Federal Records Centers

FRC Temporary Closure and Reopening Frequently Asked Questions

Reopening FAQs

Q. Is the Federal Records Centers Program (FRCP) reopening its buildings nationwide?  

        A. The FRCP is gradually resuming Phase 1 operations on a records center by records center basis, based on local conditions and specific safety criteria. Check on the operating status of reopening records centers.

Q. What work will occur during the first phase of the FRC reopening?

        A. Upon reopening, FRCs will first concentrate on reference backlogs including requests received during the closure, albeit with limited resources. FRCs will also service non-emergency reference requests.  As staff adapts to the new safety measures, a realistic timeline for request fulfillment will be established.

Q. What is the status of submitting new transfers to the FRCs?

        A. Reopened FRCs will continue approving new transfers, but agencies cannot ship new transfers without prior arrangements with the receiving FRC. The requirement to arrange shipping with the FRC applies equally to all transfers approved by the FRC either before or after closure. The FRCs will waive the requirement to ship records within 90 days of receiving approval on a new transfer.   

Q. What if my agency is not reopened to the extent it is ready to receive records from backlogged reference requests?

        A. FRC staff will attempt to verify that an agency site is open to receive records prior to shipping. The Agency Records Officer should work with their FRCP Account Manager if there is a need to issue a blanket request to not ship previously submitted reference requests.

Q. What is the status of records disposal?

        A. Reopened FRCs will continue processing agency approvals to destroy records. Where resources allow, reopened FRCs may begin physical destruction of records previously approved for disposal.

Operations During Closure FAQs

Q. Can I request records from FRCP sites that remain closed due to COVID-19?

        A. Yes. Many FRCP sites remain closed, but they will continue to respond to emergency requests for records.

Q. How can a Federal Agency determine if the records request is considered an emergency?

        A. It is up to the agency to determine if requests are an emergency. Any questions should be referred to your Agency Records Officer (ARO).

Q. How can I submit an emergency reference request for records?

        A. Step 1 - Emergency reference requests should be submitted in ARCIS to the FRCP with a service level category of Emergency versus Standard (the default setting for routine reference requests) to help us identify these time-sensitive records needs.

            Step 2 - Requesters should ensure that the “ship to” address for the request is accurate and the point of contact information is complete and accurate to assist us in processing the request.

            Step 3 - Requesters should contact the FRC Emergency Contact directly to establish the time-line to fulfillment and confirm the shipping information. FRCs will also process your faxed or emailed emergency reference requests that adhere to the steps noted above.

Q. How do I find the FRC Emergency Contact information for my local Records Center?

        A. Your ARO has been provided with a list of emergency contacts at the FRC. If you are not able to reach your ARO, please contact your FRC Account Manager.

Q. Are there additional charges related to processing Emergency Reference Requests?

        A. Yes. Emergency Reference Requests will be processed during normal business hours. Standard charges apply in addition to service code HR - Rush with a unit cost of $4.50 per request. Emergency requests which need to be fulfilled after normal business hours will have the service code RI - Emergency After Hours with a unit cost of $500.00 applied.

Q. Can we still submit routine reference requests to the FRC via ARCIS during this COVID-19 closure?

        A. Yes. However, non-emergency reference requests will not be processed until the FRC that stores the records is reopened.

Q. Can we submit new records transfer requests to the FRCP in ARCIS during the COVID-19 closure?

        A. Yes. Teleworking FRCP employees are able to process transfer requests received electronically. You must coordinate the shipment of the records with your local FRC once that site has reopened.

Q. Question: Are the FRCs processing approvals for records disposals?

        A. Yes. Teleworking FRCP employees are able to process disposal approvals received electronically. However, the physical destruction of records is on hold until there is sufficient staff to process disposals.

Q. Are the FRCs processing ARCIS updates/corrections?

        A. Yes. Teleworking FRCP employees are able to make ARCIS updates and acknowledge that the changes were completed.

Q. Can I contact FRC staff?

        A. Yes. Customers with routine inquiries can direct them to the General Transfer or General Reference email address for your local FRC. Teleworking FRCP employees are monitoring those email accounts, and they will respond with appropriate guidance. You can also contact your FRC Account Manager.

Q. How will Federal Records Centers be secured when they are closed due to COVID-19?

        A. The FRCP will continue to store and safeguard all Federal agency records in its custody using all existing security procedures during closures.