Records Managers

GRS Transmittal No. 8

December 21, 1998

GRS Transmittal No. 8

TO: Heads of Federal Agencies

1. What does this document do?

GRS Transmittal 8 explains the changes that have been made to the General Records Schedules (GRS) since August 1995 when we last issued the GRS. The General Records Schedules (GRS) provide mandatory disposition instructions for temporary administrative records common to several Federal agencies.

2. What is the status of GRS 20?

a. GRS 20 is the subject of a court case, Public Citizen v. Carlin. On October 22, 1997, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order declaring GRS 20 "null and void." The Government filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which is pending. See the GRS 20 web site for more information on GRS 20 and the court case.

b. In accordance with the Memorandum Opinion and Order of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, dated September 29, 1998, we have issued the following statement:

The District Court's injunction of April 9, 1998, prohibiting the Archivist from issuing Federal Register notices, bulletins, directives or other official statements of any kind stating that General Records Schedule 20 currently authorizes the disposition of electronic records, remains in effect.

The District Court has further authorized the Archivist to state that a federal agency may continue to follow its present disposition practices for electronic records until (1) the agency has submitted and received approval from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) on a Request for Records Disposition Authority; (2) notification by NARA that the appeal in this case has been resolved and NARA has provided further guidance as a result of the appellate court's decision; or (3) further Order of the District Court.

c. We are developing a new GRS for information technology records. When that GRS is completed, we will issue another GRS transmittal to send it to you.

3. What changes have been made to the other GRS?

The following chart shows the major changes. In addition to the changes shown in this chart, we have added a new final item to GRS 1-16, 18, and 23, to provide disposal authority for electronic mail and word processing records used solely to produce records described in those GRS, after a recordkeeping copy has been produced, and electronic copies used for dissemination, revision, or updating that are maintained in addition to the recordkeeping copy. The new item does not authorize disposal of any records in agency files or other recordkeeping systems. We made this change in response to a recommendation from the Electronic Records Work Group established by me to address electronic records disposition issues.

GRS Affected What is new or changed
Introduction to the GRS a. Updated with current NARA organization titles.

b. New paragraph explaining authority to dispose of source records after recordkeeping copy has been produced.
GRS 1, Civilian Personnel Records Items 4a, 23a(3) and (5), 23b(2) and (4) - Changes the disposition from "destroy when no longer needed" to specific retention periods.

Item 10 - Provides separate disposition for Immigration and Naturalization Service I-9 forms from other temporary individual employee records.

Item 24 - Adds note to cross-reference new GRS 9, item 6 (records on non-Federally funded travel).

Item 36 - Changes retention period for agency copies of drug test plans and procedures (item 36a) and adds retention period for positive drug test records (item 36e(1)).

Item 41 - Amends Pay Comparability Records to add requests and approvals for recruitment, retention and relocation bonuses, allowances, and supervisory differentials.

New item 42 - Covers records documenting an alternate work site program.

GRS 3, Procurement Supply and Grant Records Item 3 - Changes the disposition to comply with the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 and the Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1996.

Item 16 - Changes the disposition from "destroy when no longer needed" to specific retention period.
GRS 9, Travel and Transportation Records Items 1e and 5c - Changes the disposition from "destroy when no longer needed" to specific retention periods.

New item 6 - Covers records relating to non-Federally funded travel.

New item 7 - Covers transportation subsidy records.
GRS 12, Communications Records New item 4 - Covers telephone use records. The approved item mandates a 3-year retention, but allows agencies to execute earlier disposal if information concerning abuses is captured in other records.

Item 7 - Corrects "penalty mail" to read "metered mail," as indicia (penalty) mail is no longer permitted and most agencies are using postage meters.
GRS 14, Information Services Records Items 1, 14, 15, 26, 34, and 35 - Deletes the authority to destroy sooner than the specified retention period if no longer needed.
GRS 16, Administrative Management Records Items 2a, 2b, 7, 8, 10b and 14e - Changes the disposition from "destroy when no longer needed" to specific retention periods.
GRS 17, Cartographic, Aerial photographic, Architectural, and Engineering Records Item 2 - Reserved. Formerly covered duplicate aerial photographs that are nonrecord materials.

Items 3, 4, 5, and 6 - Changes the disposition from "destroy when no longer needed" to specific retention periods.

Item 7 - Reserved. Formerly described architectural models that are nonrecord materials, and do not need to be covered by the GRS.

Items 8, 9, and 10 - Changes the disposition from "destroy when no longer needed" to specific retention periods.

GRS 18, Security and Protective Service Records Item 24b - Deletes the authority to destroy sooner than the specified retention period if no longer needed.
GRS 19, Reserved GRS 19 was rescinded several years ago and agencies had to separately schedule their research and development records. The former title of this GRS is no longer needed.
GRS 21, Audiovisual Records Items 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 12, 18, and 26 - Deletes the authority to destroy sooner than the specified retention period if no longer needed.

Items 11, 18, and 20 - Changes the disposition from "destroy when no longer needed" to specific retention periods.

Items 4, 10, 13, 15, 21, 25, and 27 - Reserved. These items described duplicate photographs, films, videos, and sound recordings; recreational films and videos; and library sound recordings, which are nonrecord materials and do not need to be covered by the GRS.
GRS 22, Inspector General Records, WITHDRAWN The entire GRS 22 and the disposal authority formerly provided under this GRS are withdrawn. NARA Bulletin 99-02, Withdrawal of General Records Schedule (GRS) 22, Inspector General Records, provides background on why we took this action and explains what you must do to obtain disposition authority for those records if you used GRS 22 as the disposition authority.
GRS 23, Records Common to Most Offices Within Agencies Item 1 - Facsimile machine logs were added as an example of a short-term administrative record relating to communications.

4. Do I have to take any action to implement these GRS changes?

a. Our regulations (36 CFR 1226.12) require you to disseminate GRS changes within 6 months of receipt. If you wish to apply a retention period that differs from that specified in the GRS, you must submit an SF 115, Request for Records Disposition Authority, to us for approval. b. NARA Bulletin 99-02, Withdrawal of General Records Schedule (GRS) 22, Inspector General Records, provides guidance on steps you must take for your Inspector General records. We have sent copies of this bulletin to agency heads and records officers. The bulletin is also posted on NARA's web site.

5. How do I get copies of the new GRS?We are sending the updated versions of the Introduction and GRS 1-18 and 21-23 in electronic form (WordPerfect 6.1, Word 6.0, and ASCII) on disk to your agency records officer. We are also posting a set on our web site. We will also send your records officer a printed copy of the GRS when it is available.

6. Who do I contact for further information?Please contact Jean Keeting on 301-713-7110, ext. 230 if you have any questions.

JOHN W. CARLIN
Archivist of the United States

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