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In the Loop - May 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: Digital Audio and Video Records Guidance (29-MAY-2007)

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has issued new FAQs on digital audio and video records, which includes guidance on:

  • digital audio and video formats for long-term records,
  • recommended digital audio and video formats for federal records,
  • factors to consider when converting analog materials to digital format,
  • metadata and typical data structures of digital audio and video files, and
  • technical and quality requirements.

Tip of the Week: Schedule Reapproval (15-MAY-2007)

NRMP is rewriting records schedules previously approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for hard copy as "media neutral," which will allow electronic files to be designated as the record copy in the Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS). This means that we are removing any reference to media (e.g., paper, microform), and resubmitting the schedules to NARA for approval.

During the reapproval process, the schedules will change status to:

  • development, while we prepare them for resubmission to NARA;
  • draft, when NARA receives them and assigns a new disposal authority number (e.g., N1-412-07-1); and
  • final, when NARA approves them.

While the schedule that covers your records is in development or draft status:

  • Do not retire hard copy records, unless you know that your Federal Records Center (FRC) will accept records with pending schedules.
  • Do not destroy records.

When the schedule that covers your records returns to final (approved) status:

  • You may retire hard copy records to the FRC any time after they become inactive and are no longer needed for current Agency business.
  • You may destroy records according to the disposition instructions.

NRMP posts schedule changes, including changes in status, at the end of each month.

Tip of the Week: Calendars (08-MAY-2007)

Your calendar is a federal record if it includes substantive information about official Agency activities.

  • Calendar records of senior officials and their assistants, as defined in the guidance section of 111 - Calendars, Schedules, and Logs of Daily Activities, are permanent records, which must be transferred to the National Archives five years after the end of the calendar year.

  • Calendar records of staff acting for a senior official, for the time period he or she is acting, must be captured with the senior official's calendar records.

  • Calendar records of other employees are temporary records, which must be destroyed two years after the end of the calendar year.

You cannot save your Lotus Notes calendar in the Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS) in FY 2007, so you need to manage it manually for now. You can print a copy of the calendar monthly, and file it in a paper recordkeeping system; or you can document the information in a memorandum, report, correspondence, or other record, and place it in the file.

If your calendar does not contain substantive information, or the information is already incorporated into other records, you can destroy the calendar any time after the end of the calendar year.

See Frequent Questions about Calendars and Records for more information.

Tip of the Week: Drafts (01-MAY-2007)

Draft documents are one type of working file that may be a record, even if the information it contains is captured in the final version.

A draft is a record when:

  • it was circulated to other staff and contains unique information, such as substantive annotations or comments;
  • it contains unique information that adds to the understanding of Agency business;
  • it documents the formulation and execution of basic policies, decisions, actions, or responsibilities; or
  • it is specifically required by a records schedule (e.g., 218 - Transportation Plans).

Drafts containing only editorial changes (e.g., spelling, punctuation) and not meeting any of the above criteria may be destroyed when no longer needed.

If you haven't already done so, you should establish business rules for handling drafts and other working files for mission-related activities in your organization to ensure that the appropriate documents are kept in a consistent manner.


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