In the Loop - April 2007
Some In The Loop articles and links are pertinent to EPA staff and are available to EPA Intranet users only.
Tip of the Week: Retiring records to the FRC (24-APR-2007)
You may have noticed that instructions on retiring inactive records to the Federal Records Center (FRC) have disappeared from many of the records schedules. Here's an example from 508 - Administrative Law Judge's Case Files:
NRMP is removing these instructions as we revise the schedules to be "media neutral," which will allow you to keep the electronic copy as a record in the Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS).
You may continue to retire hardcopy records to the FRC when they become inactive, based on your business needs. See "Frequent Questions about Retiring Records" for more guidance.
Tip of the Week: E-mail Records (10-APR-2007)
Recipient e-mail records
For the purposes of recordkeeping, e-mail messages should be treated the same way as paper correspondence. If it provides evidence of an EPA business transaction, it needs to be kept as a record.
However, if you receive a message only for information (e.g., notification of a building closure) and do not take action related to it, your copy is not a record and you can delete it when no longer needed.
E-mail replies "with history"
However, because it can be edited, it does not provide a "trustworthy" version of the entire string of messages. Previous versions of the e-mail should be saved in ECMS as records if they are needed to document your activities.
See "Frequent Questions about E-Mail and Records" for more guidance.
Tip of the Week: Transfer of permanent e-systems & RKS FAQs (03-APR-2007)
Federal regulations and EPA policy require that electronic information systems (e.g., CERCLIS, IRIS) that have permanent value are transferred to the National Archives according to the instructions in EPA's records schedules. Here's an example from 468 - Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS):
RLOs and records contacts can help the Agency meets its obligations by identifying the system schedules that apply to their organization, and working with the system managers (identified in the "Custodians" section of the schedule) to ensure the systems are transferred. Preparing Electronic Records for Transfer to the National Archives provides more guidance.
We've posted new guidance on recordkeeping systems. The FAQs explain the components of a recordkeeping system, why it is important, and how to determine if your system is adequate.