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Revising DoD 5015.2, the de facto RM software standard: the latest revision of DoD 5015.2-STD now includes requirements for records management application (RMA)-to-RMA interoperability.

In 1997, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) developed a voluntary records management standard--DoD 5015.2-STD Design Criteria Noun 1. design criteria - criteria that designers should meet in designing some system or device; "the job specifications summarized the design criteria"
criterion, standard - the ideal in terms of which something can be judged; "they live by the standards of their
 Standard for Electronic Records Management Software Applications--as a requirement for records management applications (RMAs) implemented within its departments.

The standard established mandatory baseline functional requirements See information requirements and functional specification.

(specification) functional requirements - What a system should be able to do, the functions it should perform.
 for RMAs and requirements for classified marking, access control, and other processes. It also identified non-mandatory features the DoD deemed desirable for RMA (RealMedia Architecture) See RealMedia.  software. Since then, the standard has undergone a few revisions and has become the de facto [Latin, In fact.] In fact, in deed, actually.

This phrase is used to characterize an officer, a government, a past action, or a state of affairs that must be accepted for all practical purposes, but is illegal or illegitimate.
 seal of approval not only for federal agencies, but also for public and private organizations worldwide considering software to manage electronic records.

DoD 5015.2-STD is a standard and certification program for records management software products whose requirements really apply only to software vendors wanting to sell their products to the National Archives National Archives, official depository for records of the U.S. federal government, established in 1934 by an act of Congress. Although displeasure concerning the method of keeping national records was voiced in Congress as early as 1810, the United States continued  and Records Administration (NARA Nara (nä`rä), city (1990 pop. 349,349), capital of Nara prefecture, S Honshu, Japan. An ancient cultural and religious center, it was founded in 706 by imperial decree and was modeled after Chang'an (see Xi'an), the capital of T'ang China. ) and federal agencies. In the past, the use of the standard--and its testing and certification program--was limited for those outside of the U.S. government because it didn't test for key functionalities--including scalability and interoperability--that weren't federal or NARA requirements. However, with the introduction of recent revisions of the standard, this situation is changing, and DoD 5015.2-STD has become more relevant for records managers everywhere while moving the federal government into the future.

A Focus on FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) A U.S. government rule that states that public information shall be delivered within 10 days of request. , Interoperability The capability of two or more hardware devices or two or more software routines to work harmoniously together. For example, in an Ethernet network, display adapters, hubs, switches and routers from different vendors must conform to the Ethernet standard and interoperate with each other.  

Major additions in Version 3 of DoD 5015.2-STD, which was signed April 25, 2007, include requirements supporting the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Privacy Act, e-mail, and interoperability. The Joint Interoperability Test Command The Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) is a United States military organization that tests technology that pertains to multiple branches of the armed services and government. There is a facility in Fort Huachuca, Arizona and in Indian Head, Maryland.  (JITC JITC Joint Interoperability Test Command (formerly Joint Interoperability Test Center)
JITC Joint Interoperability Test Center (obsolete; now Joint Interoperability Test Command) 
), a U.S. government organization that tests technology for multiple branches of the armed services The Constitution authorizes Congress to raise, support, and regulate armed services for the national defense. The President of the United States is commander in chief of all the branches of the services and has ultimate control over most military matters.  and government and runs the 5015.2-STD testing and certification program for software vendors, began testing under the new version of the standard in January 2008.

Specifically, Version 3 provides for greater data security and integrity. It builds on the automatic linking, user-defined fields, and logic in Version 2. New with Version 3 is a requirement to be able to create alerts and notifications regarding changes in metadata (1) (meta-data) Data that describes other data. The term may refer to detailed compilations such as data dictionaries and repositories that provide a substantial amount of information about each data element.  fields and to restrict metadata access based on the contents of fields.

It also requires data integrity checking, comparing the expected and actual content in a repository through on-demand or scheduled integrity checks. Perhaps more important, it includes requirements for managing FOIA and Privacy Act records, as well as for data and e-mail discovery standards, NARA record archival export standards, and import/export requirements for moving records among compliant electronic recordkeeping systems. The update also supports service-oriented architecture See SOA.  solutions.

While those who rely on the standard for selecting records management software will certainly appreciate the updates, there is more work to do. Ronald Kelly, deputy director for information policy and integration for the DoD, who also sets DoD records management policy, said he is aware that the updates do not cover all the bases that records managers both in and outside the federal government--would like it to.

"It's not there yet, and it's certainly not the series of steps that we would've liked to have done, but because we know that we're going to have to go with modest change as things evolve, we weren't able to take the great leaps that we really wanted to," he explained. "The changes--privacy, interoperability, and e-mail-were mainly so that the vendors see a next-version of where we should be going."

Currently, NARA is reviewing Version 3 to determine whether to approve it for all federal agencies, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Kelly. This is standard procedure for all DoD 5015.2-STD updates. Kelly said he expects NARA to finish its assessment by the end of the year or sooner. Of course, the standard is voluntary, so federal agencies are not required to use it, even if NARA suggests that they should. In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile
, he said, he has received several calls from city and county governments asking about Version 3 and how it should be used.

