This Bulletin applies to text messaging, chat/instant messaging, messaging functionality in social media tools or apps, voice messaging, and similar forms of electronic messaging systems. The Bulletin addresses the new definition for electronic messages and other issues covered in the recent amendments to the Federal Records Act. Overall, the Bulletin provides basic records management guidance for electronic messages.
This Bulletin is consistent with the Managing Government Records Directive (M-12-18) charge to develop a 21st-century framework for managing records. This Bulletin recognizes technology is rapidly changing and employees are using electronic messaging systems to conduct their work. We aim to create guidance agencies can use as the technologies evolve. The rapid evolution of technologies requires agencies to automate records management processes to the fullest extent possible.