Federal Records Management

NARA Bulletin 95-03

NOTE:The URL for the Attachment to the bulletin has been changed.

NARA Bulletin 95-03

February 16, 1995

TO: Heads of Federal Agencies

SUBJECT: Government Information Locator Service

1. Purpose. This bulletin transmits guidance for U.S. government agencies on describing information dissemination products, automated information systems, and Privacy Act systems using Government Information Locator Service (GILS) Core Elements. It also offers guidance to U.S. government agencies on using GILS as a tool for managing their Federal records.

2. Expiration Date. This bulletin will remain in effect for the duration of OMB Bulletin 95-01.

3. Authority. The Federal Records Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 33) and implementing regulations (36 CFR Chapter 12) for records management provisions. OMB Bulletin 95-01 for GILS descriptive standards.

4. Background. On December 7, 1994, the Office of Management and Budget issued OMB Bulletin 95-01, Establishment of Government Information Locator Service (GILS). GILS will identify public information resources throughout the Federal government, describe the information available in those resources, and provide assistance in obtaining the information. It will also serve as a tool to improve agency electronic records management practices. GILS will identify and describe Federal information resources and use standard network technology and voluntary, international standards for information search and retrieval to deliver the information to the public.

OMB Bulletin 95-01 directs all Federal agencies to compile an inventory of their automated information systems, Privacy Act systems of records, and locators that together cover all of their information dissemination products and to describe each of these by a GILS Core Locator record. It also directs each agency to determine whether Federal records described in GILS are covered by a records disposition schedule (Standard Form 115) authorized by the Archivist of the United States. Agencies will be able to reduce their reporting requirements by transferring their GILS entries to records schedules or, for systems that are already scheduled, transferring the information on the SF 115 to GILS. Records that are properly described in GILS will be properly described for records schedules, and vice versa.

The OMB Bulletin states that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) should publish guidance for Federal agencies on describing information dissemination products and automated information systems using GILS Core Elements. This complements NARA's responsibility to guide agencies on the development of records inventories and in determining records retention needs. The attachment to this NARA Bulletin provides descriptive guidance for agencies to use in completing GILS Core entries.

5. Training. NARA will conduct training courses for agency staff with responsibility for completing the GILS Core entries. NARA will offer these courses on a reimbursable basis. There will be three types of training courses:

     a. Using the GILS Core Elements. This new one-day course will focus on the descriptive guidance for completing the GILS Core Elements. It will relate this guidance to NARA and OMB records management requirements. The first session of this course will be on March 23, 1995.

     b. Disposition of Electronic Records. This established two-day course will be modified to add a module on GILS. The module will consider GILS in the context of inventorying and scheduling electronic records. The next session of this course will begin on February 28, 1995.

     c. Electronic Records Issues. A one-day course on the major issues and problems faced in managing electronic records in Federal agencies, this established course will also add a module for the discussion of GILS. The next meeting of this course will be on March 2, 1995.

For complete information on the schedule and cost of NARA's records management courses, call our office of Records Administration on 301-713-6677. Training information is also available via Internet on gopher.nara.gov.

6. Distribution of Attachment. The attachment to this bulletin is being sent to agencies in two formats. A printed copy and a copy on diskette are being sent to the agency central point of contact who is responsible for distributing NARA bulletins within the agency. In addition, we are providing copies in both formats to agency records officers. The attachment is also available over the Internet on gopher.nara.gov, on the path Information for Archivists and Records Managers.

Acting Archivist of the United States