Version 3 and Records Management

According to Kelly, the purpose of Version 3 is to bring the DoD's records management into compliance with where DoD Chief Information Officer John Grimes John Helm Grim (August 9, 1867 - July 28, 1961) was a 19th century Major League Baseball player. Born in Lebanon, Kentucky, he played 11 seasons in the majors, mainly as a catcher.  is trying to take the department. His aim is to incorporate its data and services strategies and move toward a service-oriented environment so "you do have this interchangeability in·ter·change·a·ble  
That can be interchanged: interchangeable items of clothing; interchangeable automotive parts.

 and you can adapt and not have to worry about the proprietary types of software," he said.

This is the next stage in the evolutionary process to get where the DoD wants to go, Kelly explained. "It is not where we want to be because it is still part of the journey. DoD wants to move into enterprise services with a focus on services," he added.

The Version 3 changes are not dramatic for non-government records management programs, either, but they are helpful for those choosing RMAs. RMAs have increased in importance as businesses and government move their records--and most of their communications--from traditional forms, such as paper, to electronic media. Kelly said part of this is that government and most organizations have moved away from having one file clerk or secretary who knows where every paper file and record goes.

"Now, we're at a point where everybody has a workstation, and the problem I see is that everybody then has to be his or her own records manager," he explained. "Whether this is an industry or government, that person who essentially owns his or her own workstation needs to know what is a record and what isn't a record."

At the same time, Kelly said, the government and businesses are obligated ob·li·gate  
tr.v. ob·li·gat·ed, ob·li·gat·ing, ob·li·gates
1. To bind, compel, or constrain by a social, legal, or moral tie. See Synonyms at force.

2. To cause to be grateful or indebted; oblige.
 to ensure that employees are well-trained so they understand what records must be preserved. Also integral, he said, is looking at the visibility, accessibility, and understandability of data and also making sure that it can be trusted. To manage all this information, Kelly said, an RMA is essential. And that's where DoD 5015.2-STD Version 3 comes in.

"What Version 3 attempted to do was to take another step in that direction. The problem for me is we just can't move all at once to that final 'paradise' with [records management]; it's still a long way away. But there are a lot of vendors out there who see the light; they know this is the way that the government has to go. We're on the cusp of being able to make changes."

Coming Soon: Version 4

Next up for Kelly is a revision of the DoD Directive 3015.2 (not to he confused with the DoD 3015.2 standard). The directive establishes responsibility for the DoD records management program, updates policy and responsibilities for fife-cycle information management, and authorizes the publication of implementing and procedural guidance on DoD records management. Kelly said this update is almost five years overdue OVERDUE. A bill, note, bond or other contract, for the payment of money at a particular day, when not paid upon the day, is overdue.
     2. The indorsement of a note or bill overdue, is equivalent to drawing a new bill payable at sight. 2 Conn. 419; 18 Pick.

However, he said Version 4 of the DoD 5015.2 standard is already in the works. If things go according to plan, he said, work could begin on the revision in 2009. According to Kelly, early considerations for the update include:

* Metadata tagging for discovery

* A larger move toward interoperability at both the component and enterprise levels, expanding Version 3's RMA-to-RMA interoperability focus

* Archiving disposition at the creation of a record

Archiving disposition at a record's birth goes to Kelly's point that today everyone with a computer is a records manager, whether they want to be or not.

"Awareness is half the battle," Kelly said, "and if you can get your senior leaders to be aware of how important this really is, they will understand that you do have to spend some money to put an RMA in place."

What's New in DoD 5015.3-STD Version 3?

1. FOIA/Privacy Act Requirements:

* Additional metadata, including e-mail

* Workflow The automatic routing of documents to the users responsible for working on them. Workflow is concerned with providing the information required to support each step of the business cycle. , alerts, and response-timing requirements

* Builds on automatic linking, user defined fields The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.
, and logic from Version 2

2. Requires Tools to Support RMA-to-RMA Interoperability:

* Data discovery standards, including e-mail

* NARA record archival export standards

* Import/export standards for moving records among compliant electronic recordkeeping systems

3. Encourages Service-Oriented Architecture Solutions

DoD 5015.3-5TD Timeline

1997--Established set of baseline functional requirements

2001--Added classified records metadata

2002--Version 2 revision published in June to incorporate, among others, a requirement to manage classified records

2003--NARA endorses the federal-wide adoption of the DoD 5015.2-STD, Version 2

2007--Version 3 introduced in April

2009 and Beyond--Version 4

DoD 5015.3-5TD Version 3 Online

The DoD 5015.2-STD Version 3 update is available via the Defense Technical Information Center Noun 1. Defense Technical Information Center - the agency in the Department of Defense that provides scientific and technical information to federal agencies and their contractors
 or the Joint Inter-operability Test Command Records Management website at directives/corres/html/501502std.htm or http:///


Gallatin, Jana and Ron Kelly. "DoD 5015.2 Standard--Design Criteria Standard for Electronic Records Management Software Applications" Presentation, 8 May 2007.

U.S. Department of Defense. Electronic Records Management Software Applications Design Criteria Standard (DoD 5015.2-STD). U.S. Department of Defense. 25 April 2007. Available at

Nikki Swartz is a freelance writer based in Kansas City, Missouri Kansas City is the largest city in the state of Missouri. It encompasses parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest in Missouri, which includes counties in both Missouri and Kansas. . She may be contacted at
COPYRIGHT 2008 Association of Records Managers & Administrators (ARMA)
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Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:ON THE EDGE: The Use & Misuse of Information
Author:Swartz, Nikki
Publication:Information Management Journal
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Previous Article:Report: U.S. mismanaging e-records.
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