Records Managers

National Archives and Records Administration
General Records Schedules


Transmittal No. 22
April 2010

GENERAL RECORDS SCHEDULE 3
Procurement, Supply, and Grant Records

Agency procurement and supply records document the acquisition of goods and non-personal services, controlling the volume of stock on hand, reporting procurement needs, and related supply matters which are part of daily procurement operations. The basic procurement files reflect a considerable range of procedure, from simple, small purchases to complicated prime contractor and subcontractor operations.

Any records created prior to 1895 must first be offered to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for appraisal before applying the disposal instructions. Frequently copies of procurement papers become integral parts of the other files in the agency, such as project files of various types or general subject files pertaining to program operations; such copies are not covered by this schedule because they cannot be considered and evaluated separately from the files of which they are a part.

The General Accountability Office (GAO) no longer requires agencies to maintain a separate file of contracts for site audit. The agency contract files maintained in the contracting officer's office are accessible to GAO auditors and have generally been used by them in the past.

When a claim is filed by or against the Government, records relating to the claim should be retained without regard to the otherwise applicable records retention schedules which would have authorized destruction of the records prior to the time when the claim is finally resolved unless the agency has received written approval from the GAO (44 U.S.C. Section 3309 and 62 Comp. Gen. 42 (1982)). A claim is finally resolved: (1) when it is disallowed and the time for appealing the denial or instituting suit on the claim has expired; or (2) when it is allowed and paid or the amount offered in compromise is accepted and paid; or (3) when the amount found due and owing proves uncollectible because time limits for collecting the indebtedness through legal proceedings or by way of setoff have expired.

Records documenting procurement and supply in the agencies are largely standardized by various regulations of the Comptroller General and the Administrator of General Services. The physical arrangement of the transaction files themselves differs in the various agencies, however. In all agencies the official contract files, for example, contain a minimum core of specified documents, but there are also other documents that vary in accordance with what the individual agency deems to be best for its own operating purposes.

The key procurement file is the transaction case file containing the formal contract or informal purchase order or lease instruments and all related papers. The documents flowing into the transaction file differ in detail, but they include, in addition to the purchase document, specifications, bids, schedules of delivery, the initiating requisition, invoices, and correspondence. Other copies of these documents, made for expediting and other administrative purposes, are scattered throughout the inspection, shipping, expediting, and other units of the agency procurement organization.

Other files related to the procurement and supply function include reports used for supply management purposes by the agency creating the records as well as the staff agency involved with Government-wide programs. They also include local requisition and stock inventory files and other minor supply papers. Of a specialized character in the procurement field are the title papers documenting the acquisition of real property (by purchase, condemnation, donation, exchange, or otherwise). These papers are required by the Government as long as the property remains in Government hands or if it has been sold or released -- conditionally or with recapture clauses. When properties are disposed of by quitclaim deeds, this fact should be confirmed prior to the disposal of title papers, since the title evidence might be needed by the Government to defend the title in the event the properties were disposed of by deeds containing general or special warranties.

It should also be ascertained that the title evidence relates only to the properties which were sold by the Government. In many instances, lands acquired by the Government are disposed of in different size parcels, and if the Government retains the title to any portion the title evidence should be retained.

This schedule does not apply to Interior Department records relating to the public domain or to the title opinion files of the Department of Justice.

This schedule includes some of the common agency records relating to grant programs. Since many Federal agencies conduct grant programs which document projects contracted between the agency and an outside party, these records are included as an adjunct to the procurement and supply records.

1.     Real Property Files. [See note after item 1b.]

Title papers documenting the acquisition of real property (by purchase, condemnation, donation, exchange, or otherwise), excluding records relating to property acquired prior to January 1, 1921.

a.     Records relating to property acquired after December 31, 1920, other than abstract or certificate of title.

Dispose 10 years after unconditional sale or release by the Government of conditions, restrictions, mortgages or other liens.

b.     Abstract or certificate of title.

Transfer to purchaser after unconditional sale or release by the Government of conditions, restrictions, mortgages, or other liens.

[NOTE: Records relating to property acquired prior to January 1, 1921, are not covered by the GRS and must be scheduled by submission of a Standard Form (SF) 115 to NARA.]

2.     General Correspondence Files.

Correspondence files of operating procurement units concerning internal operation and administration matters not covered elsewhere in this schedule.

Destroy when 2 years old. (NC1-64-77-5 item 3)

3.     Routine Procurement Files. [See note after item 3d.]

Contract, requisition, purchase order, lease, and bond and surety records, including correspondence and related papers pertaining to award, administration, receipt, inspection and payment (other than those covered in items 1 and 12). [See note after item 3a(2)(b).]

a.     Procurement or purchase organization copy, and related papers.

