Federal Records Management

AC 21.2012

June 28, 2012


This communication is for Federal agencies that store permanent records in NARA's Federal Records Centers (FRCs).

NARA is committed to using the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) exclusively for the legal transfer of all types of Federal records (e.g. electronic, paper, and special media) beginning October 1, 2012. ERA provides a consistent national process and the opportunity to use resources more effectively.

The permanent records move or "Annual Move" results in the legal transfer of tens of thousands of cubic feet of historically significant records from FRCs to the National Archives every year. In the past, this required NARA to prepare and distribute hundreds of paper Standard Forms 258, "Agreement to Transfer Records to the National Archives of the United States," to Federal agencies. Now, ERA Transfer Requests will completely replace the paper SF 258. Most current Annual Move processes will continue, such as identification of eligible transfers in ARCIS, agency and NARA approval of the legal transfer of records, and the coordination between the archival units and FRCs to physically transfer the records. Some of these processes and deadlines are affected by the transition to ERA. In some cases, new processes are required.

For 2013, there are changes in several crucial dates. In particular, feedback from current agency users of ERA resulted in increasing the amount of time agencies have for the internal review of their eligible transfers. NARA will provide agencies with a list of eligible transfers a full 120 days before the review needs to be completed. Previously, NARA gave agencies only 90 days for the internal review. The revised timeline is as follows:

  • August 1, 2012: Agencies will receive lists of potentially eligible FRC transfers for January 2013 for their agency. Lists will be in spreadsheet format for ease of analysis.

  • October 1, 2012: NARA will load Transfer Requests into ERA for eligible transfers.

  • December 1, 2012: Agency deadline for proposing Transfer Requests to NARA for movement in the January-March quarter.

  • January 15, 2013: NARA deadline to make the approval decision on Transfer Requests proposed by December 1.

  • March 31, 2013: Deadline for physical transfer of all records with NARA-approved transfer requests.

In September and October 2012, NARA will conduct a number of training webinars on how to process the Annual Move transfers using ERA. Please stay tuned for additional information on these training sessions.

ERA makes it possible to track the progress of each Transfer Request, both during the agency review process and the NARA approval process. It provides for greater consistency in legal transfer processes across all of NARA's FRCs and archival units. This transparency and consistency should enhance the ability of each agency and NARA to monitor and improve processes around this important activity.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Lynn Stewart at lynn.stewart@nara.gov or 301-778-1545.

Chief Records Officer for the
U.S. Government