CoSA/NAGARA/RAAC/SAA Joint Working Group on Issues and Awareness (Affiliated Group)

I. Purpose

The Joint Working Group coordinates efforts and initiatives of the Council of State Archivists (CoSA), the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), the Regional Archival Associations Consortium (RAAC), and the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in areas of common concern and action, including: 1) coordinating action to address public policy and legislative concerns for the archives and records management profession, 2) cooperating on efforts to raise awareness of the value of archives and records management, and 3) coordinating strategies for the preservation of and access to archival records throughout the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia.

II. Size, Composition, Selection, and Length of Terms

The Joint Working Group consists of eight voting members. Each organization selects two members to serve on the Joint Working Group for a renewable two-year staggered term after each organization’s annual meeting.

  • The SAA Vice President appoints the SAA representatives, generally one individual serving on the SAA Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy and recommended by the chair of that committee and one individual serving on the SAA Committee on Public Awareness and recommended by the chair of that committee.
  • The CoSA representatives shall be appointed by the President of CoSA.
  • The NAGARA representatives shall be appointed by the Board of NAGARA.
  • The RAAC representatives shall be appointed by the RAAC Steering Committee.

The Joint Working Group shall select its chair or shared method of leadership annually by a majority vote.  The chair selection will be reviewed and confirmed by the President/Chair of each organization.

A second group of ex-officio non-voting members, not to exceed four people, may be added to the Joint Working Group by majority vote of the Joint Working Group for a one-year renewable term.  These members shall either:

  • Represent an allied organization with an interest in supporting and coordinating with the advocacy and awareness issues of the archives community. Not more than one non-voting member can be selected from each organization.
  • Be emeritus members whose contributions to archival advocacy and awareness, service to the Joint Working Group, and/or connections with federal officials and legislators would make their continued contributions to the Working Group beneficial.

III. Reporting

Joint Working Group members are responsible for reporting to their leadership group according to the standards of each organization.

Guidelines and procedures for reviewing and providing a streamlined approval process among the four organizations shall be developed by the Working Group and shall be approved by the boards of the four organizations prior to implementation.

IV. Duties and Responsibilities

The Joint Working Group creates an annual work plan that identifies tactics, communication with respective boards, and development of broad networks of allied organizations. The plan is approved annually by the boards of the four organizations.

The Joint Working Group focuses on issues, trends, and positions in the following areas:

  • Ongoing issues, such as existing federal programs, budgets, and strategic initiatives (e.g., National Archives and Records Administration, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services); federal budget implications; and federal legislation and regulation implications.
  • Federal block grant funding for archives.
  • Standards and practices for records access, preservation, and management; transparency; and ethics.
  • State and local legislation and budget issues (such as threats to core programs, institution closures, funding for initiatives to improve access to records, ethical breaches).
  • Public and internally focused awareness and outreach efforts for promoting the value of archives and archivists.

V. Meetings

The Joint Working Group determines an appropriate meeting schedule to complete its annual plan. Funding for conference calls is supported equally by the four organizations. Other funding for in-person meetings or products and initiatives of the Joint Working Group is determined collaboratively by the leaders of the four organizations.

VI. Staffing

The organizations with permanent staff shall provide, on a rotating annual basis, support to conduct meetings, coordinate note taking, and assist in program implementation.


Approved by the SAA Council, October 2014. Revisions approved by the sponsoring organizations and the Joint Working Group, October 13, 2020.