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In the Loop - October 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: Transferring permanent records (29-OCT-2008)

When permanent records become eligible for final disposition (i.e., transfer to the National Archives), they can be directly transferred from your office to the National Archives. Your Records Liaison Officer (RLO) will work with you to:

RLOs located at headquarters will work with the Headquarters Records Officer to coordinate the physical transfer of your records and ensure that:

  • all necessary paperwork is completed,
  • the National Records Management Program (NRMP) receives a copy of the transfer documentation, and
  • records are prepared for transfer.

For more information about transferring permanent records to the National Archives see:

Frequent Questions about Transferring Records,
Preparing Electronic Records for Transfer to the National Archives, and
NARA regulation CFR 1235

Tip of the Week: Records and ECMS resources (21-OCT-2008)

The National Records Management Program (NRMP) and the Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS) are closely related programs. The Records internet and intranet sites provide general guidance and answer specific questions related to the creation, management and disposition of EPA records and other documentary materials. The ECMS intranet site provides general guidance and answers specific questions related to managing records in the ECMS application. The following are some examples of the types of guidance they provide:

Records:

  1. defining records terms (e.g., records, records schedules)
  2. matching records to the appropriate records schedule
  3. retiring records to the Federal Records Center (FRC)
  4. transferring records to the National Archives
  5. managing electronic records

ECMS:

  1. defining ECMS terms (e.g., enterprise content management, document management)
  2. registering to use ECMS
  3. selecting folders in ECMS
  4. searching for records in ECMS
  5. saving e-mail records in ECMS

Contact your Records Liaison Officer (RLO) for more information about your records and ECMS.

ALERT: RACO 2008 Atlanta presentations (15-OCT-2008)

Presentations from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) September 9, 2008 RACO conference held in Atlanta, GA are available online.
This year's conference offered presentations on case studies in effective records
management including:

  • Thoughts From the Archivist's Lawyer on Managing the Government's Ephemeral Electronic Records
  • NARA's Virtual Classroom
  • Are you ARCIS Ready?
  • Web 2.0 and Records Managers: Are We Ready?
  • Records Management from Scratch

Tip of the Week: Records schedule guidance (14-OCT-2008)

You know that records schedules provide:

  • descriptions of the records they apply to,
  • details about programs and locations that can use them, and
  • the mandatory instructions for dispositioning records.

However, records schedules also provide guidance to assist you with applying them to your records including:

  • alternate names of files,
  • records exempted from coverage in the records schedule,
  • descriptions of custodial responsibilities, and
  • explanations which may help you choose the correct schedule or disposition item.

For example:

EPA Records Schedule 211

Status: Final, 12/31/2007

Title: Compliance Files

Program: All Programs

Applicability: Agency-wide

 

Guidance:

The unit with compliance authority is responsible for maintaining the record copy and implementing the disposition. Specific types of documentation (e.g., field notebooks) that need to be retained may be found in program-specific policy and guidance manuals (e.g., NPDES Compliance Manual).

Copies of these records incorporated into other files (e.g., site or facility files) are to be retained according to the disposition instructions for the records they support.

If authorized states maintain records for retention periods identified above, the program office may decide to review the records in the state offices rather than maintain copies in regional offices, and destroy the copies it receives. If recordkeeping requirements (e.g., what records to keep and how long to keep them) for authorized states are not covered in EPA regulations, the requirements should be established in a memorandum of understanding.

Upon issuance of a notice of violation or referral to Regional Counsel or other office with enforcement authority, the file becomes an enforcement action file. See EPA 207 for disposition instructions for enforcement actions.

See EPA 206 for RCRA corrective actions. Permits for programs other than RCRA are scheduled as EPA 205 and RCRA as EPA 478. Administrative records for permits are covered in EPA 210.

Other site and facility files are scheduled as: EPA 013 for Superfund site-specific removal sites; EPA 014 for Superfund site-specific remedial sites; EPA 215 for underground storage tanks; EPA 220 for radiation; EPA 225 for pesticides; and EPA 227 for toxic substances.

Records containing sensitive information must be shredded or otherwise definitively destroyed to protect confidentiality.

Don't overlook this important area of information when matching or applying a schedule to your records. For more information about records schedules, see:

Tip of the Week: Storing inactive records (07-OCT-2008)

The beginning of a new fiscal year is a good time to retire inactive records to storage and make room for new active records. Offices may store inactive records on-site, but they must be kept separate from active records. Inactive records can also be retired to off-site storage facilities. EPA prefers using the Federal Records Centers (FRCs) for off-site storage.

All off-site storage facilities, including commercial facilities, must meet the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA's) regulations specified in 36 CFR 1234. Use NARA's Records Storage Facility Standards Toolkit to ensure that your records storage area or facility complies with those regulations.

Contact your Records Liaison Officer (RLO) for more information about retiring inactive records. Also, see:


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