The state/territory has a formal decision-making framework that assigns accountability and authority in the state/territory for the preservation of permanent electronic government records and articulates approaches and practices for trustworthy digital repositories sufficient to meet stakeholder needs. The governance framework includes information management and technology functions, records custodians, and other stakeholders in records preservation such as records producing units and records consumers. The governance framework enables compliance with applicable laws, regulations, records retention schedules and disposition authorities.

The state/territory does not specifically address digital preservation requirements in the scope of current governance activities.

Move Up to Level 1:

Develop a high-level description of digital preservation actions and the technical infrastructure and resources needed to ensure the integrity, security, and usability of permanent electronic records.

Use existing laws, regulations, retention schedules, technology investment and procurement authorities, and agency governance models related to managing government records to draft a framework that identifies stakeholder roles for preservation and management of permanent electronic records in the Archives and while still in the custody of agencies and third parties.

A project-based digital preservation governance framework is operational or has been successfully completed.

Move Up to Level 2:

Engage agency leadership, records officers, and IT officers by sharing the draft governance framework to facilitate discussions about the capabilities of current and planned records systems and staff to future-proof permanent electronic government records.

Seek out projects or collections of permanent electronic records (held by the Archives or by an agency) and work with agency staff/IT to draft a governance framework and assess existing capabilities to systematically apply preservation actions.

The state/territory-wide governance framework identifies the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the preservation of permanent electronic government records. The state/territory-wide governance framework assigns accountability and authority for the preservation of permanent electronic government records.

Move Up to Level 3:

Leverage the results of the project-based analysis to review and modify the governance framework to address the full lifecycle management of electronic records and define minimal requirements for trustworthy digital repositories.

Develop guidance and training materials for various stakeholder groups (agency/division leaders, legislature, enterprise and agency IT, records officers, legal/compliance professionals, third parties) to roll out the governance framework and articulate digital preservation roles and good practices.

The state/territory governance framework specifies an ongoing commitment to the sustainability of ISO 14721 conforming digital repositories for permanent government records.

Move Up to Level 4:

Congratulations! Your state/territory has formally recognized that that preserving and providing access to permanent electronic government records requires dedicated resources, a standards-based technical infrastructure, and an ongoing commitment to operating trustworthy digital repositories. The Archives/RM unit should work to integrate the requirements and resources for preservation of electronic records into as many policies, procedures, guidelines, and operational practices as possible so that responsibility and accountability is shared and distributed.

The state/territory-wide governance framework for digital records preservation is reviewed and updated at least every two years to take into account changing technologies and new organizational structures.

Sustain Level 4:

If a digital preservation governance framework is functioning effectively, decisions and resources to sustain the full lifecycle of permanent electronic government records are integrated into enterprise strategies, investments, infrastructure, and continuity plans.


Governance is an essential element in successful collaboration for electronic records lifecycle management records due to their inherent reliance on continuously changing technology infrastructure and systems. The Archives/RM unit already has a deep understanding of the permanent and long-term records created by the state/territory and the ones that will eventually be accessioned for permanent preservation and access.

The fragility of digital information requires that government decision-makers, including those authorized to make procurement decisions and technology investments, are engaged in meeting digital preservation requirements for permanent government records. The Archives/RM unit is encouraged to leverage existing decision-making and funding structures in the enterprise and engage stakeholders in articulate digital preservation requirements. Collaborate with stakeholders to integrate expectations and accountabilities for preservation actions on permanent electronic government records into the state/territory’s business processes and information management and technology functions.