Federal Records Management

NARA Bulletin 2001-03

ATTENTION! This page has been superseded. The information listed below is no longer accurate. For NARA's current guidance please visit  http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins.  Please note that this page is available only as a technical and historical reference.

September 24, 2001

NARA Bulletin 2001-03

TO: Heads of Federal Agencies

SUBJECT: Disposition of electronic records (NARA Bulletin 99-05)

EXPIRATION DATE: October 1, 2003

1. What does this bulletin do? This bulletin notifies agencies to continue to submit records schedules covering new or revised series to NARA using the procedures established by NARA Bulletins 98-02 and 99-05. It also reminds agencies of their general recordkeeping responsibilities.

2. What are the procedures for submitting records schedules for new or revised series? New and revised items on SF 115s, Request for Records Disposition Authority, submitted for NARA approval must include provision for the disposition of both the copy of a record that resides on electronic mail or other office automation application, and the copy maintained in the recordkeeping system:

    a. When new and revised items include records generated on office automation applications, the description on the proposed schedule should indicate that records were generated using office automation, AND

    b. For each such item the proposed schedule should provide separate disposition instructions for the recordkeeping system described in the schedule and for the electronic copy created by the office automation application.

3. What are agency recordkeeping responsibilities? NARA regulations in 36 CFR chapter XII, Subchapter B provide guidance and requirements on recordkeeping policies and practices to assist agencies in ensuring adequate and proper documentation of agency activities. To support operational needs, protect rights, and allow accountability, agencies must create and preserve complete records in designated recordkeeping systems.

    a. To ensure complete documentation, records (including those generated electronically with office automation applications) should include proper identification of originators and recipients, appropriate dates, and any other information needed by the agency to meet its business needs. Records generated with an office automation application must be copied to a recordkeeping system where they will be maintained as long as they are needed by the Government.

    b. Proper recordkeeping systems organize or index records to provide context and to allow appropriate staff access to all records relating to a specific transaction, project, study, or subject. Recordkeeping systems may be in paper, micrographic, or electronic format.

4. Who do I contact for further information? Address questions to the appraiser in our Life Cycle Management Division with whom your agency normally works.

Archivist of the United States