March 25, 1999
NARA Issues Bulletin on Scheduling Electronic Copies
Washington, DC. . .Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin today issued a Bulletin to the heads of all Federal agencies on steps they must take to schedule certain electronic records. The bulletin does not cover all electronic records, only electronic copies that remain on an electronic mail or word processing system after a recordkeeping copy is produced and where the agency has an approved records schedule covering the recordkeeping copy. General Records Schedule (GRS) 20, which was declared "null and void" by a federal judge in October 1997 (in the case of Public Citizen v. Carlin, in the U.S. District Court for D.C.), previously provided disposition authority for these electronic copies.
Agencies have until February 1, 2000, to submit to NARA either new records schedules for their electronic copies or a detailed plan for scheduling the records. Agencies that choose to submit a plan must commit to scheduling their electronic copies within two years after NARA approves their plan, or within an alternate time period specifically approved by NARA. If NARA approves an alternate time period, the agency still must schedule within the first two years of the plan the electronic copies of records documenting legal and financial rights, records created in high-level offices, and all permanent records.
NARA will offer special no-cost training to agency records officers starting in April to assist them with developing their schedules or plans. The bulletin also outlines NARA's time table for reviewing and approving schedules and plans.
The full text of the Bulletin is available on the NARA web site at http://www.archives.gov/records_management/policy_and_guidance/electronic_records_work_group.html.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.