Records Managers

THE NEW GRS:
A Proposal for Restructuring the GRS

1 Executive Summary

The Office of the Chief Records Officer created the GRS Team in Records Management Services to focus on updating and revising the General Records Schedules. The GRS Team has taken this opportunity to assess the GRS, what its current problems are, and how it might better serve Federal agencies. This assessment began by surveying Federal records management staff as well as staff in the Office of the Chief Records Officer. The survey identified a number of problems and deficiencies in the current GRS, as well as gathered a number of suggestions for making it better.

Based on our findings, the team proposes a complete update and overhaul of the existing General Records Schedules. The new structure seeks to align the General Records Schedules along common functions based in part on the Federal Enterprise Architecture. The team plans to use business process analysis to identify both temporary and permanent records series within each of these functions.  This analysis will then be used to create more comprehensive General Records Schedules using flexible, big bucket scheduling techniques as much as possible.

2 The GRS Team

The GRS Team provides leadership and collaborates with agencies and NARA staff to develop and implement General Records Schedules that are relevant, easy to use, and meet the needs of the Federal records management community. Our mission is to maintain the General Records Schedules by performing necessary updates and revisions and developing new schedules to be responsive to the evolving needs of Federal agencies.  We also serve as subject matter experts and promote better understanding about the GRS to enable consistent implementation by agencies and fellow NARA staff.

The GRS Team are:
Andrea Riley, Team Lead
Jennie Guilbaud
Susan Means
Leslie Watson
Galen Wilson

3 Why we are restructuring the GRS

The primary directive of the GRS Team is to update and revise the General Records Schedules, many of which are severely outdated and no longer meet the current needs of Federal Agencies.  The team decided to conduct a study to look into new ways of structuring the GRS. We knew that the existing General Records Schedules did not meet current agencies needs, were out of date, did not reflect all records created by current administrative processes, and had retentions that were not applicable to electronic records.  The purpose of the study was to develop a plan for revising the General Records Schedules so that they are more flexible, usable, and easy to understand and implement. 

The intent of the project was to determine how to proceed with updating the General Records Schedules.  Specifically, we sought to determine whether or not the General Records Schedules can and should be restructured, and if so how.  We also proposed that the project would result in an overall plan for revising the General Records Schedules, including a schedule identifying when certain chapters will be updated.

The first step in the project was to gather information about agency and staff perceptions of the problems with the existing GRS.  In May 2012 we conducted a survey of staff and agencies.  We received 64 complete responses from agency records management staff and 11 complete responses from staff in the Office of the Chief Records Officer.

The survey identified the following issues with the current GRS:

  • Needs to be written in plain English
  • Formatting is inconsistent
  • Too granular
  • Series descriptions are too vague
  • Duplication of record series in multiple schedules
  • May not reflect how records are currently maintained
  • Includes records series that no longer exist
  • Need for updates to reflect:
    • Media neutrality
    • Electronic formats/automation; technology change
    • Current business practices/processes
    • Current terminology

We also received a number of suggestions for improving the GRS:

  • Use a functional/”big bucket” approach
  • Add permanent authorities
  • Remove disposition instructions that only reference other authorities; provide hyperlinks if necessary
  • Remove or separate filing instructions
  • Provide more guidance and training for implementation
  • Use cutoff instructions
  • Standardize retention periods
  • Include legal citations relating to records retentions
  • Describe the level of the office which the records would be found
  • Compile the General Records Schedules into a single schedule
  • Provide search capability
  • Create a subject index and/or crosswalk for all schedules

4 Our goals for the new GRS

Based on the responses from the GRS Survey, the team has set the following goals for the new GRS:

  • Functional arrangement
  • Aggregate records into buckets where useful/possible
  • True media neutrality; no more series based on format
  • Comprehensive coverage of common Federal records = cover more records
  • Addition of permanent series
  • Clear series descriptions
  • More specific examples and cross-walks
  • Standardized retentions
  • Consistency

Additionally, we will be proposing a project for FY13 to look into ways to provide better search capability for the online GRS.

5 How we developed our proposal

To meet the goals of a more functionally aligned and big bucket GRS, the team looked at the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) as a starting point for identifying common functions/sub-functions. A previous NARA team had already mapped the existing GRS to the FEA, which aided in this process. While the FEA helped in identifying common lines of business across the Federal government, we did make some additions and alterations to groupings to ensure that known records would be covered as well as for simplification. 

Once we had identified and described the functions and sub-functions to include in the restructured GRS, we mapped current GRS items to the new sub-functions.

