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In the Loop - April 2008

Some In The Loop articles and links are pertinent to EPA staff and are available to EPA Intranet users only.

Tip of the Week: Forms for managing inactive records (29-APR-2008)

Properly managing inactive records includes using the right form to document their retirement, retrieval, and disposition (i.e., transfer or destruction). Your Records Liaison Officer (RLO) will work with you:

To Using

retire records to the Federal Records Center (FRC)

the Standard Form (SF) 135, Records Transmittal and Receipt (available in PDF and Word)

request records from the FRC

the Optional Form (OF) 11, Reference Request (available in PDF and Word)

transfer permanent records to the National Archives

the Standard Form (SF) 258, Agreement to Transfer Records to the National Archives (available in PDF and FormNet)

transfer permanent electronic records to the National Archives

the SF 258 and the National Archives (NA) 14097, Technical Description for the Transfer of Electronic Records to the National Archives (available in Word)

destroy onsite temporary records

the Records Destruction Form (available in Word)

Contact your RLO or the Records Help Desk for more information about using these forms and managing your inactive records.

Tip of the Week: Departure and your records (22-APR-2008)

Your recordkeeping requirements include protecting records from unauthorized removal or destruction. This is especially important for staff planning to depart the Agency. Before leaving the Agency, departing employees and officials must work with their Records Liaison Officer (RLO) or designee to:

  • identify and match records to a records schedule,
  • properly label all records,
  • remove nonrecords or personal papers,
  • ensure records are transferred to a new custodian,
  • return checked-out documents or files to their proper custodian, and
  • obtain permission from a supervisor or manager before taking extra copies of records with you.

Senior Agency officials must keep in mind that many of their records are considered permanent and must be adequately protected and preserved.

For more information, see:

Tip of the Week: Clear Your Clutter (15-APR-2008)

This month EPA Headquarters is sponsoring a "Clear Your Clutter" challenge to encourage the clean up of work areas. Many other EPA sites are also sponsoring clean-up days. Records Liaison Officers (RLOs) and other records contacts must be involved with these activities to ensure the proper disposal of records. If cleaning your work area involves eliminating piles of paper or old files, consult the records schedules and work with your RLO or the Records Help Desk to ensure the safety of your records.

See "Frequent Questions about Cleanup Days and Records" for more information about cleaning up your work area and the April 8, 2008 Tip of the Week on unauthorized destruction of records.

Tip of the Week: Unauthorized destruction of records (08-APR-2008)

Federal law requires agencies to have safeguards preventing the illegal, unauthorized destruction of records (44 U.S.C. 3106) and imposes criminal penalties for unauthorized destruction (18 U.S.C. 2071). You can prevent the unauthorized destruction of records by:

Should you discover that records have been unlawfully or accidentally destroyed, you must notify the Agency Records Officer (ARO) immediately. Your report to the ARO must include:

  • a complete description of the records;
  • the volume of the records;
  • the office of origin;
  • an explanation of the circumstances involving the unauthorized destruction;
  • a description of actions taken to salvage, retrieve or reconstruct the records; and
  • a statement of safeguards taken to prevent future losses.

See the "Maintaining and Disposing of Federal Records" and the October 16, 2007 "Tip of the Week" for more information.

Tip of the Week: Audiovisual records (01-APR-2008)

According to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regulations 36 CFR 1237, audiovisual records that document Agency activities or decisions must be preserved as records. Audiovisual records include:

  • photographs,
  • motion pictures,
  • video recordings, and
  • audio recordings

Agency and contract personnel responsible for the maintenance of these records or the operation of equipment used to access them must:

  • protect the records from alteration or erasure,
  • maintain the necessary supporting documents and finding aids (e.g., indexes, data sheets, catalogs), and
  • ensure that temporary recordings are maintained separately from permanent ones.

See NARA's FAQ About Digital Audio and Video Records and EPA's records schedule 738 for more information.

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