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Identify and Transfer:
What to do with the records of departing employees

The responsibilities

All employees at EPA are responsible for the federal records in their custody. This responsibility applies as much to departing employees who separate or transfer from EPA or transfer within EPA as it does to all other employees.

The rules

EPA's records are important. They are required by law to adequately and properly document the Agency's organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions. The records must be maintained in accordance with federal records management regulations and the Agency's records management policies. They may be preserved or disposed of only by following the instructions in EPA's Records Schedules.

What to do

Departing employees should identify and transfer all documentary materials, including paper and electronic federal records, in their personal workspace. Locations of electronic documents in the workspace include the computer hard drive, network drives (user and share), e-mail (in boxes, sent boxes, and folders), and removable media such as diskettes and CDs.

Simply put, "identify and transfer all documentary materials" means figure out what you've got and put it where it belongs. For example, do you have federal records that need to be filed in your organization's recordkeeping system? Do you have nonrecords that may be discarded? If you leave anything behind in your workspace, be sure an authorized person has accepted responsibility for it and knows what to do with it.

Who does what

Both the departing employee and the employee's Records Contact have a role. The scenario below briefly outlines those roles. The departing employee's supervisor also may be involved if custody of the employee's records is turned over to the supervisor.

The Records Help Desk is available to provide more detailed guidance and to answer specific questions.

A smooth transition

Identifying and transferring documentary materials, including federal records, helps to ensure that EPA's records make a smooth transition to their next custodian.


Role Responsibilities
Records Contact:

Regina confirms with her Human Resources Contact that she is included on the distribution list for notification of upcoming departures of employees who are separating or transferring from EPA or transferring within EPA.

Regina contacts the Records Help Desk if she doesn't know her Human Resources Contact.

Records Contact and Departing Employee:

Regina and Dexter meet to review records responsibilities that apply to all employees at EPA.

Departing Employee:

Dexter identifies and transfers documentary materials from his personal workspace:

  • Returns checked-out documents or files to the custodian or records center where they belong.

  • Discards or removes personal papers.

  • Discards nonrecords that are no longer useful.

  • Labels any nonrecords that are still useful with the word "nonrecord" and turns them over to his Records Contact or supervisor.

  • Matches any records remaining in his workspace to their Records Schedules. Separates them into groups for each Schedule.

  • Labels files or loose records eligible to be closed with the Agency File Code, a meaningful file name, and the closure date. Turns them over to his Records Contact for disposition according to EPA's Records Schedules.

  • Labels active files or loose records with the Agency File Code, a meaningful file name, and the date range of the records. Turns them over to his Records Contact or supervisor.

  • Obtains permission from his supervisor or manager to remove extra copies of any documentary materials he wishes to take with him.

Records Contact:

Regina checks back with Dexter to assist with questions that may have arisen. She verifies that all Agency-owned documentary materials have been identified and transferred and that the workspace has been emptied of personal papers.

Departing Employee:

Dexter has completed his records obligations. Dexter certifies that he has returned his records on the "Employee Separation or Transfer Checklist" (EPA Form 3110-1) provided by the Office of Administration and Resource Management.


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