Federal Records Centers

Circumstances that have Impeded our Ability to Process Transfers Approved for Disposal at Several Federal Records Centers (FRCs) Throughout the Country

July 29, 2019 

To Our Valued Customer, 

I am writing to inform you of circumstances that have impeded our ability to process transfers approved for disposal at several Federal Records Centers (FRCs) throughout the country. 

Under 32 CFR, part 2002, the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) requires when destroying Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), agencies must do so in a manner that makes it unreadable, indecipherable, and irrecoverable. To meet this requirement, records must be either shredded to 1mm x 5mm, incinerated, or pulped. While we have identified smaller vendors who can shred to this standard, there are none who can handle the volume of disposals in the Federal Records Centers Program. Additionally, shredding to this standard prevents the shredded product to be recycled which has allowed NARA to keep disposal costs stable. 

As a result of this requirement, the disposal contracts that service our St. Louis and Riverside FRCs lapsed in 2018. On May 31, 2019 an additional four contracts lapsed and we anticipate additional contracts will lapse in the coming year. 

The FRCP experienced additional challenges during the 35-day government shut down which prevented disposals to continue for the majority of our agency customers. And finally, a disposal contractor in Muskogee, OK that services the Atlanta, Lenexa, Lee’s Summit and Fort Worth FRCs experienced both a fire and flooding causing a temporary shut-down of that facility. 

The combination of these circumstances has caused a backlog of disposals which may have prevented NARA from disposing of some of your records. NARA is working to secure a contract that to meet the ISOO requirements and hopes to have a new contract in place by the end of 4th quarter. Additionally, we are making every effort to allocate the resources necessary to address the disposal backlog. As a reminder, storage fees stop 90 calendar days from our receipt of your disposal concurrence or the disposition date, whichever is later. 

We are aware of the challenges facing your agency in the current budget environment and are committed to providing the quality records management services you depend on in the most cost-effective way possible. 

As always, we stand ready to assist you with a wide variety of records management challenges and apologize for the burden this situation has placed on you. If you have any questions or need more details on how this affects your agency, please do not hesitate to contact your FRCP Account Manager. 


Director, Federal Records Centers Program