ID: 126

BARON, Jason R. ; THURSTON, Anne


Mr. Baron is a lawyer in the Information Governance and eDiscovery Group of Drinker, Biddle & Reath, in Washington, D.C., and is on the Adjunct Faculty of the University of Maryland College of Information Studies. He also currently serves as Co-Chair of the Information Governance Initiative ( Mr. Baron is the 2011 Recipient of the Emmett Leahy Award, given for his career achievements, including acting as lead lawyer for the US government in landmark White House email cases, for founding the TREC Legal Track, for founding the international DESI (Discovery of Electronically Stored information) workshops, and for his contributions to The Sedona Conference, including serving as Editor in Chief of three Sedona Commentaries. He previously served as the first Director of Litigation at the US National Archives, and as a trial lawyer at the US Department of Justice. In 2010, he served as a keynote speaker at the Eighth ECA Conference held in Geneva.


Anne Thurston has been a pioneer in defining international solutions for the management of public sector records. Between 1970 and 1980 she lived in Kenya where she conducted research and subsequently worked as a locally engaged civil servant in the Kenya National Archives. In 1980 she joined the staff of the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies at University College London, where she was a Lecture and then a Reader in International Records Studies. She established the International Records Management Trust in 1989. Dr Thurston was a member of the UK Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Public Records from 1994 to 2000. She was awarded an OBE for services to public administration in Africa in 2000 and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Records Management Society of the UK in 2007. She was awarded the Emmett Leahy Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Information and Records Management Profession in 2007.


What Lessons Can Be Learned from the US Archivist’s Digital Mandate For 2019 and Is There Potential for Applying them in Lower Resource Countries?

Brief summary:

The speakers propose to discuss new initiatives coming from the US Archivist, including the 2019 digital mandate (issued in August 2012, in response to President Obama’s Managing Government Records memorandum of November 2011), and how they might be applied to enhance recordkeeping in lesser resource countries.


In November 2011, President Obama issued a memorandum to all Executive agencies entitled “Managing Government Records,” the first such document issued by a US President since the days of President Truman.  In issuing the memo, the White House said that “Records management is the backbone of open government,” and called for the US government to update records policies in line with 21st century technologies.  Within a year, US Archivist David Ferriero issued an August 2012 directive to all Executive agencies, where he set a date of 2019 for federal agencies ensuring that henceforth permanent federal records would be transferred to the Archivist in digital or electronic form.   The directive also spoke to issues involving email archiving, social media and cloud technologies.   In the first part of this session, we will discuss the impact the Archivist’s directive is having and how the National Archives expects to ensure that the directive’s 2019 mandate is implemented.

In the second part of this talk, we will discuss what elements of the directive, and particularly the 2019 digital mandate, may be of interest and use to lower resource countries world in addressing the preservation of electronic records.   Of particular interest is whether the 2019 digital mandate will foster technological innovation leading to the ability to preserve electronic records at low cost, and in formats that make them accessible to their citizenry through access to information and open data initiatives. The presentation will explore how email archiving in particular may be a driver for greater openness and access to governmental policies.


Scientific contribution:

While an original scientific contribution would require considerable additional research, we believe that the presentation will make a valuable contribution to professional thinking and development internationally by exploring, on the basis of extensive experience, the applicability of new concepts in very different contexts.   The Archivist's 2019 digital mandate does, however, envision that the US government will partner with industry on research initiatives that will enable US federal agencies to meet the goals of the Archivist's directive, and we will report on progress towards this goal and what additional research is necessary.



digital mandate, email archiving, digital archive, lesser resource countries, US recordkeeping policy