National Archives and Records
General Records Schedules
Transmittal No. 22
GENERAL RECORDS SCHEDULE 26
Temporary Commissions, Boards, Councils and Committees
This schedule covers records created and maintained by temporary commissions, boards, councils and committees (including continuing entities governed by renewable charters such as agency advisory committees). In the case of interagency bodies, this schedule covers the records maintained by the designated secretariat as well as records accumulated by other commission members.
This schedule does not apply to the records of Presidential commissions, boards, councils and committees covered by the Presidential Records Act.
For convenience, the term "commission" is used in this schedule to cover all types of temporary organizations.
The record series described in this schedule are created and maintained in different media and formats, therefore this schedule is written to authorize the disposition of the records in any media (media neutral). Agencies are required to refer to the most current version of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and other relevant guidance to ensure that the media and format that is chosen by the agency meets NARA's transfer requirements for permanent records. See 36 CFR Sections: 1235.42, "What specifications and standards for transfer apply to audiovisual records, cartographic, and related records?"; 1235.44, 46, 48, 50 (electronic records); and 1238.28, "What must agencies do when sending permanent microform records to a records storage facility?"
When records are created and maintained electronically, NARA prefers that the archival copy be transferred to the National Archives in an approved electronic format.
1. Internal Agency Committees
a. Internal agency committees unrelated to an agency's mission
Committees established by an agency for facilitative or operational purposes unrelated to the agency's mission, composed wholly of full-time officers or employees of the Federal government, and not subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, e.g. committees tasked with organizing events, selecting of interior furnishings, overseeing volunteer activities or employee recreational activities.
Any files created and/or maintained by the committee
Destroy/delete when no longer needed for administrative purposes. (N1-GRS-04-1 item 1a)
b. Internal agency committees related to an agency's mission
Committees established by agency authority (not established by Public Law or Executive Order) for facilitative or operational purposes, related to the agency's mission, composed wholly of full-time officers or employees of the Federal government, and not subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, e.g. committees tasked with reviewing policy, studying reorganizations, recommending new actions or developing multi-year plans.
Any files created and/or maintained by the committee including agenda, minutes, final reports, and related records documenting accomplishments of official boards and committees.
These records are potentially permanent and must be scheduled by submission of an SF 115 to NARA. (N1-GRS-04-1 item 1b)
2. Records Created by Advisory Commissions, Committees, Councils, Boards and Other Groups Established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)
[NOTE: The term "advisory committee" as defined by FACA means any committee, board, commission, council, conference, panel, task force, or other similar group, or any subcommittee or other subgroup which is (1) established by statute or reorganization plan or (2) established or utilized by the President, or (3) established or utilized by one or more agencies or officers of the Federal government. This term does not apply to any committee which is composed wholly of full-time officers or employees of the Federal government.]
a. Files documenting the Commission's establishment, membership, policy, organization, deliberations, findings, and recommendations, including such records as
- original charter, renewal and amended charters, organization charts, functional statements, directives or memorandums to staff concerning their responsibilities, and other materials that document the organization and functions of the Commission and its components
- agendas, briefing books, minutes, testimony, and transcripts of meetings and hearings as well as audiotapes and/or videotapes of meetings and hearings which were not fully transcribed
- one copy each of reports, studies, pamphlets, posters (2 copies) and other publications produced by or for the commission as well as news releases, commissioners' speeches, formal photographs and other significant public affairs files
- correspondence, subject and other files maintained by key commission staff, such as the chair, executive director, and legal counsel, documenting the functions of the commission
- substantive records relating to research studies and other projects, including unpublished studies and reports and substantive research materials (may include electronic data).
- questionnaires, surveys and other raw data accumulated in connection with research studies and other projects where the information has been consolidated or aggregated in analyses, reports, or studies covered by Item 2(a) (may include data maintained electronically).
- Records created to comply with the provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act, annual reports to Congress describing the agency's compliance with the act.
- Documentation of subcommittees, working groups, or other subgroups of advisory committees, that support their reports and recommendations to the full or parent committee. This documentation may include, but is not limited to minutes, transcripts, reports, correspondence, briefing materials, and other related records.
- Documentation of formally designated subcommittees and working groups. This documentation may include, but is not limited to minutes, transcripts, reports, correspondence, briefing materials, and other related records.