(1)     Transaction dated on or after July 3, 1995 (the effective date of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) rule defining "simplified acquisition threshold").

(a)     Transactions that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold and all construction contracts exceeding $2,000.

Destroy 6 years and 3 months after final payment. (N1-GRS-95-4 item 3a1a)

(b)     Transactions at or below the simplified acquisition threshold and all construction contracts at or below $2,000.

Destroy 3 years after final payment. (N1-GRS-95-4 item 3a1b)

(2)     Transactions dated earlier than July 3, 1995.

(a)     Transactions that utilize other than small purchase procedures and all construction contracts exceeding $2,000.

Destroy 6 years and 3 months after final payment. (N1-GRS-95-4 item 3a2a)

(b)     Transactions that utilize small purchase procedures and all construction contracts under $2,000.

Destroy 3 years after final payment. (N1-GRS-95-4 item 3a2b)

[NOTE: Given the complexities of the rules on procurement, agencies should involve procurement officials when deciding which of the subitems to apply to a particular series of records.]

b.   Obligation copy.

Destroy when funds are obligated. (NC1-64-77-5 item 4b)

c.     Other copies of records described above used by component elements of a procurement office for administrative purposes.

Destroy upon termination or completion. (NC1-64-77-5 item 4c)

d.     Data Submitted to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). Electronic data file maintained by fiscal year, containing unclassified records of all procurements, other than small purchases, and consisting of information required under 48 CFR 4.601 for transfer to the FPDS.

Destroy or delete when 5 years old. (NC1-64-77-5 item 4d)

[NOTE: Unique procurement files are not covered by this schedule. With the standardization of the Government-wide procurement process under the FAR, such files are unlikely to exist. However, if an agency believes that a procurement file that has long-term research value, the records officer should submit an SF 115.]

4.     Supply Management Files.

Files of reports on supply requirements and procurement matters submitted for supply management purposes (other than those incorporated in case files or other files of a general nature), exclusive of Department of Defense Reports reflecting procurement under exemptions authorized under Section 201(a) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 481).

a.     Copies received from other units for internal purposes or for transmission to staff agencies.

Destroy when 2 years old. (NC1-64-77-5 item 5a)

b.     Copies in other reporting units and related working documents.

Destroy when 1 year old. (NC1-64-77-5 item 5b)

5.     Solicited and Unsolicited Bids and Proposals Files.

a.     Successful bids and proposals.

Destroy with related contract case files (see item 3 of this schedule). (NC1-GRS-81-2 item 6a)

b.     Solicited and unsolicited unsuccessful bids and proposals.

(1)     Relating to small purchases as defined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, 48 CFR Part 13.

Destroy 1 year after date of award or final payment, whichever is later. (NC1-GRS-86-2 item 6b1)

(2)     Relating to transactions above the small purchase limitations in 48 CFR Part 13.

(a)     When filed separately from contract case files.

Destroy when related contract is completed. (NC1-GRS-86-2 item 6b2a)

(b)     When filed with contract case files.

Destroy with related contract case file (see item 3 of this schedule). (NC1-GRS-86-2 item 6b2b)

c.     Canceled solicitations files.

(1)     Formal solicitations of offers to provide products or services (e.g., Invitations for Bids, Requests for Proposals, Requests for Quotations) which were canceled prior to award of a contract. The files include presolicitation documentation on the requirement, any offers that were opened prior to the cancellation, documentation on any Government action up to the time of cancellation, and evidence of the cancellation.

Destroy 5 years after date of cancellation. (NC1-GRS-81-2 item 6c1)

(2)     Unopened bids.

Return to bidder. (NC1-GRS-81-2 item 6c2)

d.     Lists or card files of acceptable bidders.

Destroy when superseded or obsolete. (NC1-GRS-81-2 item 6d)

6.     Public Printer Files.

Records relating to requisitions on the Printer, and all supporting papers.

a.     Printing procurement unit copy of requisition, invoice, specifications, and related papers.

Destroy 3 years after completion or cancellation of requisition. (NC1-64-77-5 item 7a)

b.     Accounting copy of requisition.

Destroy 3 years after period covered by related account. (NC1-64-77-5 item 7b)

7.     Nonpersonnel Requisition File.

Requisitions for nonpersonal services, such as duplicating, laundry, binding, and other services (excluding records associated with accountable officers' accounts (Schedule 6)).

Destroy when 1 year old. (NC1-64-77-5 item 8)

8.     Inventory Requisition File. Requisitions for supplies and equipment for current inventory.

a.     Stockroom copy.

