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Procedures for Managing Agency Records

Contents of this tool kit

Recordkeeping responsibilities

What is a Federal record?

Documents requiring only short-term retention

Organizing and managing records

Summary and flow chart


EPA 220-F-00-004
April 2001

Introduction

Everyone creates documents, both in paper and electronic form. The widespread use of electronic mail (e-mail) has highlighted the need for everyone to understand how to determine which documents are Federal records and how to manage them effectively. This document provides general procedures for identifying Federal records, determining what documents are needed to document Agency activities for official files, and managing records efficiently.

The procedures for managing records follow the life cycle of documents from their creation through their final disposition and address the questions most frequently asked about records. At each stage of the life cycle, the procedures explain the general records management principles that apply and provide concrete guidance for implementing the principles.

Are these procedures mandatory?

Yes, these procedures are mandatory for both EPA employees and their agents (e.g., contractors or others acting on behalf of EPA) and are meant to assist them in implementing EPA's policies. They apply to hard copy documents, electronic documents (e.g., word processing documents, spreadsheets, graphical representations), e-mail messages, databases, and similar items.

These procedures are only one of many EPA issuances concerning records management. Others include policy manuals, records schedules, other tool kits, and training materials for implementing specific aspects of records management. These procedures should be understood in the context of those documents, as well as within the context of the Federal statutes and regulations.

Who can I call for help?

If you have questions, call your Records Liaison Officer or the National Records Management Program Help Desk for assistance. Policy and guidance documents are posted to the NRMP website.

Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


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