In the Loop - May 2008
Some In The Loop articles and links are pertinent to EPA staff and are available to EPA Intranet users only.
TIP: maintaining personal information (29-MAY-2008)
Personal information relates solely to your personal and private affairs. Unlike records or nonrecords, it is not government owned material and does not relate to Agency business. Personal information includes materials:
Whether personal information is stored in your office filing cabinets or on your work computer, you must keep it separated from your records. Before you choose to keep personal information in EPA provided equipment at your office or flexiplace site, remember that there is no guarantee of privacy for information stored on EPA provided equipment.
ALERT: RACO 2008 Presentations (23-MAY-2008)
Presentations from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) May 6, 2008 RACO conference are available online.
The conference offered presentations on case studies in effective records management including:
Tip of the Week: keeping it together (22-MAY-2008)
A "record series" is a group of documents or files that are kept together in a filing system because they are related to the same activity, transaction, or decision-making process. Together, they provide a complete record of what transpired.
A common mistake is to see related documents as individual records and to try to file them in separate files. For example, the documents listed below could be assigned to different files.
But if, for example, the documents all relate to the day-to-day management of your program, they would all be part of the record series for program management.
Always consider the business process behind the records when filing your documents.
See Six Steps to Better Files for more tips on improving your filing system.
Tip of the Week: Who has the record? (13-MAY-2008)
Confusion often occurs when several staff members realize they are keeping copies of the same record. Who has the record copy? Often, the answer is that they all do because each one uses their copy for a different purpose and will maintain it under a different records schedule.
However, if one staff member has been designated as the record's custodian (i.e., the person legally responsible for the records) then that staff member is the only person with the record copy.
See "What is a record?" and the "10 Most Frequent Questions about Records" for more information about identifying your records. You can also contact your Records Liaison Officer (RLO) or the Records Help Desk for assistance with identifying and scheduling your records.
Tip of the Week: Records management and PARS (06-MAY-2008)
Your mid-year Performance Appraisal and Recognition System (PARS) review should include a discussion of goals and objectives concerning your recordkeeping responsibilities. Based on the recommendation of the Document and Records Management Work Group (DRMWG), PARS plans of employees with specific records responsibilities should address records management critical elements (MS WORD) and performance measures no later than October 1, 2008, to cover the performance plan for Fiscal Year 2009.
See Molly O'Neill's February 25, 2008 memo (PDF) for more information on adding records management responsibilities, including sample language, to PARS plans and Kenneth Venuto's April 30, 2008 memo for more information on PARS mid-year progress reviews.