6 Our proposal: What we plan to do and what we can’t do

The next step, once the restructuring proposal is finalized, is to identify specific business processes under each sub-function. The team will then conduct a business process analysis of these processes to define the processes and where records are created or captured as part of the process. This information will then help us to identify record buckets and will allow us to draft schedules that are more flexible and complete. Finally, we will create cross-walks that include specific examples of record types in each bucket to serve as a reference for agencies in implementing the new GRS schedules.

There are some limitations on how much we will be able to bucket GRS series. Some records are controlled by regulations or laws that will not allow us or may make it difficult to combine records into buckets. This fiscal year we have been working on identifying those series that cannot be bucketed and will be issuing guidance for agencies about bucketing GRS items in their own schedules.

7 The proposed structure of the new GRS

The team identified 12 major functions and 47 sub-function to be covered by the new GRS. These functions include some new areas not currently covered by the GRS as well as areas with known permanent records.

  1. Administrative Management
    1.1. General Administration 1.2. Goods & Services Acquisition
    1.3. Inventory Control
    1.4. Logistics Management (New)
    1.5. Facilities, Fleet, and Equipment
    1.6. Communication
    1.7. Security
    1.8. Workplace Policy
    1.9. Administrative Controls & Oversight
    1.10. Help Desk Services (New)

  2. Budget & Finance
    2.1. Budgeting
    2.2. Payments
    2.3. Collections
    2.4. Accounting
    2.5. Travel
    2.6. Grants

  3. Human Resources Management
    3.1. Human Resource Strategy
    3.2. Staff Acquisition
    3.3. General Employee Management
    3.4. Compensation & Benefits
    3.5. Employee Relations
    3.6. Separation Management
    3.7. Employee Training
    3.8. Employee Health and Safety
    3.9. Employee Ethics
    3.10. Labor Relations

  4. Information and Technology Management
    4.1. System Development (New)
    4.2. IT Infrastructures & System Maintenance
    4.3. Information Systems Security
    4.4. IT Help Desk Services
    4.5. Records & Information Management
    4.6. Records Related to Electronic Systems

  5. Executive Leadership (New)

  6. Planning & Policy
    6.1. Agency Planning
    6.2. Emergency Planning
    6.3. Policy & Guidance Development (New)
    6.4. Regulatory Creation & Publication (New)

  7. General Counsel (New)

  8. Legislative & Congressional Relations (New)
    8.1. Congressional Liaison Operations
    8.2. Legislation Development
    8.3. Legislation Testimony

  9. Public Affairs
    91. Official Information Dissemination
    9.2. Public Relations/Customer Service

  10. Knowledge Creation & Management
    10.1 Research and Development (New)
    10.2 General Purpose Data and Statistics (New)
    10.3 Knowledge Dissemination

  11. Temporary Commissions, Boards, Councils and Committees

  12. Regulatory Compliance & Enforcement (New)
    12.1 Inspections and Auditing
    12.2 Standard Setting/Reporting Guideline Development
    12.3 Permits and Licensing

A more detailed outline of each function and its related sub-functions including descriptions with proposed and current GRS items mapped to the function is available in Appendix A.

8 Proposed project timeline

In the GRS Survey we asked agencies and CRO staff to identify their priorities for updating the GRS with the following results:

  • GRS 20  (now 4.6 Records Related to Electronic Systems)
  • GRS 1 (now 3.3 General Employee Management)
  • GRS 23 (now 1.1 General Administration)
  • GRS 2 ( now 3.4 Compensation & Benefits)
  • GRS 16 (now 4.5 Records & Information Management)
  • GRS 24 (now dispersed through various sub-section of 4. Information & Technology Management)
  • GRS 3 (now under various parts of 1. Administrative Management and 2.6 Grants)
  • GRS 27 (dispersed over various functions)
  • GRS 9 (now mostly 2.5 Travel)
  • GRS 14 (now 4.5 Records & Information Management)

We also received comments that GRS 1 (now 3. Human Resource Management) is outdated per current regulations and that GRS 3-5 & 7-8 (now 2. Budget & Finance and 1.2 Goods & Services Acquisition) do not meet audit requirements. 

Based on these priorities and comments we developed a 5-year plan for when each of the new GRS functions would be reviewed.  Our justifications for the ordering of the plan are below the table.