PERMANENT. Transfer to the National Archives on termination of the Commission. Earlier periodic transfers are authorized for commissions operating for 3 years or longer. (N1-GRS-07-5 item 2a)
[NOTE: Non-textual records transferred to NARA must follow NARA published guidance for transfer of required elements. (N1-GRS-04-1 item 2a Note)]
b. Files that relate to day-to-day Commission activities and/or do not contain unique information of historical value, including such records as
- correspondence, reference and working files of Commission staff [excluding files covered by Item 2(a)]
- audiotapes and videotapes of Commission meetings and hearings that have been fully transcribed, informal still photographs and slides of Commission members and staff, meetings, hearings, and other events
- other routine records, such as public mail, requests for information, consultant personnel files, records relating to logistical aspects of Commission meetings and hearings, etc.
- extra copies of records described in Item 2(a), e.g. copies of meeting agenda and minutes distributed to commission members and staff, files accumulated by agencies on interagency bodies other than the secretariat or sponsor.
Destroy/delete when 3 years old (see NOTES). (N1-GRS-07-1 item 2b)
[NOTE: Prior to destruction/deletion, NARA, in consultation with Commission staff, will review records covered by this item and may identify files that warrant permanent retention. Such records will be transferred to the National Archives at the time that related permanent records are transferred. (N1-GRS-07-1 item 2b Note)]
[NOTE: Administrative records generated by an advisory committee - records relating to budget, personnel, supply or similar housekeeping or facilitation functions - may be disposed of in accordance with the General Records Schedules since they do not pertain to the subject matter advice that the advisory committee is providing to the Government. Administrative records authorized for disposal by the GRS and having retention periods outlasting the life of the commission (such as payroll, personnel and fiscal records) should be transferred to the agency providing administrative support.(N1-GRS-07-1 item 2b Note)]
c. Web site records
(1) Electronic version of web site(s).
Destroy/delete on termination of commission or when no longer needed, excluding records covered by the NOTE following this item. (N1-GRS-07-1 item 2c1)
(2) Design, management, and technical operation records.
Destroy/delete on termination of commission or when no longer needed. (N1-GRS-07-1 item 2c2)
(3) Electronic version of content records duplicated in textual series of commission records.
Destroy/delete on termination of commission or when no longer needed. (N1-GRS-07-1 item 2c3)
[NOTE: Prior to destruction/deletion, NARA, in consultation with Commission staff, will review records covered by Item 2(c)(1) and may identify portions (including a web snapshot) that warrant permanent retention. Such records will be transferred to the National Archives at the time that related permanent records are transferred along with any records covered by Item 2(c)(2) that NARA requires to maintain and access permanent web content records. (N1-GRS-07-1 item 2c Note)]
3. Committee Records Not Maintained by the Sponsor or Secretariat
Copies of committee records, such as agendas, meeting minutes, final reports and related records created by or documenting the accomplishments of official boards and commissions, excluding those kept by the sponsor or Secretariat.
Destroy when 3 years old. (N1-GRS-04-1 item 3)
[NOTE: The records of an international committee held by the U.S. member or representative when the U.S. is not the sponsor or Secretariat should be described on a SF 115 and submitted to NARA for disposition authority.(N1-GRS-04-1 item 3 Note)]
[NOTE: Some temporary commissions, especially operational commissions related to an agency's mission, may have records that are not covered by the series herein described. Such series should be described on a SF 115 and submitted to NARA for disposition authority.]
4. Committee Management Records
Records maintained by agency Committee Management Officers for committees established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) as amended (5U.S.C. Appendix 2). [See note after this item.] Committee Management activities include the establishment, appointment of members, and operation and termination of chartered Federal advisory committees.
Committee management records include copies of charters, membership lists, agendas, policy statements, statistical data files, financial operating plans, General Service Administration reports and other statistical reports on the number of committees, types of committees, membership rosters, requests for approval of committee nominees, appointment documents for individual committee members, financial disclosure documents, material required to be available for public information and other related topics maintained by the Committee Management Officer.
Destroy/delete when 6 years old. (N1-GRS-04-1 item 4)
[NOTE: This item does not apply to records maintained at the General Services Administration (GSA) or records covered elsewhere in this schedule. (N1-GRS-04-1 item 4 Note)]
[NOTE: Disposition authority for any commission records not covered by items above or elsewhere in the General Records Schedule must be requested by submitting s SF 115 to NARA. (N1-GRS-04-1 item 4 Note)]