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In the Loop - October 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: NARA certification courses (30-OCT-2007)

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is offering its records certification courses around the country throughout FY 2008. The Document and Records Management Workgroup (DRMWG) recommended this certification for Records Liaison Officers (RLOs) until an EPA-specific records certification program is available.

You can register for the six "knowledge area" (KA) courses on NARA's Records Management Training Learn Center:

No. Title Duration Cost
KA 1 Records Management Overview 1 day $150
KA 2 Creating and Maintaining Agency Business Information 2 days $300
KA 3 Records Scheduling 2 days $300
KA 4 Records Schedule Implementation 2 days $300
KA 5 Asset and Risk Management 2 days $300
KA 6 Records Management Program Development 1 day $150

Tip of the Week: PDF/A-1 (23-OCT-2007)

PDF/A-1 is a version of Portable Document Format (PDF) designed for the long-term preservation of electronic records. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has issued new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Transferring Permanent Records in PDF/A-1 to NARA.

The FAQs include:

  • a description of the PDF/A-1 standard,
  • compliance considerations for transferring records in PDF to NARA,
  • additional transfer instructions, and
  • points to consider when choosing PDF/A-1 for permanent records.

Tip of the Week: Destruction of on-site, temporary records (16-OCT-2007)

When destroying on-site, temporary records, remember:

  • Only destroy records according to the disposition instructions in the applicable approved records schedules.
  • Records with restrictions (e.g., CBI) must be shredded or otherwise definitively destroyed.
  • A witness (federal employee or authorized EPA contractor) is required (36 CFR 1226.24) when restricted records are destroyed by an outside contractor.
  • Destruction must be put on hold if records are involved with pending actions (e.g., litigation, FOIA request, audit, records schedule revision).

Records Liaison Officers (RLOs) are required (EPA 2161 8.f.8.) to initiate and maintain documentation of records destroyed on-site. A records destruction form provides the necessary documentation when it includes:

  • the records schedule and disposition item authorizing the destruction;
  • identifying information for the record (e.g., title, description, date range);
  • the date the records are closed;
  • the date and method of destruction;
  • approval signatures from the records custodian and other authorizing officials (e.g., Division Director, Branch Chief, RLO);
  • the name and signature of the person destroying the records; and
  • the name and signature of an authorized witness, if needed.

See the Inactive Records chapter of the Records Management Manual for more information.

Tip of the Week: Divided records (09-OCT-2007)

Documentation that makes up a complete record is often divided between paper and electronic formats. To ensure that the entire record is properly maintained:

  • Capture the records into your office's paper and electronic recordkeeping systems.
  • Use the same identifying information for records in both formats.
  • Create a cross-index or insert documentation into your files, identifying the format and location of related files.
  • Ensure records in both formats are documented in your office's file plan.
  • Consult your office's recordkeeping requirements, which may direct you to maintain certain records in a particular format.

Tip of the Week: SmartScan (02-OCT-2007)

The Federal Records Center (FRC) now offers SmartScan, a new service that allows you to quickly retrieve records stored at the FRC. In most cases, if requests are received by 9:00 AM, records will be scanned into PDF format and e-mailed to you by 4:00 PM the same day.

Costs for the service include a per-page charge of 65 cents, plus the regular pull and refile fees. If extensive research is needed, additional charges will be applied.

See the SmartScan FAQ for more information on:

  • submitting a request,
  • equipment or software needs,
  • limitations,
  • quality control, and
  • security.

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