5-year Plan
FY 13
  • 2. Budget & Finance (6 sub-functions)
  • 4. Information & Technology Management (6 sub-functions)
FY 14
  • 3. Human Resources Management (10 sub-functions)
  • 11. Temporary Boards, Commissions, Councils & Committees (1 function)
FY 15
  • 1. Administrative Management (10 sub-functions)
  • 5. Executive Leadership (1 function)
FY 16
  • 6. Planning & Policy (4 sub-functions)
  • 9. Public Affairs (2 sub-functions)
  • 10. Knowledge Creation & Management (3 sub-functions)
FY 17
  • 7. General Counsel (1 function)
  • 8. Legislative & Congressional Relations (3 sub-functions)
  • 12. Regulatory Compliance & Enforcement (3 sub-functions)

Justifications for the 5-year plan:

  • FY13: We chose Budget & Finance because it covers parts of GRS 3-5, & 7-8 which do not meet current audit requirements. It also covers GRS 9 which was in the top 10 priorities from the survey. We selected IT Management because it includes GRS 14, 16, 20 and 24, which are all in top 10 priorities.
  • FY14: We selected Human Resource Management because GRS 1 was in top 3 for revision. We chose Temp Boards, etc. because it is part of the current GRS that needs to be updated.
  • FY15: Administrative Management and Executive Leadership are together because these are the two sections where email is likely to be scheduled.  The new email guidance is due December of 2013 and we wanted to be sure that the guidance was issued before be began looking at including email in the GRS. Also, Administrative Management was prioritized second to Human Resources Management in the survey.
  • FY16 and FY17: The order of these sections was largely based on significance of the records and an attempt to keep the work fairly balanced.

Appendix A: Descriptive Outline of the New GRS

1. Administrative Management
Administrative Management includes routine tasks common to all offices and necessary for day-to-day office operation. These tasks do not relate to an agency's program or mission, and are often referred to as housekeeping duties.

1.1. General Administration
General administration includes day-to-day housekeeping activities such as administrative correspondence and subject files and the calendars of lower-level staff.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 1, item 3: Personnel Correspondence Files
GRS 2, item 24: Payroll Correspondence
GRS 3, item 2: General Correspondence Files
GRS 4, item 1: Property Disposal Correspondence Files
GRS 5, item 1: Budget Correspondence
GRS 7, item 1: Expenditures Accounting General Correspondence and Subject Files
GRS 8, item 1: Plant, Cost, and Stores General Correspondence Files
GRS 10, item 1: Motor Vehicle Correspondence Files
GRS 11, item 1: Space and Maintenance General Correspondence Files
GRS 13, Item 1: Administrative Correspondence Files
GRS 13, Item 6: Internal Management Files
GRS 15, item 1: Housing General Correspondence Files
GRS 18, item 1: Classified Documents Administrative Correspondence Files
GRS 18, item 8: Security and Protective Services Administrative Correspondence Files
GRS 18, Item 26: Emergency Planning Administrative Correspondence Files
GRS 21, Item 23: Dictation Belts or Tapes (Audio/Sound Recordings)
GRS 23, Item 1: Office Administration Files
GRS 23, Item 5a and 5b: Schedules of Daily Activities
GRS 23, Item 6a and 6b: Suspense Files
GRS 23, Item 7: Transitory Files
GRS 27, Item 7: Schedules of Daily Activities

1.2. Goods and Services Acquisition
Goods and Services Acquisition involves the procurement of physical goods, products, and capital assets to be used by the federal government and the oversight and/or management of contractors and service providers from the private sector.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 3, item 1a: Real Property Files
GRS 3, items 3a1a-b & 3b-d: Routine Procurement Files
GRS 3, items 5b1, 5b2a & 5c1: Solicited and Unsolicited Bids and Proposals Files
GRS 3, items 6a & 6b: Public Printer Files
GRS 3, item 7: Nonpersonal Requisition Files
GRS 3, item 10: Telephone Records
GRS 3, item 11: Contractors’ Payroll Files
GRS 3, item 12: Tax Exemption Files
GRS 3, item 15b: Contract Appeals Case Files
GRS 3, item 16: Contractor’s Statement of Contingent or Other Fees
GRS 3, item 17: Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Files
GRS 3, items 18a & 18b: Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act Records
GRS 17, item 5: Contract Negotiation Drawings

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Inter-Service Support Agreements (ISSA)
  • MIPR?

1.3. Inventory Control
Inventory Control refers to the tracking of information related to procured assets and resources with regard to quantity, quality, and location.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 3, items 4a & 4b: Supply Management Files
GRS 3, items 8a & 8b: Inventory Requisition Files
GRS 3, items 9a-c: Inventory Files

1.4. Logistics Management (New)
Logistics Management involves the planning and tracking of personnel and their resources in relation to their availability and location.

