How to Solve Your Agency's FERMI PARADOX

Solve Your Agency's

FERMI Paradox

In astronomy, there's a concept called the Fermi paradox that, put simply, asks why we've never encountered life in space, when the universe is so vast. In government document archiving, there's a different kind of FERMI paradox: If so many agencies have to comply with the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) set of regulations called FERMI, why haven't they done so yet?

Let's untangle this unsolved mystery:

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What do NARA's FERMI rules entail?

Federal agencies must archive permanent electronic data digitally by the end of 2019. All data, including temporary content and originally physical files, must be archived in an approved manner by the end of 2022—inspections have already begun to check progress.

How are compliance efforts coming?

Held back by uncertainty, inertia and large volumes of documents to convert, 59% of agencies have not digitized their archives.


How should agencies start getting in compliance?

Organizations should use archiving solutions to convert their records, including both scanned physical files and born-digital documents, into an approved, consistent and easy-to-use format.

What's the best format for archiving?

PDF/A is the ideal format for document archiving—it is approved by NARA, is easy to transfer and access, can be compressed to take little storage space and can be made text-searchable for simple retrieval. Using this format saves man-hours and budget.


What makes a conversion solution?

Organizations should find solutions that support automation and batch processing, scale up to support large jobs and integrate easily with other digital systems. Using such a solution prevents conversion from taking employees' valuable time and attention.

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