CoSA/NAGARA/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, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and the Society of American Archivists in areas of common concern and action, including: 1) coordinating action to address public policy and legislative concerns for the archives profession, 2) cooperating on efforts to raise awareness of the value of archives, 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 six members. Each organization selects two members to serve on the Joint Working Group for a period of two years; the terms of SAA representatives are renewable and staggered to provide continuity. 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 Joint Working Group determines its chair or shared method of leadership.

III. Reporting

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

SAA representatives prepare a report – or work with Working Group members to provide a group report – for each meeting of the SAA Council and also prepare an annual report for the Council’s information.  The SAA representatives also share information on an ongoing basis with the two committees that they represent to ensure coordination and collaboration.

IV. Duties and Responsibilities

The Joint Working Group creates an annual action 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 three 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 (NARA, NHPRC, NEH, IMLS, etc); federal budget implications; and federal legislation and regulation implications.
  • Federal block grant funding for archives.
  • Standards and practice 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).

The Joint Working Group may also initiate and support ongoing conversations about the future of the field.

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 three organizations. Other funding for in-person meetings or products and initiatives of the Joint Working Group is determined collaboratively by the leaders of the three organizations.

Adopted by the SAA Council: October 2014