1.5. Facilities, Fleet, and Equipment
Facilities, Fleet, and Equipment involves the maintenance, administration, and operation of office buildings, fleets, machinery, and other capital assets that are possessions of the federal government.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 4, item 2: Excess Personal Property Reports
GRS 4, items 3a & 3b: Surplus Property Case Files
GRS 4, item 4: Real Property Files
GRS 10, item 2a & 2b: Motor Vehicle Operating and Maintenance Files
GRS 10, item 3: Motor Vehicle Cost Files
GRS 10, item 4: Motor Vehicle Report Files
GRS 10, item 5: Motor Vehicle Accident Files
GRS 10, item 6: Motor Vehicle Release Files
GRS 10, item 7: Motor Vehicle Operator Files
GRS 10, item 9: Routine Aircraft Operations
GRS 10, item 10: Logistical Support for Flight Operations
GRS 10, item 11a & 11b: General Aircraft Maintenance and Modification Records
GRS 10, item 12: Individual Aircraft Maintenance and Airframe Modification Records
GRS 10, item 13: Records Required for Accident/Incident Records
GRS 11, item 2a, 2b1, & 2b2: Agency Space Files
GRS 11, item 3: Directory Service Files
GRS 11, item 5: Building and Equipment Service Files
GRS 15, item 2a & 2b: Housing Maintenance and Repair Files
GRS 15, item 3: Housing Management Files
GRS 15, item 4: Housing Lease Files
GRS 15, item 5a & 5b: Housing Assignment and Vacancy Card Files
GRS 15, item 6: Housing Inventory Files
GRS 15, item 7a & 7b: Housing Application Files
GRS 17, item 3: Architectural Drawings of Temporary Structure and Buildings or of Buildings Not Critical to the Mission of the Agency
GRS 17, item 4: Drawings of Electrical, Plumbing, Heating, or Air Conditioning Systems
GRS 17, item 6: Space Assignment Plans
GRS 17, item 8: Engineering Drawings of Routine Minor Parts
GRS 17, item 9: Drawings Reflecting Minor Modifications
GRS 17, item 10: Paint Plans and Samples

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Facilities management files (presumably an expansion of what already exists?)

1.6. Communication
Communication involves functions related to administration of services used to send and receive information in the course of conducting business such as managing use of messenger services, telecommunications, and postal/mail services. Note: This category does not include the actual communications themselves.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 12, item 1: Messenger Service Files
GRS 12, item 2a-e: Communication General Files
GRS 12, item 3a & 3b: Telecommunications Operational Files
GRS 12, item 4: Telephone Use (Call Detail) Records
GRS 12, item 5a-c: Post Office and Private Mail Company Records
GRS 12, item 6a-h: Mail and Delivery Service Control Files
GRS 12, item 7: Metered Mail Files
GRS 12, item 8: Postal Irregularities Files

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Electronic mobile device records (e.g., texting, IM, etc.)

1.7. Security
Security involves the physical protection of an organization’s personnel, assets, and facilities (including security clearance management). Note: Activities related to securing data and information systems are addressed under the “Information Systems Security” Sub-function.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 11, items 4a & 4b: Credentials Files
GRS 18, item 9: Survey and Inspection Files (Government-owned facilities)
GRS 18, item 10: Survey and Inspection Files (privately owned facilities)
GRS 18, item 11: Investigative Files
GRS 18, item 12: Property Pass Files
GRS 18, items 13a & 13b: Guard Assignment Files
GRS 18, items 14a-c: Police Functions Files
GRS 18, items 15a & 15b: Personal Property Accountability Files
GRS 18, items 16a & 16b: Key Accountability Files
GRS 18, items 17a & 17b: Visitor Control Files
GRS 18, items 18a & 18b: Facilities Checks Files
GRS 18, items 19a-d: Guard Service Control Files
GRS 18, items 20a & 20b: Logs and Registers (Guards)
GRS 18, item 21: Security Clearance Administrative Subject Files
GRS 18, items 22a-c: Personnel Security Clearance Files
GRS 18, item 23: Personnel Security Clearance Status Files
GRS 18, items 24a & 24b: Security Violations Files
GRS 21, item 2: Personnel Identification photographs (Still photography)
GRS 21, item 11: Routine Surveillance Footage (Motion Pictures)
GRS 21, item 18: Routine Surveillance Recordings (Video Recordings)

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Investigations

1.8. Workplace Policy
Workplace Policy includes all activities required to develop and disseminate workplace policies such as dress codes, time reporting requirements, telecommuting, etc.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 16, items 1a & 1b: Administrative Issuances

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Telework/Alternative Work Site program records

