The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration has awarded a US$308 million contract to Rockville, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. to build the federal agency"s Electronic Records Archives (ERA) system.
The new system will capture, preserve and manage electronic records created by the federal government -- regardless of format -- save it permanently and make it accessible on whatever hardware or software is used in the future, according to the agency.
"The system will do three basic things," said Ken Thibodeau, director of the Electronic Records Archives. "It will start modernizing the National Archives business processes; it will allow the rest of the government to interact with us online, which they currently can"t do; and it will vastly expand public access to electronic records in the National Archives and the presidential libraries."
Lockheed Martin was chosen to build the archives after a yearlong design competition between it and Harris Corp., an international communications equipment company in Melbourne, Fla. The first phase of the system is scheduled to be deployed in 2007, and the full system should be in place by 2011.
"The National Archives selection team was impressed by Lockheed Martin"s ability to design a system which addresses in considerable depth NARA"s business needs ... and [creates] a system that entails a modern, service-oriented architecture," Allen Weinstein, archivist of the U.S., said in a statement. "NARA"s business needs encompass handling rapidly-growing volumes of electronic records, ensuring the authenticity of those records, preserving them for the long term and providing public access while protecting privacy and sensitive information. The system"s architecture makes it flexible enough to accommodate evolving policy change."
As the prime contractor for the ERA project, Lockheed Martin will lead a team of companies with archiving and data management experience, including BearingPoint Inc., Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Science Applications International Corp.