81 FR 12432 - Records Management

NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 46 (March 9, 2016)

Page Range12432-12440
FR Document2016-05150

NARA proposes to revise its records management regulations to reflect changes in technology, practice, and organizational structure. This is phase I of the revisions and includes changes to provisions in regulations on managing vital records, records disposition programs, general records schedules, emergency authorization to destroy records, transfer of records to records storage facilities, transfer, use, and disposition of records in a NARA Federal Records Center, and program assistance and inspections.

Federal Register, Volume 81 Issue 46 (Wednesday, March 9, 2016)
[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 46 (Wednesday, March 9, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 12432-12440]
From the Federal Register Online  [www.thefederalregister.org]
[FR Doc No: 2016-05150]



[[Page 12432]]

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION

36 CFR Parts 1223, 1224, 1227, 1229, 1232, 1233, and 1239

[FDMS No. NARA-16-0001; NARA-2016-014]
RIN 3095-AB74


Records Management

AGENCY: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

ACTION: Proposed rules.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NARA proposes to revise its records management regulations to 
reflect changes in technology, practice, and organizational structure. 
This is phase I of the revisions and includes changes to provisions in 
regulations on managing vital records, records disposition programs, 
general records schedules, emergency authorization to destroy records, 
transfer of records to records storage facilities, transfer, use, and 
disposition of records in a NARA Federal Records Center, and program 
assistance and inspections.

DATES: Submit comments on or before May 9, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 3095-AB74, by any 
of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected]. Include RIN 3095-AB74 
in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: 301-837-0319. Include RIN 3095-AB74 in the subject 
line of the fax cover sheet.
     Mail (for paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions. Include RIN 
3095-AB74 on the submission): Regulations Comment Desk (Strategy & 
Performance Division (SP)); Suite 4100; National Archives and Records 
Administration; 8601 Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740-6001.
     Hand delivery or courier: Deliver comments to front desk 
at the address above.
    Instructions: All submissions must include NARA's name and the 
regulatory information number for this rulemaking (RIN 3095-AB74). We 
may publish any comments we receive without changes, including any 
personal information you include.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura McCarthy, by email at 
[email protected], or by telephone at 301-837-3023. You may 
also find more information about records management at NARA on NARA's 
Web site at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed revisions to the Federal 
records management regulations contained in 36 CFR Chapter XII, 
Subchapter B, affect Federal agencies' records management programs in 
the areas of managing essential (formerly referred to as ``vital'') 
records, records disposition programs, the General Records Schedules, 
emergency authorizations to destroy records, storage of records in 
records storage facilities, and NARA assistance and inspection 
programs. We are making administrative changes, such as updating office 
names and organizational codes, updating URLs, and adding new links to 
NARA's records management Web pages. We are removing repetitive 
definitions sections from each part to a centralized definitions part 
(to come in part 1220) applying to all parts (streamlining under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act) and removing repetitive authorities sections 
from each part because authorities are noted under the table of 
contents (streamlining under the Paperwork Reduction Act). We are 
making other minor editorial changes for consistency among parts and 
revising some language to comply with Plain Language requirements.
    We are replacing references to the Standard Form 115 (SF 115), 
Request for Disposition Authority, with ``records schedule'' because we 
now use the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) for scheduling records 
and no longer accept SF 115s, except when special circumstances merit 
its use. We have made revision to incorporate use of the ERA throughout 
the records management regulations, including revising references to 
the SF 115.

Discussion of Proposed Rule Revisions

Proposed Part 1223, Managing Vital Records

    This part sets out the necessary actions that each agency must take 
to ensure proper and adequate documentation of continuing agency 
operations in the event of activation of an agency continuity plan. We 
have also changed the term ``vital'' records to ``essential'' records 
to mirror the term FEMA used in Federal Continuity Directive 1 (FCD-1, 
2012). Certain Federal agencies were using the term ``vital records'' 
in another context with a different meaning, so we decided to change to 
``essential records'' both to be parallel with FCD-1 and to reduce 
confusion among agencies.

Proposed Part 1224, Records Disposition Programs

    This part specifies the elements of a records disposition program 
and the integration of records management into an agency's business 
processes. Details for the program functions, such as scheduling, 
retention, and disposition of records are found in parts 1225, 1226, 
1227, 1235, and 1236. We added records disposition provisions to part 
1224 for circumstances where multiple agencies collaborate on a project 
or initiative.

Proposed Part 1227, General Records Schedules

    This part explains General Records Schedules (GRS) and when the GRS 
must be used by agencies. We added the section for application of the 
GRS to records that have been transferred into the National Archives of 
the United States and subject to the provisions in 36 CFR 1235.34.

Proposed Part 1229, Emergency Authorization To Destroy Records

    This part outlines the steps agencies must take when they discover 
records are a continuing menace to human health or life, or to 
property, or when destruction of records is necessary during a state of 
war or threatened war outside of the continental United States. We have 
added the requirement in Sec.  1229.12(b) that if records are destroyed 
during a state of war or threatened war that agencies must provide NARA 
with a list of the destroyed records that can and will be 
reconstructed, the records used to reconstruct the destroyed records, 
and assurance that these records will be retained until after 
reconstruction.

Proposed Part 1232, Transfer of Records to Records Storage Facilities

    This part provides procedures of the transfer of records to a NARA, 
agency-operated, or commercial records storage facility. There are no 
substantive changes from the existing part.

Proposed Part 1233, Transfer, Use and Disposition of Records in NARA 
Records Center

    This part provide procedures that apply to the use of NARA's 
Federal Records Center Program. There are no substantive changes from 
the existing part.

Proposed Part 1239, Program Assistance and Inspections

    The material in proposed part 1239 relating to program assistance 
NARA provides to agencies is drawn from the existing part 1239 with no 
substantive changes. We have proposed changes to

[[Page 12433]]

material relating to inspections of records management programs has 
been changed to add two circumstances or conditions when NARA may 
inspect an agency: NARA may inspect to assess an agency's compliance 
with records management statutes and regulations, and may also inspect 
an agency's implementation of records management policies, guidance, 
and principles. Timeframes for both NARA and agency actions have been 
changed to business days and NARA clarifies that agencies must report 
on their follow-up obligations no less frequently than semi-annually.

