Records Managers

Disposition of Federal Records: A Records Management Handbook



2000 Web Edition (of 1997 printed publication)

Disposition of Federal Records - Chapter III

Figure 3-3b. Information System Description Instructions

Definition

An Information System is the organized collection, processing, transmission, and dissemination of information in accordance with defined procedures. NARA's concern is with the government information in the system, that is, with information created, collected, processed, transmitted, disseminated, used, stored, and disposed of by the Federal Government. An electronic information system includes the inputs and outputs that are generated, as well as the information on electronic media. The system may contain budgetary, fiscal, social, economic, scientific-technical or program-related data and information, operated in support of agency programs and management responsibilities.

Explanations
  1. The commonly used name and acronym of the system [e.g., Budget System, Grain Monitoring System]

  2. The internal control number assigned to the system for reference, control, or cataloging purposes [e.g., Information System Inventory Number, ADP Plan control number]

  3. What agency programs or missions does the system support?

  4. What laws, directives, etc., authorize these programs?

  5. Description has the following sections:

    a. Purpose/Function: The reasons for and the requirements met by the system.

    b. Sources of Data: The primary sources or providers of data to the system [e.g., broadcast license holders, corporations doing business in the U.S.]. Does this system receive information from other systems, either from within or outside your agency?

    c. Information content: The principal subject matter, data coverage, time span, geographic coverage, update cycle, whether the system saves superseded information, major characteristics of the system, and whether the system contains microdata or summary data.

    d. Outputs: The principal products of the system [e.g., reports, tables, charts, graphic displays, catalogs, correspondence], and an indication of the frequency of preparation. Is information from this system transferred to other systems?

  6. Self-explanatory.

  7. Self-explanatory.

  8. Citations of previous NARA disposition jobs approving disposition of components [e.g., input forms. printouts, COM, output reports] of the system.

  9. Self-explanatory.

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