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Preparing Electronic Records for Transfer to the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) requires EPA to transfer all permanent records, including electronic information systems [36 CFR 1235 subpart c ], to the National Archives according to the instructions in approved records schedules. The following guidance pertains to the transfer of such systems. For a complete list, please refer to the permanent electronic systems. Find out if your office or region is responsible for transferring a copy to the National Archives.

Until recently, transferring records to NARA meant filling out a paper SF 258 form and sending it to NARA to initiate the transfer. Now, however, NARA has developed the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) system to enable the transfer of permanent records. The SF 258 has been replaced by transfer requests (TR) that can be created within ERA.

The EPA transferring official creates the transfer request for the permanent electronic information system and submits it to the agency approving official. Once the TR is approved internally, NARA reviews and approves it. Then the transfer of records can take place. The transferring official is Barbara Felton (contractor) (202-566-0170); the agency approving official is John Ellis (202-566-1643).

A successful transfer of permanent electronic records to NARA requires coordination by the records sponsor or custodian (the person who is responsible for maintaining the records) with the assistance of:

Before You Begin

There are several pieces of information you, as the records custodian, need to have prior to beginning the transfer process:

Here are the steps to follow to make a smooth transition to ERA:

Step 1

Collect the documentation you need to prepare:

Step 2

Call EPA's electronic records representative at NARA, Katherine A. Ferguson (katherine.ferguson@nara.gov, 301-837-0949) to:

Step 3

Prepare records for transfer. Each transfer must include the following:

Note: When the work is done by the National Computer Center (NCC), they may charge your working capital fund to perform the work.

Step 4

Step 5

The last step...When the records are physically transferred, NARA takes legal custody of the records by approving the Legal Transfer Instrument in ERA.

NARA’s electronic format requirements: NARA has special format requirements as stated in 36 eCFR 1235 Subpart C. In addition to the formats specified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), NARA is now accepting other formats:

Note that the formats required for transfer to NARA may be different than the formats currently used (e.g., NARA's PDF requirements are different than EPA's standard) and provisions must be made for eventual transfer of permanent electronic records to NARA in their accepted format. For example: Nara has specific instructions that PDFs should be made with a certain version; this may not be compatible with the version that you may be using in your office. To make sure that your format matches NARA’s requirements, please contact a NARA electronic records representative.

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