Unscheduled Records FAQs



In order to transfer unscheduled records to an FRC, agencies must:

  • Inform NARA's Life Cycle Management Division (NWML) in writing prior to the transfer. This can be done by sending NWML a copy of the SF 135 submitted for FRC approval before transferring the unscheduled records to the FRC. Be sure to include on the SF 135 the date you notified NWML, or include the number of a pending SF 115, Request for Disposition Authority. NWML's address is: 8601 Adelphi Road, Room 2200, College Park, MD 20740.
  • Include the official series title (if applicable) or a general descriptive title for the records in item 6(f): series description on the SF 135.
  • Include a folder title list of the box contents or equivalent detailed records description. This description can be listed under item 6(f): series description or included as an attachment.
  • Indicate "U" for unscheduled records under item 6(i) disposal date on the SF 135.
  • See 36 CFR 1228.152 and 154, Code of Federal Regulations

    Part 1228 -- Disposition of Federal Records

    Subpart I -- Transfer of Records to Records Storage Facilities

    Part 1228, Subpart I was last amended on 1/14/05.

    1228.150 Where can a Federal agency transfer records for storage?
    1228.152 Under what conditions may Federal records be stored in records storage facilities?
    1228.154 What requirements must an agency meet when it transfers records to a records storage facility?
    1228.156 What procedures must an agency follow to transfer records to an agency records center or commercial records storage facility?


    Subpart I -- Transfer of Records to Records Storage Facilities

    §1228.150 Where can a Federal agency transfer records for storage?

    Federal agencies may store records in the following types of records storage facilities, so long as the facilities meet the facility standards in subpart K of this part. Records transferred to a records storage facility remain in the legal custody of the agency.

    (a) NARA records centers. NARA owns or operates records centers for the storage, processing, and servicing of records for Federal agencies under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 2907. These NARA records centers include a National Personnel Records Center which contains designated records of the Department of Defense and the Office of Personnel Management and other designated records pertaining to former Federal civilian employees. A list of NARA records centers is available from the NARA web site (http://www.archives.gov/locations/) and also in the U.S. Government Manual, which is for sale from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328, and is available online (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara).

    (b) Records centers operated by or on behalf of one or more Federal agencies other than NARA.

    (c) Commercial records storage facilities operated by private entities.

    §1228.152 Under what conditions may Federal records be stored in records storage facilities?

    The following chart shows what records can be stored in a records storage facility and the conditions that apply:

    Type of Record Conditions
    (1) Permanent records (i) Any storage facility that meets the provisions of subpart K of this part.
    (2) Unscheduled records (i) Any storage facility that meets the provisions of subpart K of this part.

    (ii) Also requires prior notification to NARA (see §1228.154(b)).

    (3) Temporary records (excluding Civilian Personnel Records) (i) Any storage facility that meets the provisions of subpart K of this part.
    (4) Vital records (i) Storage facility must meet the provisions of subpart K of this part and 36 CFR part 1236.
    (5) Civilian Personnel Records (i) May only be transferred to NPRC, St. Louis as required by this part.

    §1228.154 What requirements must an agency meet when it transfers records to a records storage facility?

    An agency must meet the following requirements when it transfers records to a records storage facility:

    (a) Ensure that the requirements of subpart K of this part are met. Special attention must be paid to ensuring appropriate storage conditions for records on non-paper based media (e.g., film, audio tape, magnetic tape), especially those that are scheduled for long-term or permanent retention, as those records typically require more stringent environmental controls (see 36 CFR parts 1230 through 1234).
    (b) To transfer unscheduled records, notify NARA (NWML) in writing prior to the transfer. The notification must identify the records storage facility and include a copy of the information required by paragraph (c) of this section.

    (c) Create documentation sufficient to identify and locate files.

    (1) Such documentation must include for each individual records series spanning one or more consecutive years transferred to storage:

    (i) Creating office;

    (ii) Series title;

    (iii) Description (in the case of permanent or unscheduled records, the description must include a folder title list of the box contents or equivalent detailed records description);

    (iv) Date span;

    (v) Physical form and medium of records (e.g., paper, motion picture film, sound recordings, photographs or digital images);

    (vi) Volume;

    (vii) Citation to NARA-approved schedule or agency records disposition manual (unscheduled records must cite the date the agency notified NARA or, if available, the date the SF 115 was submitted to NARA);

    (viii) Restrictions on access if applicable;

    (ix) Disposition ("permanent," "temporary," or "unscheduled; SF 115 pending");

    (x) Date of disposition action (transfer to the National Archives of the United States or destruction);

    (xi) Physical location, including name and address of facility; and

    (xii) Control number or identifier used to track records.