1.9. Administrative Controls and Oversight
Administrative Controls and Oversight relates to ensuring that internal operations and programs comply with applicable laws and regulations and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse, as well as the agency’s procedures and plans. Functions include program evaluation (analysis of internal and external program effectiveness and the determination of corrective actions as appropriate), program monitoring (data gathering activities required to determine the effectiveness of internal and external programs and the extent to which they comply with related laws, regulations, and policies), and corrective action (the enforcement of activities to remedy internal or external programs that have been found noncompliant with a given law, regulation, or policy). NOTE: This does not include agency activities related to external control and oversight. Those activities are generally specific to an agency’s mission and should be scheduled by the agency.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 16, Items 14a-f: Management Control Records
GRS 27, Item 4: Legal and Regulatory Compliance Records

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Inspector General Records

1.10. Help Desk Services (New)
Help Desk Services involves the management of a service center to respond to government and contract employees' technical and administrative questions. (Not including IT Help Desk Services, which is found under Information Technology Management).

2. Budget & Finance
Budget and Finance covers all aspects of financial management: planning, requesting and implementing a budget, paying bills and obligations, collecting debts, and accounting for all financial interactions to enable audit.

2.1. Budgeting
Budgeting is composed of planning (determining priorities for future spending and forecasting future funding and expenditures) and execution (distribution of budget authority to achieve results consistent with the formulated budget).

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 5, item 2: Budget Background Records
GRS 5, items 3a & 3b: Budget Reports Files
GRS 5, item 4: Budget Apportionment Files

2.2. Payments
Payments include disbursement to vendors for goods and services, and distribution of entitlements, benefits, grants, subsidies, loans, or claims.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 6, item 7: Gasoline Sales Tickets
GRS 6, items 10a, 10b1, 10b2a-b, 10b3, & 10c: Administrative Claims Files [Claims against government]
GRS 6, items 11a & 11b: Waiver of Claims Files [Claims against government]
GRS 6, item 8: Telephone Toll Tickets
GRS 6, item 9: Telegrams

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • IMPAC (credit cards)?

2.3. Collections
Collection includes the collection of Government income from all sources (excluding taxation).

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 6, items 10a, 10b1, 10b2a-b, 10b3, & 10c: Administrative Claims Files [Claims by government]
GRS 6, items 11a & 11b: Waiver of Claims Files [Claims by government]

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • User Fees
  • Debt collection

2.4. Accounting
Accounting is the process of monitoring financial assets and liabilities, recording and reporting both income from all sources and expenses to all payees to enable audit.  Federal accounting standards and requirements are set by the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, the General Accountability Office, and the Office of Management and Budget.  Accounting also includes accumulating and analyzing cost information to assist in establishing an agency’s strategic goals and safeguarding resources to meet objectives.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 6, items 1a & 1b: Accountable Officers' Files
GRS 6, item 2: GAO Exceptions Files
GRS 6, items 3a & 3b: Certificates Settlement Files
GRS 6, item 4: General Fund Files
GRS 6, items 5a & 5b: Accounting Administrative Files
GRS 7, item 1: Expenditures Accounting General Correspondence and Subject Files
GRS 7, item 2: General Accounting Ledgers
GRS 7, item 3: Appropriation Allotment Files
GRS 7, items 4a & 4b: Expenditure Accounting Posting and Control Files
GRS 8, item 1: Plant, Cost, and Stores General Correspondence Files
GRS 8, item 2: Stores Invoice Files
GRS 8, item 3: Stores Accounting Files
GRS 8, item 4: Stores Accounting Background Files
GRS 8, item 5: Plant Accounting Files
GRS 8, items 6a & 6b: Cost Accounting Reports
GRS 8, items 7a & 7b1-3: Cost Report Data Files
GRS 9, items 1a-e: Commercial Freight and Passenger Transportation Files
GRS 9, item 2: Lost or Damaged Shipment Files
GRS 13, items 5a & 5b: Joint Committee on Printing (JCP) Reports Files

2.5. Travel
Travel involves the activities associated with planning, preparing, and monitoring of business related travel for an organization’s employees.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 9, items 3a & 3b: Noncommerical, Reimbursable Travel Files
GRS 9, items 4a & 4b: General Travel and Transportation Files

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • GovTrip

2.6. Grants
Grants involves the disbursement of funds to a nonfederal entity to help fund projects or activities. This includes the processes associated with grant administration, including the publication of funds availability notices, development of the grant application guidance, determination of grantee eligibility, coordination of the peer review/evaluation process for competitive grants, the transfer of funds, and the monitoring/oversight as appropriate. Grants management may also include the allocation of money to states or their subdivisions as formula grants or earmarked grants or the funding, of project/competitive grants such as fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 3, item 13: Unsuccessful Grant Application Files
GRS 3, item 14: Grant Administrative Files

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Pre- and post-award grant administration systems

3. Human Resources Management
Human Resource Management involves all activities associated with the recruitment and management of personnel.

