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When Can We Meet? Frequent Questions about Calendars and Records


Is my calendar a record?

Yes, if the calendar is used in transacting EPA business, then it, or portions thereof, qualifies as a federal record and must be kept in an organized recordkeeping system. This also includes daily diaries, planners, appointment books, and journals.

How long should I keep my calendar?

To determine how long your calendar should be kept, check the EPA records schedule, EPA 111 - Calendars, Schedules and Logs of Daily Activities. Records schedules provide mandatory instructions on how long records are to be maintained in the office and what happens to them after their office retention.

For most employees, the retention is two years. Calendars of senior officials are considered permanent documents and are eventually transferred to the National Archives. Details on who may be considered a senior official can be found in the Agency-wide Guidance section of the records schedule.

What do I do about the personal information I keep in my calendar?

It's not unusual to use the same calendar for personal and business appointments, however the best practice is to keep "personal papers" and records separate. Another option is to delete any personal information from the calendar prior to placing it in the recordkeeping system. This means you may need to copy pages for recordkeeping purposes if you are using a "bound" paper calendar.

Is my calendar subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or discovery?

It is possible that your calendar may be subject to FOIA or discovery. If you receive a FOIA or discovery request for your calendar, contact the Office of General Counsel or Regional Counsel before doing anything so a determination can be made on what may be released.

I keep my calendar on the Microsoft Outlook e-mail system. Is it still a record?

The same rules apply to calendars that are maintained electronically as for those maintained in paper. Until EPA has an electronic recordkeeping system, the record copy of your calendar in Microsoft Outlook must be printed out on a regular basis (at least once a month) and filed in your paper recordkeeping system. This is especially important for calendars of senior officials since they are permanent records.

How can I get additional guidance?

If you have policy questions about your calendar, you should contact the Records Help Desk. You can find additional guidance in the following publications:


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