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TIP of the Month: Ways to Find the Right Schedule (19-AUG-2009)
Don't be confused by schedules which have similar sounding titles. For instance how does one choose between EPA 180 Committee Management Records for Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) with a 6-year retention and EPA 181 Advisory Groups Established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) with a permanent retention for Item a. In this case, choosing the wrong schedule could result in destroying records when they should be permanently retained or retaining records long after they should be destroyed.
In such cases, you should look at other schedule fields to help you make the right schedule decision.
Fields of particular importance for deciding on the proper schedule are:
- Can this schedule be used by your organization? In the case of EPA 180, this schedule is specific to the Office of the Administrator. However, EPA 181 can be used by all programs.
- Does the schedule apply to your location? EPA 180 specifies Headquarters, while EPA 181 has an Agency-wide applicability.
- Does the schedule describe the business process or purpose of your records? In this case, both EPA 180 and 181 have the same function - 316-259 Peer Review and Scientific Advisory Functions.
- Does the schedule include special instructions or other information that pertains to your records? Guidance sections will often define exclusions of certain types of records and suggest alternative schedules for those records. These alternative schedules will be summarized in the Related Schedules section of the schedule.