Records Managers

National Archives and Records Administration
General Records Schedules

Transmittal No. 22
April 2010

Records Common to Most Offices Within Agencies

This schedule provides for the disposal of certain records common to most offices in Federal agencies. It covers administrative subject files; facilitative records such as suspense files, tracking and control records, calendars, and indexes; and transitory documents. This schedule does not apply to any materials that the agency has determined to be nonrecord or to materials, such as calendars or work schedules, claimed as personal.

Office Administrative Files described under item 1 are records retained by an originating office as its record of initiation of an action, request, or response to requests for information. This item may be applied only to separate administrative files containing such records as copies of documents submitted to other offices for action including budget feeder documents, purchase orders, and training requests. Item 1 may not be applied to files that also contain program records, and it may not be applied by an office that receives and takes action on documents submitted by other offices.

1.    Office Administrative Files. [See note after this item.]

Records accumulated by individual offices that relate to the internal administration or housekeeping activities of the office rather than the functions for which the office exists. In general, these records relate to the office organization, staffing, procedures, and communications, including facsimile machine logs; the expenditure of funds, including budget records; day-to-day administration of office personnel including training and travel; supplies and office services and equipment requests and receipts; and the use of office space and utilities. They may also include copies of internal activity and workload reports (including work progress, statistical, and narrative reports prepared in the office and forwarded to higher levels) and other materials that do not serve as unique documentation of the programs of the office.

Destroy when 2 years old. (N1-GRS-98-2 item 43)

[NOTE: This schedule is not applicable to the record copies of organizational charts, functional statements, and related records that document the essential organization, staffing, and procedures of the office, which must be scheduled prior to disposition by submitting a Standard Form (SF) 115 to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). (N1-GRS-98-2 item 43 NOTE)]

Items 2 through 4.    Reserved.

5.    Schedules of Daily Activities.

Calendars, appointment books, schedules, logs, diaries, and other records documenting meetings, appointments, telephone calls, trips, visits, and other activities by Federal employees while serving in an official capacity, EXCLUDING materials determined to be personal.

a.    Records containing substantive information relating to official activities, the substance of which has not been incorporated into official files, EXCLUDING records relating to the official activities of high Government officials. [See note after item 5a.]

Destroy or delete when 2 years old. (N1-GRS-87-19 item 5a)

[NOTE: High level officials include the heads of departments and independent agencies; their deputies and assistants; the heads of program offices and staff offices including assistant secretaries, administrators, and commissioners; directors of offices, bureaus, or equivalent; principal regional officials; staff assistants to those aforementioned officials, such as special assistants, confidential assistants, and administrative assistants; and career Federal employees, political appointees, and officers of the Armed Forces serving in equivalent or comparable positions. Unique substantive records relating to the activities of these individuals must be scheduled by submission of an SF 115 to NARA. (N1-GRS-87-19 item 5a NOTE)]

b.    Records documenting routine activities containing no substantive information and records containing substantive information, the substance of which has been incorporated into organized files.

Destroy or delete when no longer needed for convenience of reference. (N1-GRS-87-19 item 5b)

6.    Suspense Files.

Documents arranged in chronological order as a reminder that an action is required on a given date or that a reply to action is expected and, if not received, should be traced on a given date.

a.    A note or other reminder to take action.

Destroy after action is taken. (N1-GRS-80-8 item 3a)

b.    The file copy or an extra copy of an outgoing communication, filed by the date on which a reply is expected.

Withdraw documents when reply is received. (1) If suspense copy is an extra copy, destroy immediately. (2) If suspense copy is the file copy, incorporate it into the official files. (N1-GRS-80-8 item 3b)

7.    Transitory Files.

Records of short-term (180 days or less) interest, including in electronic form (e.g., e-mail messages), which have minimal or no documentary or evidential value. Included are such records as:

  • Routine requests for information or publications and copies of replies which require no administrative action, no policy decision, and no special compilation or research for reply;

  • Originating office copies of letters of transmittal that do not add any information to that contained in the transmitted material, and receiving office copy if filed separately from transmitted material;

  • Quasi-official notices including memoranda and other records that do not serve as the basis of official actions, such as notices of holidays or charity and welfare fund appeals, bond campaigns, and similar records;

  • Records documenting routine activities containing no substantive information, such as routine notifications of meetings, scheduling of work-related trips and visits, and other scheduling related activities;

  • Suspense and tickler files or "to-do" and task lists that serve as a reminder that an action is required on a given date or that a reply to action is expected, and if not received, should be traced on a given date.
Destroy immediately, or when no longer needed for reference, or according to a predetermined time period or business rule (e.g., implementing the auto-delete feature of electronic mail systems). (N1-GRS-04-5, item 1)

8.    Tracking and Control Records.

Logs, registers, and other records used to control or document the status of correspondence, reports, or other records that are authorized for destruction by the GRS or a NARA-approved SF 115.

Destroy or delete when 2 years old, or 2 years after the date of the latest entry, whichever is applicable. (N1-GRS-98-2 item 45)

9.    Finding Aids (or Indexes).

Indexes, lists, registers, and other finding aids used only to provide access to records authorized for destruction by the GRS or a NARA-approved SF 115, EXCLUDING records containing abstracts or other information that can be used as an information source apart from the related records.

Destroy or delete with the related records. (N1-GRS-98-2 item 46)

Top of Page

Records Managers >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272