Regulatory Analysis

Review Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735 
(September 30, 1993), and Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation 
and Regulation Review, 76 FR 23821 (January 18, 2011), direct agencies 
to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives 
and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that 
maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, 
public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). 
This proposed rule is not ``significant'' under section 3(f) of 
Executive Order 12866 because it applies only to Federal agencies, and 
is updating the regulations, not establishing new programs. Although 
the proposed revisions change and add new requirements for agencies, 
the requirements are necessary to keep the existing regulations up-to-
date and to ensure agencies are preserving records for the United 
States as well as possible. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
has reviewed this regulation.

Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.)

    This review requires an agency to prepare an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis and publish it when the agency publishes the 
proposed rule. This requirement does not apply if the agency certifies 
that the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities (5 U.S.C. 603). NARA 
certifies, after review and analysis, that this proposed rule will not 
have a significant adverse economic impact on small entities.

Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501et 
seq.)

    This proposed rule does not contain any information collection 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Review Under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 
1999)

    Review under Executive Order 13132 requires that agencies review 
regulations for Federalism effects on the institutional interest of 
states and local governments, and, if the effects are sufficiently 
substantial, prepare a Federal assessment to assist senior policy 
makers. This proposed rule will not have any direct effects on State 
and local governments within the meaning of the Executive Order. 
Therefore, no Federalism assessment is required.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Parts 1223, 1224, 1227, 1229, 1232, 
1233, and 1239

    Archives, Records, Records management.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, NARA proposes to amend 36 
CFR parts 1223, 1224, 1227, 1229, 1232, 1233, and 1239, as follows:

PART 1223--MANAGING ESSENTIAL RECORDS

0
1. The authority citation for part 1223 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  44 U.S.C. 3101; E.O. 12656, 53 FR 47491; 3 CFR, 1988 
Comp., p. 585; E.O. 13231, 66 FR 53063, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 805.

0
2. Revise the part heading to read as set forth above.
0
3. Revise Sec.  1223.1 to read as follows:


Sec.  1223.1  What authorities apply to this part?

    (a) The authorities for this part, listed above, require the head 
of each agency to create and preserve records that contain adequate and 
proper documentation of the organization and to perform national 
security emergency preparedness functions.
    (b) The regulations in this part also conform to guidance in 
National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD-51), Homeland Security 
Presidential Directive (HSPD-20), Federal Continuity Directive (FCD) 1, 
Federal Executive Branch National Continuity Program and Requirements, 
and FCD 2, Federal Executive Branch Mission Essential Function and 
Primary Mission Essential Function Identification and Submission 
Process.
0
4. Amend Sec.  1223.2 by:
0
a. Removing paragraph (a) and the introductory text of paragraph (b) 
and adding introductory text to the section in their place.
0
b. Revising the definitions of ``cycle'' and ``emergency operating 
records.''
0
c. Adding definitions for ``essential records'' and ``essential records 
program'' in alphabetical order.
0
d. Revising the definitions of ``legal and financial rights records,'' 
and ``off-site storage.''
0
e. Removing definitions of ``vital records'' and ``vital records 
program.''
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  1223.2  What definitions apply to this part?

    In addition to the definitions in part 1220 that apply to all of 
subchapter B including this part, the following definitions apply only 
to part 1223:
    Cycle means the recurring removal of obsolete copies of essential 
records and replacing them with current copies of essential records. 
This may occur daily, weekly, quarterly, annually or at other 
designated intervals.
* * * * *
    Emergency operating records means a category of records essential 
to the continued functioning or the reconstitution of an organization 
during and after a continuity activation. Examples of these records are 
emergency plans and directives, orders of succession, delegations of 
authority, staffing assignments, and related policy or procedure 
records.
    Essential records means information systems and applications, 
electronic and hardcopy documents, references, and records needed to 
support essential functions during a continuity event. The two basic 
categories of essential records are emergency operating records and 
legal and financial rights records.
    Essential records program means the policies, plans, and procedures 
the agency develops and implements--and the resources needed--to 
identify, use, and protect essential records. This is a program element 
of an agency's emergency management function.
    Legal and financial rights records are that category of essential 
records needed to protect the legal and financial rights of the 
Government and of the individuals directly affected by its activities. 
Examples include accounts receivable records, social security records, 
payroll records, retirement records, and insurance records. NARA 
formerly defined these records as ``rights-and-interests'' records.
* * * * *
    Off-site storage means a facility other than an agency's normal 
place of business, including a facility maintained by a third party, 
where an

[[Page 12434]]

agency keeps records until eligible for final disposition. Agencies may 
keep essential records at off-site storage to ensure that they are not 
damaged or destroyed should an emergency occur in an agency's normal 
place of business.


Sec. Sec.  1223.3 and 1233.4  [Removed]

0
5. Remove Sec. Sec.  1223.3 and 1223.4.
0
6. Revise Sec.  1223.10 to read as follows:


Sec.  1223.10  What is the purpose of part 1223?

    Part 1223 specifies policies and procedures an agency needs to 
identify, protect, and manage essential records as part of any agency's 
continuity of operation plan designed to meet emergency management 
responsibilities.
0
7. Amend Sec.  1223.12 by:
0
a. Revising the section heading.
0
b. Amending the introductory text to remove ``A vital'' and add in its 
place the words ``An essential.''
0
c. Amend paragraph (a) by removing ``It provides'' and adding in its 
place ``To provide'' and removing the word ``to'' before the word 
``resume.''
0
d. Amend paragraph (b) by removing ``It enables'' and adding in its 
place ``To enable'' and removing the word ``persons'' and adding in its 
place the word ``people.''
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  1223.12  What are the objectives of an essential records program?