3.1. Human Resource Strategy
HR Strategy develops effective human capital management strategies to ensure federal organizations are able to recruit, select, develop, train, and manage a high-quality, productive workforce in accordance with merit system principles. This sub-function includes: conducting both internal and external environmental scans; developing human resources and human capital strategies and plans; establishing human resources policy and practices; managing current and future workforce competencies; developing workforce plans; developing succession plans; managing the human resources budget; providing human resources and human capital consultative support; and measuring and improving human resources performance.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 1, item 16: Personnel Operations statistical reports

3.2. Staff Acquisition
Staff Acquisition establishes procedures for recruiting and selecting high-quality, productive employees with the right skills and competencies, in accordance with merit system principles. This sub-function includes: developing a staffing strategy and plan; establishing an applicant evaluation approach; announcing the vacancy, sourcing and evaluating candidates against the competency requirements for the position; initiating pre-employment activities; and hiring employees. This function also includes the design, development, and implementation of organizational and position structures.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 1, items 4a & 4b1-3: Offers of Employment Files
GRS 1, item 5: Certificate of eligibles Files
GRS 1, items 7a1, 7a2a-b, 7b, 7c1-2, & 7d1-2: Position Classification Files
GRS 1, item 8: Interview Records
GRS 1, item 10b: Temporary individual employee records – INS form I-9
GRS 1, items 33a-t: Examining and Certification Records

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Employment interview records (specifically including interview records for applicants that are not hired)

3.3. General Employee Management
General Employee Management involves functions related to day-to-day management of employees as well as management of employees throughout the course of their career after hiring and prior to separation.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 1, items 1a & 1b: OPFs
GRS 1, item 6: Employee record cards
GRS 1, item 10a: Temporary individual employee records – Left side of OPF
GRS 1, items 14a & 14b: Notifications of Personnel Actions
GRS 1, items 17a-c (subitems): Correspondence and Forms
GRS 1, items 18a & 18b: Supervisors' Personnel Files and Duplicate OPF Documentation
GRS 1, items 42a-c: Alternative Worksite Records
GRS 9, items 5a-c: Records Relating to Official Passports
GRS 21, item 2: Passport Photographs (Still Photography)

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • In house TDYs

3.4. Compensation & Benefits
Compensation and Benefits Management designs, develops, and implements compensation programs that attract, retain, support and fairly compensate agency employees. This sub-function includes: developing and implementing compensation programs; administering bonus and monetary awards programs; administering pay changes; managing time, attendance, leave and pay; and managing payroll, establishing and communicating benefits programs; processing benefits actions; and interacting as necessary with third party benefits providers.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 1, item 12a1-2 & 12b-d: Employee Awards Files
GRS 1, item 13: Incentive awards
GRS 1, items 35a & 35b1-2: Denied health benefits request under spouse equity
GRS 1, item 37: Donated Leave Program Case Files
GRS 1, item38: Wage Survey Files
GRS 1, item 41: Pay comparability records
GRS 2, items 1a & 1b: Individual Employee Pay Record
GRS 2, item 2: Noncurrent Payroll Files
GRS 2, items 6a & 6b: Leave Application Files
GRS 2, item 7: Time and Attendance Source Records
GRS 2, item 8: Time and Attendance Input Records
GRS 2, items 9a & 9b: Leave Record
GRS 2, items 13a-c: Tax Files
GRS 2, items 14a-c: Savings Bond Purchase Files
GRS 2, items 15a & 15b: Combined Federal Campaign and Other Allotment Authorizations
GRS 2, item 16: Thrift Savings Plan Election Form
GRS 2, item 17: Direct Deposit Sign-up Form
GRS 2, item 18: Levy and Garnishment Files
GRS 2, items 22a-c: Payroll System Reports
GRS 2, items 23a & 23b: Payroll Change Files
GRS 2, item 28: Retirement Files
GRS 9, item 7: Federal Employee Transportation Subsidy Records