    (2) In the case of permanent and unscheduled records, provide copies of such documentation to NARA and advise NARA in writing of the new location whenever the records are moved to a new storage facility.

    (d) Ensure that NARA-approved retention periods are implemented properly and that records documenting final disposition actions (destruction or transfer to the National Archives of the United States) are created and maintained as required by 36 CFR 1220.36.

    (1) Retain temporary records until the expiration of their NARA-approved retention period and no longer, except as provided for in §1228.54.

    (2) Transfer permanent records to the National Archives of the United States in accordance with §1228.260.

    (e) Provide access to appropriate NARA staff to records wherever they are located in order to conduct an evaluation in accordance with 36 CFR 1220.50 or to process a request for records disposition authority.

    (f) Move temporary records that are subsequently reappraised as permanent to a facility that meets the environmental control requirements for permanent records in §1228.232 within one year of their re-appraisal, if not already in such a facility. (Paper-based permanent records in an existing records storage facility that does not meet the environmental control requirements in §1228.232(b) on October 1, 2009, must be moved from that facility no later than February 28, 2010.)

    §1228.156 What procedures must an agency follow to transfer records to an agency records center or commercial records storage facility?

    Federal agencies must use the following procedures to transfer records to an agency records center or commercial records storage facility:

    (a) Agreements with agency records centers or contracts with commercial records storage facilities must incorporate the standards in subpart K of this part and allow for inspections by the agency and NARA to ensure compliance. An agency must remove records promptly from a facility if deficiencies identified during an inspection are not corrected within six months.

    (b) For temporary records, the agency must make available to NARA on request the documentation specified in §1228.154. For permanent records, the agency must transmit this documentation to NARA (NWML) no later than 30 days after records are transferred to the agency records center or commercial records storage facility. For unscheduled records, the agency must transmit the information to NWML with the SF 115 before the records are transferred as required by §1228.154(b).

    (c) Agencies must establish procedures that ensure that temporary records are destroyed in accordance with NARA-approved schedules and that NARA-approved changes to schedules, including the General Records Schedules, are applied to records in agency records centers or commercial records storage facilities in a timely fashion. Procedures must include a requirement that the agency records center or commercial records storage facility notify agency records managers or the creating office prior to the disposal of temporary records unless disposal of temporary records is initiated by the agency.

    (d) Agencies must establish procedures to ensure that the agency records centers or commercial records storage facilities transfer permanent records to the National Archives of the United States as individual series spanning one or more years and in accordance with the provisions of §1228.272.

    (e) Agencies must ensure that records that are restricted because they are security classified or exempt from disclosure by statute, including the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a), or regulation are stored and maintained in accordance with applicable laws, executive orders, or regulations.

    (f) Agencies must ensure that disposable records, including restricted records (security classified or exempted from disclosure by statute, including the Privacy Act, or regulation), are destroyed in accordance with the requirements specified in §1228.58.

    (g) Agencies must ensure that emergency operating vital records, as defined in 36 CFR 1236.14, that are transferred to an agency records center or commercial records storage facility are available in accordance with 36 CFR part 1236.

    Unscheduled Records

    In order to transfer unscheduled records to an FRC, agencies must: Inform NARA's Life Cycle Management Division (NWML) in writing prior to the transfer. This can be done by sending NWML a copy of the SF 135 submitted for FRC approval before transferring the unscheduled records to the FRC. Be sure to include on the SF 135 the date you notified NWML, or include the number of a pending SF 115, Request for Disposition Authority. NWML's address is: 8601 Adelphi Road, Room 2200, College Park, MD 20740.

    Include the official series title (if applicable) or a general descriptive title for the records in item 6(f): series description on the SF 135.

    Include a folder title list of the box contents or equivalent detailed records description. This description can be listed under item 6(f): series description or included as an attachment.

    Indicate "U" for unscheduled records under item 6(i) disposal date on the SF 135.

    See 36 CFR 1228.152 and 154, Code of Federal Regulations (www.archives.gov/about/regulations/regulations.html)

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