Federal Records Management

NARA Bulletin 96-05

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July 19, 1996

TO: Heads of Federal Agencies

SUBJECT: Closing of the New York Federal Records Center at Bayonne, NJ

1. Purpose.

This bulletin announces the planned closure of the New York Federal Records Center (FRC) in FY 1998 and the transfer of its holdings to other NARA records center space in Kansas City, MO and Suitland, MD.

2. Expiration.

This bulletin expires on September 30, 1998.

3. Background.

  1. The Department of Defense is closing the Military Ocean Terminal, Bayonne, New Jersey, site of the New York Federal Records Center (FRC).As a result, the New York FRC must vacate its current site by summer 1998. The New York FRC houses nearly 1.2 million cubic feet of records from Federal agencies in the New York/New Jersey area, plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
  2. After carefully reviewing the options available to NARA to relocate the records, NARA determined that it is in the best interest of the Government to move the New York FRC's nonclassified holdings to Kansas City, MO, and the classified records to the Washington National Records Center in Suitland, MD. This option offers high quality storage space for agencies' records with long-term cost savings to the Government. NARA's experience in providing out-of-region storage and reference service for the records of many agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense, will be applied to the records transferred from the New York FRC to ensure that we maintain our current high level of customer service.

4. Impact on agencies.

NARA's Office of Federal Records Centers and the New York FRC staff will work closely with the Federal agency offices whose records will be relocated to keep those offices informed of the specific move schedule affecting their records. Initial letters have been sent to the regional heads of agencies whose records are currently stored in the New York FRC. Meetings will be scheduled shortly with various agencies to discuss the transfer and their concerns.

  1. Records retirement. NARA will impose a moratorium on retiring records to the New York FRC for the first two quarters of FY 1997 to eliminate the need to relocate between 30,000 and 40,000 cubic feet of records that would otherwise have been retired to the New York FRC during that time. In cases where the moratorium will create particular hardships for individual agencies, NARA may be able to divert new accessions elsewhere in the FRC system as a temporary remedy. Once the new records center space in Kansas City is ready (approximately April 1, 1997), NARA will resume direct transfers of records from the agencies formerly served by the New York FRC. Agencies will need to provide for higher shipping costs for retiring records to Kansas City. NARA will bear the expense for overnight delivery to serve agency reference needs.
  2. Reference service. Except for the short period when the records are physically being moved, NARA will continue to provide 24-hour reference service through such measures as overnight delivery, facsimile transmissions, and Internet communication.
  3. Other records management services. NARA will retain staff in the New York City area to provide records management advice, assistance, and training to agencies in that region.

5. Further information.

For further information about NARA's plans as they affect your agency offices, contact Karen Lucas, Director of the New York Federal Records Center, at 201-823-7161 or Greg Pomicter, Deputy Assistant Archivist for Federal Records Centers, at 301-713-7200.

Archivist of the United States