FRC 01.2013: Update on Federal Records Centers Disposal Activities
June 1, 2013
FRC MEMORANDUM TO FEDERAL AGENCY CONTACTS: Update on Federal Records Centers Disposal Activities
In July 2012, the Federal Records Center Program (FRCP) placed a moratorium on the destruction of eligible records in order to review and improve processes that better ensure ineligible records will not be destroyed in error. Disposal activities under enhanced procedures resumed in December. Since then, a national Transfer and Disposition oversight unit was established and disposal processes are being further improved and re-engineered.
Since disposal activities resumed, notices identifying records eligible for destruction for the July 2012 and October 2012 cycle (usually NA Form 13001) were issued by records centers that had not done so prior to the moratorium. Most records centers have also mailed notices for the January, April, and July 2013 cycles.
In order to enhance processes and more quickly return disposal activities to their proper cycle, FRCP is engaging in a pilot to eliminate the July "Catch Up" cycle. Formerly, every year during the July disposal cycle, records centers re-sent NA 13001s (or equivalent disposal concurrence letters and reports) for all previously-eligible transfers for which concurrence had never been received. Regrettably, reviewing and re-sending notices offered little return on investment; agencies that failed to respond to first notices, generally did not respond to second, third or fourth notices. For the July 2013 cycle, more than 80% of all notices had previously been issued without response so the FRCP will only send notices requesting authorization to destroy records which are newly eligible for disposal in July (the remaining 20%).
The follow-up intent of the July "Catch-Up" activity will be continued in a forthcoming Agency Profile. The Profile will provide an overview of an agency's holdings, with details about backlogged accessions and disposal, records barred from destruction ("frozen") due to litigation or other circumstances (especially those "frozen" records past their disposition date), and unscheduled records. The report will include cost/benefit analyses, showing how much money agencies can be save over time by taking action on these records.
The Agency Profile is a joint venture between the FRCP and NARA's Office of the Chief Records Officer. It is currently in development; additional information will be communicated when it is finalized.
David M. Weinberg
Director, Federal Records Centers Program