Hurricane Ida knocked out key NARA system

The system is back up and running, but the sustained outage could lead to delays in the approval of annual records transfer requests.

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A key records management system at the National Archives facility in in Keyser, W.Va., was knocked out by remnants of Hurricane Ida that caused flooding and significant loss of life on the East Coast earlier this month.

The Electronic Records Archives provides an online link between agencies and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for submitting records schedules and to request records transfers.

The system is back online after a "sustained outage," according to a Sept. 17 memo to federal records managers from federal Chief Records Officer Laurence Brewer. 

The outage paused the approval of records schedules. That approval process will restart next week.

NARA and agency records managers are operating on an Oct. 1 deadline to get annual move transfer requests into the system. The outage could mean delays, according to Brewer's memo.

Brewer said he is hoping to improve the resilience of the current system.

"While the outage has been resolved, we are seeking to avoid future sustained outages by strengthening our connectivity by pursuing options like the potential implementation of additional redundancy in our network circuits," he told agency records managers.

According to data from Deltek's GovWin database, IBM holds the contract on operations and maintenance for NARA's Electronic Records Archive system. That contract expires at the end of calendar year 2024.

Washington Technology senior staff writer Ross Wilkers contributed reporting to this article.