2022-2026 Draft NARA Strategic Plan

Meeting of Chicago Blackhills Highway Association, ca. 1923 – ca. 1955. National Archives Identifier: 12466011

The National Archives has posted its 2022-2026 draft Strategic Plan and is inviting public feedback during a virtual town hall at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, August 17, 2021. A question-and-answer period will follow presentations by senior leadership.

In addition to reaffirming the agency’s mission, vision, values, and strategic goals (see 2018-2022 Strategic Plan), the new draft updates the agency’s objectives to prioritize improving equity and outreach to traditionally underserved communities, providing a world-class customer experience for all customers, and using the agency’s COVID-19 pandemic experience to accelerate agency modernization.

Of particular interest to the FOIA community are three important goals NARA seeks to achieve by FY 2026:

  • provide the policy, requirements, and oversight to support a transparent, inclusive, and fully digital government;
  • reduce the time it takes the National Archives to start complex FOIA requests for unclassified records; and
  • advance existing physical and intellectual controls for the agency’s holdings to enable digital preservation risk planning and risk mitigation, and ongoing access to electronic records.

The draft plan affirms that “public access” is the National Archives’ core mission and pledges that by FY 2026 the agency will:

  • process 85 percent of archival holdings and increase enhanced descriptions to promote equity in discovery and public access to archival records related to underrepresented communities;
  • digitize 500 million pages of records and make them available online to the public through the National Archives Catalog;
  • collaborate with traditionally underserved communities to correct outdated and anachronistic descriptions in the Catalog and prioritize citizen engagement projects that increase access to records that are important to underserved communities; and
  • complete 95 percent of customer requests within the promised time.

Feedback – due by August 20, 2021 – can be emailed to strategy@nara.gov or made via GitHub at https://usnationalarchives.github.io/strategic-plan/. The National Archives will use the feedback to revise the draft plan, which will be shared with the Office of Management and Budget by September 2021. The final 2022-2026 Strategic Plan will be published in February 2022 and will become the agency’s official plan for fiscal years 2022-2026.