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – Leave Records

3.5. Employee Relations
Employee Relations involves two primary functions. First, it involves the design, development, and implementation of programs that strive to maintain an effective employer-employee relationship that balances the agency’s needs against its employees’ rights. This sub-function includes: addressing employee misconduct; addressing employee performance problems; managing administrative grievances; providing employee accommodation; administering employees assistance programs; participating in administrative third party proceedings; and determining candidate and applicant suitability. Secondly, it includes activities related to employee performance management, which involve design, development and implementation of a comprehensive performance management strategy that enables managers to make distinctions in performance and links individual performance to agency goal and mission accomplishment. This sub-function also includes managing employee performance at the individual level and evaluating the overall effectiveness of the agency’s employee development approach.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 1, item 9: Performance Rating Board Case Files
GRS 1, items 23a (subitems) & 23b (subitems): Employee Performance File System Records  
GRS 1, items 24a-d: Reasonable Accommodation Request Records
GRS 1, items 25a-h (subitems): EEO Records
GRS 1, items 26a & 26b: Personnel Counseling Records
GRS 1, items 30a & 30b: Administrative Grievance, Disciplinary & Adverse Action Files
GRS 1, item 32: Merit Promotion Case Files
GRS 1, item 40: Handicapped Individuals Appointment Case Files

3.6. Separation Management
Separation Management conducts efficient and effective employee separation programs that assist employees in transitioning to non-Federal employment and assists employees in transitioning to retirement.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 1, item 39: Retirement Assistance Files

3.7. Employee Training
Employee Training designs, develops, and implements a comprehensive employee development approach to ensure that agency employees have the right competencies and skills for current and future work assignments. This sub-function includes conducting employee training needs assessments; designing employee training programs; administering and delivering employee training programs; and evaluating the overall effectiveness of the agency’s employee training approach.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 1, item 29a1-2 & 29b: Training Records
GRS 21, item 3: Internal Personnel and Administrative Training Filmstrips and Slides of Programs that do not reflect the Mission of the Agency
GRS 21, item 9: Films Acquired from Outside Sources for Personnel and Management Training (Motion Pictures)
GRS 21, item 14: Programs Acquired from Outside Sources for Personnel and Management Training (Video Recordings)
GRS 21, item 17: Internal Personnel and Administrative Training Programs that do not Reflect the Mission of the Agency (Video Recordings)

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Learning Management Systems
  • Training materials
  • Training files not created by offices where training is the main function
  • Career Advancement and Intern Work Program

3.8. Employee Health and Safety
Employee Health and Safety involves activities related to maintaining the health and safety of employees in the workplace. This sub-function includes activities related to health units, personal and occupational injury, workplace drug testing, etc.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 1, item 19: Non-occupational health records
GRS 1, items 20a & 20b: Health Unit Control Files
GRS 1, items 21a1-2 & 21b-c: Employee Medical Folder (EMF)
GRS 1, item 22: Statistical summaries re: health
GRS 1, item 31: Personal Injury Files
GRS 1, item 34: Occupational Injury/Illness Files
GRS 1, items 36a-c, 36d1-2, 36e1a-b, & 36e2: Federal Workplace Drug Testing Program Files

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Health and Safety records (see OSHA standards web page that lists 10 most common standards with appropriate records retentions)
  • Hazardous materials records

3.9. Employee Ethics
Employee Ethics includes activities of executive branch agency ethics program offices and provides disposition for financial disclosure reports; ethics agreements; outside employment and activity records; referrals of violations of criminal conflict of interest statutes; ethics determination, advice, consultation, and training records; and other commonly held ethics program records.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 25, items 1a & 1b: Ethics Program Implementation, Interpretation, Counseling and Development Files
GRS 25, items 2a-c (subitems): Financial Disclosures Reporting Files
GRS 25, item 3: Ethics Agreement Records
GRS 25, item 4: Referrals and Notifications of Violations of Criminal Conflict of Interest Statutes and Other Potential Violations Files
GRS 25, items 5a & 5b: Non-Federally Funded Travel
GRS 25, items 6a & 6b: Ethics Program Review Files
GRS 25, items 7a & 7b: Annual Agency Program Questionnaire Files
GRS 25, items 8a & 8b: Ethics Program Employee Training and Education Files
GRS 25, item 9: Ethics Program Procedures Files

3.10. Labor Relations
Labor Relations manages the relationship between the agency and its unions and bargaining units. This includes negotiating and administering labor contracts and collective bargaining agreements; managing negotiated grievances; and participating in negotiated third party proceedings.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 1, items 27a & 27b: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Files
GRS 1, item 28a1-2 & 28b: Labor Management Relations Records

4. Information and Technology Management
Information and Technology Management involves the coordination of information and technology resources and systems required to support or provide a service.