* * * * *
0
8. Revise Sec. Sec.  1223.14, 1223.16, and 1223.18 to read as follows:


Sec.  1223.14  What elements must agencies include in essential records 
programs?

    (a) To achieve compliance with this section, an agency must include 
in its essential records program all of the following elements:
    (1) Specified agency staff responsibilities;
    (2) Methods to appropriately inform all staff about essential 
records;
    (3) Processes to ensure current and complete designation of 
essential records;
    (4) Adequate protections for the essential records;
    (5) Procedures to ensure access to and immediate use of the 
essential records when needed;
    (6) Annual review and testing of the program, and training for 
applicable staff; and
    (b) Additional Continuity of Operations guidance for essential 
records provided in the Federal Continuity Directive (FCD-1) is 
published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and 
available on FEMA's Web site at http://www.fema.gov/guidance-directives.


Sec.  1223.16  How do agencies identify essential records?

    Agencies identify essential records in the context of the emergency 
management function. Essential records are those the agency needs to 
perform its most critical functions and those the agency needs to 
protect the legal and financial rights of the Government and the people 
affected by its actions. Essential records also include emergency plans 
and related records that specify how an agency will respond to an 
emergency. The informational content of records series and electronic 
records systems determines which records are essential. Only the most 
recent and complete sources of the information are essential records.


Sec.  1223.18  Must agencies maintain essential records in a particular 
form or format?

    (a) Essential records can be original records or copies of records. 
Consult NARA records management guidance on essential records at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/vital-records/index.html for further 
information.
    (b) Agencies may maintain essential records on a variety of media, 
including paper, photographic film, microform, and electronic forms. In 
selecting the media (such as magnetic tape or optical disk), agencies 
must ensure that the hardware, software, and documentation it needs to 
access records will be available following an emergency or disaster. 
The agency may store essential records it maintains electronically in 
shared data and computing services via the Internet or a Virtual 
Private Network.
0
9. Amend Sec.  1223.20 by revising the section heading and the first 
sentence, to read as follows:


Sec.  1223.20  What are the requirements for accessing essential 
records during an emergency?

    Agencies must establish procedures for retrieving and accessing 
essential records. * * *
0
10. Revise Sec. Sec.  1223.22 and 1223.24 to read as follows:


Sec.  1223.22  How must agencies protect essential records?

    Agencies must take appropriate measures to ensure they protect and 
provide access to essential records or copies of essential records in 
case of an emergency.
    (a) Duplication. Agencies may choose to duplicate essential records 
as the primary protection method. Duplication can be to the same medium 
as the original record or to a different medium. When agencies choose 
duplication as a protection method, they normally use the copy of the 
original essential record as the version stored off-site. The agency 
may store the original records off-site if their protection is 
necessary, or if the agency does not need to keep the original records 
at its normal place of business.
    (b) Dispersal. Once agencies duplicate the records, they must 
disperse the copies to sites a sufficient distance away to avoid them 
being subject to the same emergency. Agencies may use other office 
locations, off-site locations, or storage facilities maintained by a 
third party as dispersal sites.
    (c) Storage considerations. Copies of emergency operating records 
must be readily available for use within 12 hours following the 
activation of agency continuity plans. Agencies may not need copies of 
legal and financial rights records as quickly. When deciding where to 
store essential record copies, agencies must treat records that have 
the properties of both categories, that is, both emergency operating 
and legal and financial rights records, as emergency operating records.
    (1) Agencies may store copies of legal and financial rights 
essential records at an off-site agency location or, in accordance with 
Sec.  1233.12, at a NARA records storage facility.
    (2) In accordance with Sec.  1233.12, when using a NARA records 
storage facility for storing legal and financial essential records that 
are duplicate copies of original records, the agency must specify on 
the SF 135, Records Transmittal and Receipt, or equivalent that they 
are essential records (duplicate copies) and the medium on which they 
are maintained. The agency must also periodically cycle them by 
removing obsolete items and replacing them with the most recent 
versions in accordance with NARA's General Records Schedule (GRS) 
covering essential records.


Sec.  1223.24  When can agencies destroy essential records?

    NARA-approved records schedules (see part 1225, Scheduling Records, 
of this subchapter) govern disposition of essential records that are 
original records. Agencies must not destroy original records that are 
not scheduled. Agencies may destroy duplicate copies it created and 
maintained for essential records purposes when they are superseded or 
obsolete, in accordance with NARA's GRS.
0
11. Revise part 1224 to read as follows:

PART 1224--RECORDS DISPOSITION PROGRAMS

Sec.

[[Page 12435]]

Sec.  1224.10 What must agencies do to implement an effective 
records disposition program?

    Authority:  44 U.S.C. 2111, 2902, 2904, 3102, and 3301.


Sec.  1224.10  What must agencies do to implement an effective records 
disposition program?

    Agencies should integrate records management into business 
processes. As part of this effort, agencies should analyze records 
management requirements, integrate them into operating plans, and 
implement, review, and revise records management policies and 
procedures across the agency on a regular basis. To properly carry out 
the provisions of part 1220 of this subchapter, agencies must:
    (a) Schedule all records in accordance with part 1225 of this 
subchapter, implement records schedules in accordance with part 1226 of 
this subchapter, and transfer permanent records to NARA in accordance 
with part 1235 of this subchapter;
    (b) Transfer all permanent electronic records to NARA in electronic 
form to the greatest extent possible;
    (c) Promptly disseminate and implement NARA-approved agency records 
schedules, additions, and changes to the General Records Schedules 
(GRS) in accordance with parts 1226 and 1227 of this subchapter;
    (d) Regularly review agency-generated records schedules, and, if 
necessary, update them in accordance with part 1225 of this subchapter;
    (e) Incorporate records retention and disposition needs into the 
design, development, and implementation of new or revised recordkeeping 
systems. See part 1236 of this subchapter for electronic records 
management requirements;
    (f) Provide training and guidance to all employees on agency 
records disposition requirements and procedures and other significant 
aspects of the records disposition program. When NARA approves a new or 
revised records schedule, provide specific guidance to employees 
responsible for applying the schedule; and
    (g) When two or more Federal agencies collaborate on a common 
project or initiative, the participants must establish and agree to 
recordkeeping responsibilities and manage all records. This also 
applies to multi-agency endeavors that include private organizations, 
state, local, Tribal, or foreign governments.
0
12. Revise part 1227 to read as follows:

PART 1227--GENERAL RECORDS SCHEDULES

Sec.
1227.10 What are General Records Schedules (GRS)?
1227.12 When must agencies apply the GRS?
1227.13 May NARA apply the GRS to records transferred to the 
National Archives?
1227.14 How do I obtain copies of the GRS?

