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In the Loop - December 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: Transferring e-systems (18-DEC-2007)

EPA operates 40 electronic information systems that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has determined to be worthy of "permanent" retention, and therefore must be transferred to the National Archives.

EPA's records schedules provide mandatory instructions for when to transfer these systems; the most common instruction is to transfer annually. Here's an example from 420 - National Compliance Data Base (NCDB):

Item c: Electronic data

  • Permanent
  • Close after monthly updates from FTTS.
  • Transfer data annually to the National Archives as specified in 36 CFR 1228.270 or standards applicable at the time.

The beginning of the new calendar year is a good time to make the transfer. See Preparing Electronic Records for Transfer to the National Archives for more information.

Tip of the Week: Closing records at the end of the year (13-DEC-2007)

The end of the calendar year is a common time to move records from the "active" to "inactive" phase of their lifecycle.

Inactive records are "closed," which means no more information is added to them, and you may retire them to the Federal Records Center or another approved offsite storage facility. If you keep inactive records onsite, they must be kept separated from your active records.

See the records schedules for mandatory instructions on when to close records, and Frequent Questions about Retiring Records for more information about offsite storage.

Tip of the Week: Convenience copies (04-DEC-2007)

Convenience copies are extra copies of official records, which are maintained outside of the official recordkeeping system for ease of access or reference purposes.

Convenience copies are considered nonrecord materials, and must be kept separated from your records. While you are permitted to accumulate these copies, you must remember that they are subject to FOIA and litigation document requests. Therefore, you should ensure that your convenience copy is destroyed when no longer needed, or when the official record is destroyed according to its applicable records schedule, whichever is sooner.

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