Destroy 2 years after completion or cancellation of requisition. (NC1-64-77-5 item 9a)

b.     All other copies.

Destroy when 6 months old. (NC1-64-77-5 item 9b)

9.     Inventory Files.

a.     Inventory lists.

Destroy 2 years from date of list. (NC1-64-77-5 item 10a)

b.     Inventory cards.

Destroy 2 years after discontinuance of item, 2 years after stock balance is transferred to new card or recorded under a new classification, or 2 years after equipment is removed from agency control. (NC1-64-77-5 item 10b)

c.     Report of survey files and other papers used as evidence for adjustment of inventory records, not otherwise covered in the GRS.

Destroy 2 years after date of survey action or date of posting medium. (NC1-64-77-5 item 10c)

10.     Telephone Records.

Telephone statements and toll slips.

Destroy 3 years after period covered by related account. (NC1-64-77-5 item 11)

11.     Contractors' Payroll Files.

Contractors' payrolls (construction contracts) submitted in accordance with Department of Labor regulations, with related certifications, antikickback affidavits, and other related papers.

Destroy 3 years after date of completion of contract unless contract performance is subject of enforcement action on such date. (NC1-64-77-5 item 12)

12.     Tax Exemption Files.

Tax exemption certificates and related papers.

Destroy 3 years after period covered by related account. (NC1-64-77-5 item 13)

13.     Unsuccessful Grant Application Files.

Applications, correspondence, and other records relating to unsuccessful (rejected or withdrawn) applications.

Destroy 3 years after rejection or withdrawal. (NC1-64-77-5 item 14a)

14.     Grant Administrative Files. [See note after this item.]

Correspondence and/or subject files relating to routine operations and daily activities in administration of the grant program.

Destroy when 2 years old. (NC1-64-77-5 item 17b)

[NOTE: Grant case files, which include accepted applications among many other documents, substantive correspondence and subject files relating to grant programs, and final product files, cannot be scheduled in the GRS. The types and significance of grant programs and the contents of the files vary, so no single disposition can be applied to the files on a Government-wide basis. To schedule these records, agencies must submit an SF 115 to NARA.]

15.     Contract Appeals Case Files.

Contract appeals case files arising under the Contracts Dispute Act, consisting of notices of appeal and acknowledgments thereof; correspondence between parties; copies of contracts, plans, specifications, exhibits, change orders, and amendments; transcripts of hearings; documents received from parties concerned; final decisions; and all other related papers.

a.     Records created prior to October 1, 1979.

Destroy 6 years, 3 months after final action on decision. (N1-GRS-87-9 item 19a)

b.     Records created after September 30, 1979.

Destroy 1 year after final action on decision. (N1-GRS-87-9 item 19b)

16.     Contractor's Statement of Contingent or Other Fees.

SF 119, Statement of Contingent or Other Fees, or statement in lieu of the form, filed separately from the contract case file and maintained for enforcement or report purposes.

Destroy when superseded or obsolete. (N1-GRS-98-2 item 7)

17.     Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Files.

Correspondence, reports, studies, goal statements, and other records relating to the small and disadvantaged business utilization program, as required by Pub.L. 95-507.

Destroy when 3 years old. (N1-GRS-87-14 item 1)

18.    Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act Records (created under OMB Circular A-76, Performance of Commercial Activities)

Records documenting implementation of OMB Circular No. A-76, Performance of Commercial Activities. These records are created and maintained in paper and electronic formats and include but are not limited to inventories, reviews, consultations, summary reports, commercial activity codes, challenges, appeals, decisions, planning documents, public announcements, Federal Register notices, standard and streamlined competition documents, accountability statements, cost calculations, and performance measures.

[NOTE: Procurement files related to Circular No. A-76 solicitations are scheduled under GRS 3, Item 3a, Routine Procurement Files.]

a.     Circular No. A-76 case files/studies maintained by office having primary responsibility.

Cut off when action is completed, hold 3 years, and retire to records center. Destroy 6 - 10 years after cut off. (N1-GRS-05-2 item 18a)

[NOTE: To implement this authority, each agency must select one fixed retention period, between 6 and 10 years, for the entire series of Circular No. A-76 case files or studies. Agencies are not authorized to use different retention periods for individual case files or studies. The agency should publish the chosen retention period in the agency's disposition manual, by directive, or any other issuance dealing with the disposition of these records.]

b.    Circular No. A-76 records maintained by other offices, including information copies and background material.

Cut off upon completion of study. Destroy 2 years after cut off. (N1-GRS-05-2 item 18b)

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