    Authority:  44 U.S.C. 2107(2), 2909, and 3303a.


Sec.  1227.10  What are General Records Schedules (GRS)?

    The Archivist of the United States issues General Records Schedules 
(GRS) for records common to several or all agencies. The GRS 
authorizes, after specified periods of time, agencies to destroy 
temporary records or to transfer permanent records to NARA.


Sec.  1227.12  When must agencies apply the GRS?

    (a) Agencies should apply the disposition instructions in the 
following table.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 When NARA issues a new or revised
             GRS, and                               Then
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Your agency does not create or  No action is required.
 maintain any of the records
 addressed by that GRS,
(2) The GRS disposition authority   Your agency must follow the
 states that it must be followed     disposition instructions of the
 without exception,                  GRS, whether or not your agency has
                                     existing records schedules.
(3) Your agency has an existing     (i) Your agency may follow the
 records schedule for these          disposition instructions in either
 records AND the GRS permits use     the GRS or the existing agency
 of existing agency-specific         records schedule. If your agency
 schedules,                          chooses to follow its own schedule,
                                     then it must notify NARA within 120
                                     calendar days of the issuance of
                                     the new or revised GRS.
                                     Notifications should be sent to
                                     [email protected] or National
                                     Archives and Records
                                     Administration; Office of the Chief
                                     Records Officer (AC); Attention:
                                     GRS Team, Room 2100; 8601 Adelphi
                                     Road; College Park, Maryland 20740-
                                     6001.
                                    (ii) After reviewing your agency's
                                     notification, NARA may determine
                                     that your agency-specific schedule
                                     is no longer appropriate because of
                                     the passage of time, change in
                                     value of the records, or for other
                                     reasons. NARA will notify your
                                     agency's records officer of the
                                     notification's status within 90
                                     calendar days.
                                    (iii) Agencies may also submit a new
                                     schedule to NARA with a
                                     justification for deviating from
                                     the GRS.
(4) Your agency does not have an    Your agency must follow the
 existing records schedule for       disposition instructions of the
 these records,                      GRS. If your agency's needs require
                                     a different retention period, then
                                     your agency must submit a records
                                     schedule to NARA in accordance with
                                     part 1225 of this subchapter, with
                                     a justification for the deviation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) Except as provided in the table in paragraph (a) of this 
section, agencies must disseminate and implement any new or revised GRS 
within 6 months after NARA has issued a new GRS transmittal.


Sec.  1227.13  May NARA apply the GRS to records transferred to the 
National Archives?

    NARA may, at its discretion, apply the provisions of the GRS to 
records in its legal custody, subject to the provisions of part 1235 of 
this subchapter.


Sec.  1227.14  How do I obtain copies of the GRS?

    The GRS and instructions for its use are available online at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/grs/. They are also available by 
contacting [email protected] or writing to NARA at National Archives 
and Records Administration, Office of the Chief Records Officer (AC), 
Attention: GRS Team, Room 2100, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 
20740-6001.
0
13. Revise part 1229 to read as follows:

PART 1229--EMERGENCY AUTHORIZATION TO DESTROY RECORDS

Sec.
1229.1 What is the scope of this part?

[[Page 12436]]

1229.10 What steps must agencies take when records are a continuing 
menace to health, life, or property?
1229.12 What are the requirements during a state of war or 
threatened war?

    Authority:  44 U.S.C. 3310 and 3311.


Sec.  1229.1  What is the scope of this part?

    This part describes certain conditions under which agencies may 
destroy records without regard to the provisions of part 1226 of this 
subchapter.


Sec.  1229.10  What steps must agencies take when records are a 
continuing menace to health, life, or property?

    When an agency identifies records that pose a continuing menace to 
human health or life, or to property, the records officer or other 
designee must immediately notify NARA in writing by mail at National 
Archives and Records Administration, Office of the Chief Records 
Officer (AC), 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, or by 
email at [email protected]. The notification must describe the 
records, their location and quantity, the nature of the menace and, if 
appropriate, the steps taken to reconstruct the records using other 
records and sources of information.
    (a) If NARA concurs that the records must be destroyed, NARA 
notifies the agency to immediately destroy them by an appropriate and 
safe disposal method.
    (b) If NARA does not concur that the records must be destroyed, 
NARA advises the agency of alternative remedial action to address the 
menace.


Sec.  1229.12  What are the requirements during a state of war or 
threatened war?

    (a) Destruction of records outside the territorial limits of the 
continental United States is authorized whenever, during a state of war 
between the United States and any other nation or when hostile action 
appears imminent, the head of the agency that has custody of the 
records determines that their retention would be prejudicial to the 
interests of the United States, or that they occupy space urgently 
needed for military purposes and are without sufficient administrative, 
fiscal, legal, historical, or other value to warrant their continued 
preservation. When it is not feasible for the head of the agency to 
make this determination, the agency's most senior official at the 
location of the records may do so.
    (b) Within six months after the destruction of any records under 
this authorization, the agency official who directed the destruction 
must submit a written statement by mail to NARA at National Archives 
and Records Administration, Office of the Chief Records Officer (AC), 
8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, or by email at 
[email protected]. The statement must include the following:
    (1) An explanation of the reasons for the destruction;
    (2) A description of the records destroyed;
    (3) How, when, and where the records were destroyed;
    (4) A list of destroyed records that can and will be reconstructed 
using other records and sources of information; and
    (5) A list of the records used to reconstruct the destroyed records 
listed in paragraph (b)(4) of this section and assurance that the 
agency will retain these until it has reconstructed the records.
0
14. Revise part 1232 to read as follows:

PART 1232--TRANSFER OF RECORDS TO RECORDS STORAGE FACILITIES

Sec.
1232.10 Where may a Federal agency store records?
1232.12 Under what conditions may agencies store Federal records in 
records storage facilities?
1232.14 What requirements must an agency meet before it transfers 
records to a records storage facility?
1232.16 What must an agency document before transferring records to 
a records storage facility?
1232.18 What procedures must an agency follow to transfer records to 
an agency records center or commercial records storage facility?

