Federal Records Management

How Federal Agencies Are Approaching Email Disposition

  Download NARA's Email Disposition Spreadsheet for more information about specific approaches and disposition authorities that agencies are using.  Please note this is not a comprehensive list of agencies.  Details of the spreadsheet are in the table below.

This page contains information about the strategies and approaches Federal agencies are using to obtain approved disposition authorities for email records.

The traditional approach to records management requires individuals to make a records disposition decision on every email they send or receive based on its content -- determining if the email is permanent or temporary; and if temporary, how long the records schedule requires it be kept.

NARA established the "Capstone" approach for managing and scheduling email records with NARA Bulletin 2013-02. Retention periods are instead determined by the role or position of the individual, rather than by the content of each email message. All emails of specified senior (Capstone) officials are permanent, and all other agency employee accounts are temporary subject to a common disposal period, such as seven years. This approach is simpler and easier to automate.

Agencies that choose to implement the Capstone approach for email management may use the General Records Schedule (GRS) 6.1 disposition authority, otherwise known as the Capstone GRS. Agencies must request to use this GRS authority with a NARA form 1005 ( NA-1005 | PDF), Verification for Implementing GRS 6.1.

Agencies that choose to implement the Capstone approach may also request disposition authority through the submission and approval of an agency-specific schedule.

NARA's Email Disposition Spreadsheet contains the following information:

Department / Category Name Name of Department OR  Boards, Commissions and Committees OR Independent Agencies
Agency Name Name of the component within a department, if applicable
Agency Email Disposition Strategy See table below for strategy options
New Email Disposition Request(s) Pending? Status of disposition request

(Approved, Covered by another submission or agency schedule, Not submitted, N/A, Pending or Resubmission)

Agency-specific records schedule number or NA-1005 number

Disposition authority tracking number (DAA) or GRS 6.1 tracking number

URL to Approved agency-specific records schedule(s) or Verification Form Link to the Record Control Schedule on archives.gov

Agency Email Disposition Strategy: Options and Description

Agencies have either submitted an NA-1005, an agency-specific records schedule(s), or indicated their plans for email disposition on the Records Management Self-Assessment ( RMSA) survey.

Disposition Option Description
Capstone approach GRS 6.1 NA-1005 form has been approved, is pending, not submitted, not applicable.
Agency-specific records schedule Agency will manage individual email disposition based on the content of the message, or by email account, as defined in agency-specific records schedules.  Schedule is approved, pending, or not yet submitted.
Combination Agency will use both GRS 6.1 and an agency-specific records schedule for disposition of permanent and temporary emails.
Traditional RM User determines if an email is a record or nonrecord and determines retention and final disposition under existing records schedules based on the content of the message 
Do not know, No or No response

Agency is still making decisions about its email disposition approach. 

For questions about this list or to request that additional agencies be added, please contact us at GRS_Team@nara.gov