administration fleshed out that directive in a 2013 bulletin, laying out a new automated approach to managing email records, called Capstone.

Under “Capstone,” emails of senior officials are automatically slotted for storage. Previous government policy directed officials to comb through their emails after the fact and determine which ones needed to be permanently retained.

The automated approach can automatically weed out irrelevant email blasts and emails from friends and family members.

State, which has 100,000 email accounts across both sensitive and classified networks and receives or sends 6 million email a day has signed on to follow the “Capstone” approach.

State is planning to permanently retain senior officials’ email permanently, according to the RFI. Other employees’ emails will be retained for seven years. “Transitory and personal email” will be deleted after a year, according to the notice.

Responses to the solicitation are due by Dec. 18. Contractors must have a top secret clearance.

Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal email server while she led the agency touched off controversy when it was revealed earlier this year. Following a series of lawsuits, State agreed to release Clinton’s work emails.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated how long senior officials' emails would be retained. According to the RFI, they will be permanently retained.  

(Image via /Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.