NARA Guidance Portal

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provides guidance to help agencies understand and comply with applicable regulations, executive orders, and the law, in order to support our records management, access, and information security goals. We also provide guidance to help the public understand how they may access Federal information, request our services, and comment on our policies.

Use the Current Guidance links below to access and read our current guidance on a wide range of records and information issues. Click a heading to go to a searchable list of that kind of guidance. You can sort that current guidance list by title, type of guidance, date, etc. You can also access a link to cancelled / expired / superseded guidance at the end of each current guidance list.

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Is guidance binding?

  • Guidance documents in this portal that pertain to the public do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public, except as authorized by law or regulation or as incorporated into a contract. Accordingly, with regard to the public, these guidance documents only provide clarity regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.
  • Guidance documents in this portal that pertain to Federal agencies are binding on agency actions as authorized under applicable statute, executive order, regulation, or similar authority.

Current Guidance


How to request that we add, rescind, or modify guidance

Any person may request that we issue, reconsider, modify, or rescind a particular guidance document by using the procedures below (also in our guidance regulations at 36 CFR 1213.10).

1) Submit your request using the contact information and methods at the bottom of this box. The request must:

(a) Describe the nature of the request and set out the text or substance of the guidance you are requesting or that you wish us to reconsider, modify, or rescind;

(b) Explain your interest in the action you are requesting; and

(c) Contain any information and arguments you have to support the action you are seeking.

(2) We will review your request and make a decision whether to grant the request or deny it in whole or in part. We will provide you with a response to your request and a status update or our decision within 90 days after we receive the request, if you provide email or mail contact information.

Submit requests to modify guidance to this email or mailing address:

Email:   regulation_comments@nara.gov 

Regulatory and External Policy Program
Suite 4100 
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740.

How to comment on guidance

Contact us at the Regulatory and External Policy Program by email with questions about our guidance documents or process. 

Significant guidance

Some of our guidance may be significant and we will therefore publish it for public notice and comment, in accordance with our regulations at 36 CFR 1213.8(e) and with OMB Memo M-20-02. In such cases, we will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing that a draft of the proposed guidance document is publicly available and where.

We normally post draft guidance documents on regulations.gov in a docket with the notice, but in some cases we may post it on this portal.

We invite public comment on drafts that are open for comment. 

  • You can search for open guidance notices at federalregister.gov
  • The notice will inform you of options for commenting on the draft guidance, but in most cases, you will be able to submit a comment through regulations.gov.

 


 

  • Federal Register notice about this guidance portal

On February 28, 2020, we published a notice in the Federal Register about this guidance portal (85 FR 12031). This notice is available online.

  • Our regulations on guidance

Our regulations on our agency guidance procedures at 36 CFR 1213.  They were published in the Federal Register at 85 FR 31979, May 28, 2020.

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