    Authority:  44 U.S.C. 2907 and 3103.


Sec.  1232.10  Where may a Federal agency store records?

    Federal agencies may store records in the following types of 
records storage facilities, so long as the facilities meet the facility 
standards in part 1234 of this subchapter. Records transferred to a 
records storage facility remain in the legal custody of the agency.
    (a) NARA Federal Records Centers. NARA owns or operates records 
centers to store, process, and service records for Federal agencies 
(under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2907). These NARA records centers include 
a National Personnel Records Center that contains designated records of 
the Department of Defense, the Office of Personnel Management, and 
other records on former Federal civilian and military employees. For a 
list of NARA Federal Records Centers, consult NARA's Web site at http://www.archives.gov/locations/index.html.
    (b) Records centers operated by or on behalf of one or more Federal 
agencies other than NARA.
    (c) Commercial records storage facilities operated by private 
entities.


Sec.  1232.12  Under what conditions may agencies store Federal records 
in records storage facilities?

    The following chart shows what records agencies can store in a 
records storage facility and the conditions that apply:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Type of record                         Conditions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a) Permanent records........  Any storage facility that meets the
                                provisions of part 1234 of this
                                subchapter.
(b) Unscheduled records......  (1) Any storage facility that meets the
                                provisions of part 1234 of this
                                subchapter.
                               (2) Also requires prior notification to
                                NARA (see Sec.   1232.14(b)).
(c) Temporary records          Any storage facility that meets the
 (excluding Civilian            provisions of part 1234 of this
 Personnel Records).            subchapter.
(d) Essential records........  Any storage facility that meets the
                                provisions of parts 1223 and 1234 of
                                this subchapter.
(e) Civilian Personnel         Textual must be transferred to the
 Records.                       National Personnel Records Center
                                (NPRC), St. Louis, MO (see part 1233 of
                                this subchapter).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  1232.14  What requirements must an agency meet before it 
transfers records to a records storage facility?

    An agency must comply with part 1234 of this subchapter and the 
following requirements before it transfers records to a records storage 
facility:
    (a) Non-paper-based media (e.g., film, audio tape, electronic 
media, etc.), especially those that are unscheduled or scheduled for 
long-term or permanent retention, require more stringent environmental 
controls (see parts 1236 and 1237 of this subchapter).
    (b) Notify NARA in writing prior to transferring unscheduled 
records to a records storage facility, by mail at National Archives and 
Records Administration; Office of the Chief

[[Page 12437]]

Records Officer (AC); 8601 Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740-6001, 
or by email at [email protected]. The notification must 
identify the records storage facility and include a copy of the 
information required by Sec.  1232.16(a).
    (c) For all records being transferred, create documentation 
sufficient to identify and locate files. (See Sec.  1232.16.)
    (d) Adhere to NARA-approved retention periods and create and 
maintain records documenting final disposition actions (destruction or 
transfer to NARA).


Sec.  1232.16  What must an agency document before transferring records 
to a records storage facility?

    (a) For each individual records series spanning one or more 
consecutive years, the agency must document the:
    (1) Creating office;
    (2) Series title;
    (3) Description (provide for all transfers, and in the case of 
permanent or unscheduled records, the description must include a folder 
title list of the box contents or equivalent detailed records 
description). For more information on folder title lists, consult 
NARA's Web site at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/accessioning/finding-aid.html;
    (4) Date span (provide both the inclusive start and end dates of 
the records; these indicate the dates on which the records started and 
stopped being created or accumulated);
    (5) Physical form and medium of records (e.g., paper, motion 
picture film, sound recordings, photographs, digital images);
    (6) Volume (assuming a standard-size records box equals 
approximately one cubic foot, provide the total number of boxes 
included in the transfer);
    (7) Citation to NARA-approved records schedule or agency records 
disposition manual (unscheduled records must cite the date the agency 
notified NARA or, if available, the date the agency submitted the 
records schedule to NARA);
    (8) Restrictions on access, if applicable;
    (9) Disposition (``permanent,'' ``temporary,'' or ``unscheduled; 
records schedule pending'');
    (10) Date of disposition action (transfer to NARA or destruction);
    (11) Physical location, including name and address of facility; and
    (12) Control number or identifier used to track the records.
    (b) In the case of permanent and unscheduled records, provide 
copies of the documentation to NARA and advise NARA in writing of the 
new location whenever the records are moved to a new storage facility. 
For permanent records, mail the documentation to National Archives and 
Records Administration; Office of the Chief Records Officer (AC); 8601 
Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740-6001, or send via email to 
[email protected], no later than 30 days after the agency 
transfers records to the agency records center or commercial records 
storage facility.


Sec.  1232.18  What procedures must an agency follow to transfer 
records to an agency records center or commercial records storage 
facility?

