The European Commission has announced it has awarded a contract to define the next generation of the 'Model Requirements for Electronic Records Management' specification, known as MoReq2 to a UK consultancy.

Cornwell Management Consultants, independent electronic document and records management consultancy in, has been awarded the €300,000 (£202,500) contract to develop the international information management standard.

Since its release in 2000 the original MoReq, also developed by Cornwell, has gained developed into a standard for electronic records management (ERM) systems.

MoReq2 is destined to become the guiding principle used by ERM system suppliers and developers to provide required functionality and by outsourced records management service providers to define their service offerings. The standard also promises to update ERM procurement, auditing and training schemes around the globe.

Cornwall said MoReq2 will be used by a broad spectrum of public sector and commercial organisations when preparing requests for proposals, evaluating existing systems and preparing records management training materials. It will also provide a valuable teaching resource for academic institutions.

The consultancy has already secured support from a cross-section of the ERM community, including most of the top ten software companies worldwide, the majority of ERM system suppliers, a representative selection of private and public organisations from more than fifteen European countries, a range of professional and industry bodies and National Archive organisations from European Union member states.

Marc Fresko, EDM & ERM consulting services director at Cornwell said: “MoReq2 will be an important European information management standard with far-reaching consequences. In developing MoReq2 we recognise the need to consult as widely as possible, with users, software suppliers and experts, to ensure that the standard is realistic, practical and effective.”

Unlike its predecessor, MoReq2 will include a framework for an official software certification testing regime. Organisations developing and implementing an ERM system based on the requirements of MoReq2 can be assured that records will be properly managed, accessible at all times, retained for as long as they are required and properly disposed of once the retention period has ended. Cornwell will work closely with imbus, an independent specialist software testing organisation based in Germany, to develop MoReq2 software certification testing materials.

MoReq2 will be available free of charge early next year but input throughout the MoReq2 development phase can be submitted via Cornwell.