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 and 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



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

GRS 6.1: Email Managed under a Capstone Approach

 Agency has an approved form NA-1005
GRS 6.1: Email Managed under a Capstone Approach; agency does not have an approved form NA-1005  Form is pending review, or has not yet been submitted
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.
Traditional records management Retention based on content, usually applied on an email-by-email basis, utilizing multiple NARA-approved disposition authorities
Combination Agency might be using GRS 6.1, an agency-specific records schedule, and/or traditional records management for disposition of permanent and temporary emails.
Email retention method has not been decided/scheduled by agency
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