    Federal agencies must use the following procedures to transfer 
records to an agency records center or commercial records storage 
facility:
    (a) Incorporate into agreements with the storage facility the 
standards in part 1234 of this subchapter and allow for inspections by 
the agency and NARA to ensure compliance. An agency must promptly 
remove records from a facility if the facility does not correct 
deficiencies within six months of the inspection report identifying 
them;
    (b) For temporary records, make available to NARA on request the 
documentation specified in Sec.  1232.16;
    (c) Retain temporary records until the expiration of their NARA-
approved retention period and no longer, except as provided for in 
Sec.  1226.18 of this subchapter;
    (d) Transfer permanent records that have met their retention period 
to NARA in accordance with part 1235 of this subchapter;
    (e) Ensure that the facility stores and maintains records that are 
restricted because they are security classified or exempt from 
disclosure by statute (including the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 
552a, as amended) or regulation in accordance with applicable laws, 
Executive Orders, or regulations;
    (f) Ensure that the agency destroys temporary records, including 
restricted records (security classified or exempted from disclosure by 
statute (including the Privacy Act of 1974) or regulation, in 
accordance with the requirements specified in Sec.  1226.24 of this 
subchapter;
    (g) Ensure that emergency operating records, as defined in part 
1223 of this subchapter, that are transferred to an agency records 
center or commercial records storage facility are available in 
accordance with Sec.  1223.24 of this subchapter; and
    (h) Provide records access to appropriate NARA staff wherever the 
records are located in order to:
    (1) Conduct an inspection in accordance with part 1239 of this 
subchapter; or
    (2) Process a request for records disposition authority.
0
15. Revise part 1233 to read as follows:

PART 1233--TRANSFER, USE, AND DISPOSITION OF RECORDS IN A NARA 
FEDERAL RECORDS CENTER

Sec.
1233.10 How does an agency transfer records to a NARA Federal 
Records Center (FRC)?
1233.12 How does an agency transfer essential records to a NARA 
Federal Records Center (FRC)?
1233.14 What personnel records must an agency transfer to the 
National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)?
1233.16 How does an agency transfer records to the National 
Personnel Records Center (NPRC)?
1233.18 What reference procedures do NARA Federal Records Centers 
(FRCs) use?
1233.20 How do NARA Federal Records Centers (FRCs) manage records 
disposal clearances?

    Authority:  44 U.S.C. 2907 and 3103.


Sec.  1233.10  How does an agency transfer records to a NARA Federal 
Records Center (FRC)?

    (a) Agencies must meet the requirements for records storage 
described in other parts of this subchapter. NARA ensures that its 
records centers meet the facilities standards in 36 CFR part 1234, so 
using a NARA FRC meets the agency's obligations in Sec.  1232.12 of 
this subchapter.
    (b) Agencies must use the designated NARA FRC(s) named in their 
agreement with NARA's Federal Records Centers Program (AF).
    (c) Before transferring records to a NARA FRC, an agency must 
prepare and submit a Standard Form (SF) 135, Records Transmittal and 
Receipt, or an electronic equivalent. Doing so meets the records 
description requirements in Sec.  1232.14(c) of this subchapter, except 
the requirement for a folder title list. Agencies must provide NARA 
with folder title lists for all permanent and unscheduled records 
transfers and for records that the agency schedules for sampling or 
selection after transfer.
    (d) Agencies must submit a separate SF 135 or electronic equivalent 
for each individual records series having the same disposition 
authority and disposition date.
    (e) For further guidance on transferring records to a NARA FRC, 
consult the NARA Federal Records Centers Program (FRCP) Web site at 
http://www.archives.gov/frc/toolkit.html#transfer. You may also request 
current NARA publications and

[[Page 12438]]

bulletins by writing to NARA at National Archives and Records 
Administration; Federal Records Center Program (AF); 8601 Adelphi Road; 
College Park, MD 20740-6001, or by calling (301) 837-2950. Agencies may 
also contact individual NARA FRCs (see http://www.archives.gov/frc/locations.html for contact information).


Sec.  1233.12  How does an agency transfer essential records to a NARA 
Federal Records Center (FRC)?

    Essential records transfers are governed by the general 
requirements and procedures in this part and part 1223 of this 
subchapter. For assistance in selecting a NARA facility that best meets 
the needs of your agency, write to NARA at National Archives and 
Records Administration; Federal Records Centers Program (AF); 8601 
Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740-6001, or by calling (301) 837-
2950.


Sec.  1233.14  What personnel records must an agency transfer to the 
National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)?

    (a) The GRS specifies which Federal civilian personnel, medical, 
and pay records agencies must centrally store at the National Personnel 
Records Center (NPRC) headquartered in St. Louis, MO.
    (b) Agencies should transfer the following types of civilian and 
military medical treatment records to the NPRC:
    (1) Inpatient (hospitalization) records created for all categories 
of patients (active duty military personnel, retirees, and dependents) 
receiving inpatient treatment and extended ambulatory procedures; and
    (2) Outpatient medical treatment records for military retirees, 
dependents, and other civilians treated at military health care 
facilities (excludes active duty military personnel at time of military 
discharge or retirement).


Sec.  1233.16  How does an agency transfer records to the National 
Personnel Records Center (NPRC)?

    Agencies must use the following procedures to transfer records to 
the NPRC:
    (a) Civilian personnel files. (1) Forward the official personnel 
folder (OPF) and the employee medical folder (EMF) to the NPRC at the 
same time;
    (2) Transfer EMFs and OPFs in separate folders;
    (3) Retire individual folders on the basis of the person's date of 
separation, within 90 to 120 days after the employee separates from 
Federal service;
    (4) For additional guidance, write to the Office of Personnel 
Management (OPM); 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415, or call 
(202) 606-1800. The OPM publication, ``The Guide to Personnel 
Recordkeeping,'' which includes procedures for transferring OPFs and 
EMFs, is available online at http://www.opm.gov/feddata/recguide2008.pdf.
    (b) Military medical records. Military health care facilities 
should contact their facility records managers for guidance on 
transferring medical records to NPRC. For additional guidance, consult 
the ``Transactions with the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), 
St. Louis, MO'' section of the NARA FRCP Web site at http://www.archives.gov/frc/toolkit.html#transactions.
    (c) Other guidance. For further guidance, consult the NPRC Web site 
at http://www.archives.gov/facilities/mo/st_louis.html.


Sec.  1233.18  What reference procedures do NARA Federal Records 
Centers (FRCs) use?

    (a) Agency records transferred to a NARA FRC remain in the legal 
custody of the originating agency. NARA acts as the agency's agent to 
maintain the records. NARA discloses the record only to the originating 
agency that retains legal custody, or under rules established by that 
agency that are consistent with existing laws.
    (b) For general reference requests, agencies should use the Federal 
Records Centers Program (FRCP) electronic system or the Optional Form 
(OF) 11, Reference Request--Federal Records Centers, or its electronic 
equivalent. The agency and NARA jointly designate this form.
    (c) For civilian personnel records requests, agencies must use the 
following forms:
    (1) Standard Form 127, Request for Official Personnel Folder 
(Separated Employee), to request transmission of separated employee 
personnel folders stored at the National Personnel Records Center 
(NPRC). Additional instructions on requesting OPFs are available online 
at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/civilian-personnel/federal-agencies.html.
    (2) Standard Form 184, Request for Employee Medical Folder 
(Separated Employee), to request medical folders stored at the NPRC. 
Additional instructions on requesting EMFs are available online at 
http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/civilian-personnel/federal-agencies.html.
    (3) Optional Form 11, Reference Request--Federal Records Center, to 
request medical records transferred to other NARA FRCs prior to 
September 1, 1984. The request must include the name and address of the 
agency's designated medical records manager. The form and additional 
instructions are available online at http://www.archives.gov/frc/forms/of-11.pdf.
    (4) National Archives Form 14136, Request Pertaining to Civilian 
Conservation Corps (CCC) Personnel Records, to request records relating 
to the CCC. The form, as well as additional instructions, is available 
online at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/archival-programs/civilian-personnel-archival/ccc-holdings-access.html.
    (5) National Archives Form 14137, Request Pertaining to Works 
Progress Administration (WPA) Personnel Records, to request records 
relating to the WPA. The form, as well as additional instructions, is 
available online at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/archival-programs/civilian-personnel-archival/wpa-holdings-access.html.
    (d) For military personnel records requests, agencies and other 
requesters must use the following methods:
    (1) Federal agencies must use Standard Form (SF) 180, Request 
Pertaining to Military Records, to obtain information from military 
service records in the NPRC (Military Personnel Records). The form is 
available online at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/standard-form-180.html#sf, or by writing to the National 
Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records); 1 Archives 
Drive; St. Louis, MO 63138. OMB Control Number 3095-0029 covers SF 180.
    (2) Authorized agencies requesting the loan of a military personnel 
record may order records using eMilrecs (electronic equivalent of the 
SF 180). Access to eMilrecs and additional information is available 
online at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/agencies/ompf-fed-agency.html.
    (3) A military veteran or the next of kin of a deceased veteran may 
order military personnel records by submitting an SF 180 or an online 
records request. We may be permitted, under certain circumstances, to 
provide surviving next of kin greater access to a deceased veteran's 
records than a member of the general public. Additional information is 
available online at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/.
    (4) Members of the public and non-governmental organizations may 
also request military personnel records by submitting an SF 180. To 
request information from another person's military personnel records, 
you must have the release authorization in

[[Page 12439]]

Section III of the SF 180 signed by the member or legal guardian. If 
you cannot obtain the appropriate signature, we can only provide 
limited information.
    (5) For guidance on requesting original medical treatment records, 
military hospitals and clinics should consult the ``Medical Treatment 
Records'' Web page at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/other-medical-records.html.
    (e) For further guidance on requesting records from a NARA FRC, 
consult the NARA Federal Records Centers Program Web site at http://www.archives.gov/frc/toolkit.html#retrieval. You may also request 
current NARA publications and bulletins by contacting the FRCP, or 
individual NARA Federal Records Centers (see http://www.archives.gov/frc/locations.html for contact information).


Sec.  1233.20  How do NARA Federal Records Centers (FRCs) manage 
records disposal clearances?

    (a) The National Personnel Records Center destroys records covered 
by General Records Schedules (GRS) in accordance with those schedules 
without further agency clearance.
    (b) For records not covered under a GRS, NARA FRCs destroy eligible 
Federal records only with the written concurrence of the agency having 
legal custody of the records.
    (c) NARA FRCs maintain documentation on the final disposition of 
records, as required in Sec.  1232.14(d) of this subchapter.
    (d) When NARA approves an extension of retention period beyond the 
time authorized in the records schedule for records stored in NARA 
FRCs, NARA notifies the affected Federal Records Centers to suspend 
disposal of the records (see Sec.  1226.18 of this subchapter for more 
specific guidance on when agencies may temporarily extend retention 
periods).
    (e) For further guidance on records disposition, consult the NARA 
FRCP Web site at http://www.archives.gov/frc/toolkit.html#disposition. 
You may also request current NARA publications and bulletins by 
contacting the FRCP or individual NARA Federal Records Centers (see 
http://www.archives.gov/frc/locations.html for contact information).
0
16. Revise part 1239 to read as follows:

PART 1239--PROGRAM ASSISTANCE AND INSPECTIONS

Sec.
Subpart A--General
1239.1 What is the scope of this part?
1239.3 What definitions apply to this part?
Subpart B--Program Assistance
1239.10 What program assistance does NARA provide?
1239.12 Who may agencies contact to request program assistance?
Subpart C--Inspections
1239.20 When does NARA inspect an agency?
1239.22 How does NARA notify the agency of the inspection?
1239.24 How does NARA conduct an inspection?
1239.26 What are an agency's follow-up obligations after it receives 
an inspection report?

    Authority:  44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

Subpart A--General


Sec.  1239.1  What is the scope of this part?

    NARA's statutory authorities include assisting agencies to carry 
out their records management responsibilities and, when necessary, 
inspecting agency programs and reporting to Congress on those 
inspections. Part 1239 identifies the types of records management 
guidance and program assistance NARA provides to agencies under its 44 
U.S.C. chapter 29 mandate; the conditions under which NARA invokes its 
inspection authority, also under chapter 29; and the requirements for 
agencies to cooperate fully in such inspections.


Sec.  1239.3  What definitions apply to this part?

    In addition to the definitions in part 1220 that apply to all of 
Subchapter B including this part, the following definition applies only 
to part 1239:
    Inspection means NARA's formal review and report on an agency's 
recordkeeping processes, under 44 U.S.C. 2904(c) and 2906(a). NARA's 
formal review and report focus on those practices that put records 
meeting one or more of the following criteria at risk:
    (1) Have a direct and high impact on legal rights or government 
accountability;
    (2) Are the subject of high profile litigation, Congressional 
attention, or widespread media coverage;
    (3) Have high research potential; or
    (4) Are permanent records with a large volume, regardless of 
format.

Subpart B--Program Assistance


Sec.  1239.10  What program assistance does NARA provide?

    (a) NARA publishes handbooks, conducts workshops and other training 
sessions, and furnishes information and guidance to agencies on 
creating, maintaining, using, and disposing of records. NARA may also 
conduct an assistance project in cooperation with an agency to address 
a serious records management issue in the agency.
    (b) For information on NARA handbooks and guidance, consult NARA's 
Web site at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/.
    (c) For information on NARA training, consult NARA's Web site at 
http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/training/.


Sec.  1239.12  Who may agencies contact to request program assistance?

    Agencies may write to NARA at National Archives and Records 
Administration; Office of the Chief Records Officer (AC); 8601 Adelphi 
Road; College Park, MD 20740-6001 for information or assistance related 
to any area covered by this subchapter.

Subpart C--Inspections


Sec.  1239.20  When does NARA inspect an agency?

    (a) NARA may inspect when it identifies risks through:
    (1) An agency failing to address specific records management 
problems;
    (2) Internal or external records management assessments;
    (3) Reports in the media;
    (4) Congressional inquiries;
    (5) Allegations of unauthorized destruction;
    (6) Reports issued by the GAO or an agency's Inspector General;
    (7) Observations by NARA staff members; or
    (8) An agency head, who then can request that NARA conduct an 
inspection.
    (b) NARA may also inspect to assess an agency's compliance with 
records management statutes and regulations.
    (c) NARA may also inspect an agency's implementation of records 
management policies, guidance, and principles to validate the 
following:
    (1) Reports of unique or innovative methods;
    (2) Low risk scores on assessments; or
    (3) NARA staff members' observation of sound practices.
    (d) NARA reports to Congress and the Office of Management and 
Budget on inspections in accordance with 44 U.S.C. 2904.


Sec.  1239.22  How does NARA notify the agency of the inspection?

    (a) Once NARA identifies the need for an agency inspection, the 
Archivist of the United States sends a letter to the head of the 
agency. If the agency is a component of a cabinet department, the 
Archivist also sends a copy to the head of the cabinet department. NARA 
also sends a copy to the agency's records officer. The letter includes:

[[Page 12440]]

    (1) Notice that NARA intends to conduct an inspection;
    (2) Which records management processes or procedures NARA is 
evaluating, and any specific issues;
    (3) A beginning date for the inspection that is no more than 30 
business days after the date of the letter; and
    (4) A request for an agency point of contact to assist NARA as it 
conducts the inspection.
    (b) If the agency does not respond to NARA's notification letter, 
NARA reports the matter to the agency's Congressional oversight 
committee and to the Office of Management and Budget, under its 44 
U.S.C. 2904(c)(8) statutory authority.


Sec.  1239.24  How does NARA conduct an inspection?

    (a) The NARA inspection team leader coordinates with the agency 
point of contact to arrange an initial meeting with the agency. The 
initial meeting addresses the scope of the inspection, including its 
parameters, any surveys or other inspection instruments, involved 
offices, and timing of site visits.
    (b) NARA prepares a draft inspection report and transmits it to the 
agency no later than 45 business days after the last site visit or 
meeting. The report includes:
    (1) An executive summary;
    (2) Background and purpose of inspection;
    (3) Inspection methodology, including offices visited;
    (4) Findings;
    (5) Necessary corrective actions and other recommendations; and
    (6) Any necessary appendices.
    (c) The agency must submit its comments on the draft report no 
later than 45 business days after receipt.
    (d) NARA incorporates any necessary corrections or revisions in the 
final report and issues the report to the head of the agency within 45 
business days.


Sec.  1239.26  What are an agency's follow-up obligations after it 
receives an inspection report?

    (a) The agency must submit to NARA a plan of corrective action that 
specifies how the agency will address each inspection report 
recommendation, including a timeline for completion, and proposed 
progress reporting dates.
    (b) The agency must submit the plan of corrective action to NARA 
within 60 business days of the date of the final report.
    (c) NARA may take up to 60 business days to review and comment on 
the plan.
    (d) Once both NARA and the agency agree that the plan of corrective 
action is final, the agency must submit progress reports to NARA.
    (e) The agency submits the reports on a mutually agreed-upon 
schedule, but no less frequently than semi-annually, until it completes 
all actions.

    Dated: March 2, 2016.
David S. Ferriero,
Archivist of the United States.
[FR Doc. 2016-05150 Filed 3-8-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7515-01-P


81_FR_12478
Current View
CategoryRegulatory Information
CollectionFederal Register
sudoc ClassAE 2.7:
GS 4.107:
AE 2.106:
PublisherOffice of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration
SectionProposed Rules
ActionProposed rules.
DatesSubmit comments on or before May 9, 2016.
ContactLaura McCarthy, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 301-837-3023. You may also find more information about records management at NARA on NARA's Web site at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/
FR Citation81 FR 12432 
RIN Number3095-AB74
CFR Citation36 CFR 1223
36 CFR 1224
36 CFR 1227
36 CFR 1229
36 CFR 1232
36 CFR 1233
36 CFR 1239
CFR AssociatedArchives; Records and Records Management

2019 Federal Register | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy
USC | CFR | eCFR