4.1. System Development (New)
System Development supports all activities associated with the in-house design and development of software applications and involves the processes that facilitate a smooth evolution, composition, and workforce transition of the design and implementation of changes to agency resources such as assets, methodologies, systems, or procedures.

4.2. IT Infrastructure & System Maintenance
IT Infrastructure and System Maintenance involves the planning, design, and maintenance of an agency’s IT Infrastructure and any in-house designed software applications.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 20, items 1a: Files/Records Relating to the Creation, Use, and Maintenance of Computer Systems, Applications, or Electronic Records—Records created to test system performance
GRS 24, item 1a: Oversight and Compliance Files - Performance measurements and benchmarks
GRS 24, item 1b: Oversight and Compliance Files - All other Oversite and compliance records
GRS 24, item 2: IT Facility, Site Management and Equipment Support Services Records
GRS 24, items 3a & 3b1-2: IT Asset and Configuration Management Files
GRS 24, items 8a-c: IT Operations Records
GRS 24, items 9a-c: Financing of IT Resources and Services
GRS 24, items 11a-c: IT Infrastructure Design and Implementation Files

4.3. Information Systems Security
Information Systems Security involves all functions pertaining to the protection of federal information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruptions, modification, or destruction, as well as the creation and implementation of security policies, procedures and controls.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 18, item 2: Document Receipt Files (Classified)
GRS 18, item 3: Destruction Certificates Files (Classified)
GRS 18, item 4: Classified Document Inventory Files
GRS 18, items 5a & 5b: Top Secret Accounting and Control Files
GRS 18, item 6: Access Request Files (Classified)
GRS 18, items 7a & 7b: Classified Document Container Security Files
GRS 18, items 25a & 25b: Classified Information Nondisclosure
GRS 20, items 1c: Files/Records Relating to the Creation, Use, and Maintenance of Computer Systems, Applications, or Electronic Records—Records created to monitor system usage
GRS 20, items 8a & 8b: Backups of Files
GRS 24, items 4a1-2 & 4b: System Backups and Tape Library Records
GRS 24, items 5a & 5b: Files Related to Maintaining the Security of Systems and Data
GRS 24, items 6a & 6b: User Identification, Profiles, Authorizations, and Password Files
GRS 24, item 7: Computer Security Incident Handling, Reporting, and Follow-up Records
GRS 24, items 13a1-2 & 13: PKI Records

4.4. IT Help Desk Services
IT Help Desk Services involves the management of a service center to respond to internal questions and issues about IT infrastructure and system usage.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 24, 10a & 10b: IT Customer Service Files

4.5. Records & Information Management
Records and Information Management involves operations relating to the management of the official documents and records for an agency and the coordination of information collection, storage, and dissemination, and destruction. It also includes managing the policies, guidelines, and standards regarding information management.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 14, items 11a1, 11a2a, 11a3a & 11b: FOIA Requests Files
GRS 14, items 12a & 12b: FOIA Appeals Files
GRS 14, items 13a & 13b: FOIA Control Files
GRS 14, item 14: FOIA Reports Files
GRS 14, item 15: FOIA Administrative Files
GRS 14, items 21a1, 21a2a, 21a3a & 21b: Privacy Act Requests Files
GRS 14, items 22a-c: Privacy Act Amendment Case Files
GRS 14, item 23: Privacy Act Accounting of Disclosure Files
GRS 14, items 24a & 24b: Privacy Act Control Files
GRS 14, item 25: Privacy Act Reports Files
GRS 14: item 26: Privacy Act General Administrative Files
GRS 14, items 31a (subitems) & 31b-c: Mandatory Review For Declassification Requests Files
GRS 14, items 32a & 32b: Mandatory Review for Declassification Appeals Files
GRS 14, items 33a & 33b: Mandatory Review for Declassification Control Files
GRS 14, item 34: Mandatory Review for Declassification Reports Files
GRS 14, item 35: Mandatory Review for Declassification Administrative Files
GRS 14, item 36a & 36b: Erroneous Release Files
GRS 16, items 2a1-2 & 2b: Records Disposition Files
GRS 16, items 3a & 3b: Forms Files
GRS 16, items 4a & 4b: Records Holdings Files
GRS 16, item 5: Project Control Files
GRS 16, item 6: Reports Control Files
GRS 16, item 7: Records Management Files
GRS 16, item 9: Feasibility Studies
GRS 16, items 10a & 10b: Microfilm Inspection Records
GRS 16, item 11: IRM Triennial Review Files
GRS 16, item 12: Information Collection Budget Files
GRS 20, item 9: Finding Aids (or Indexes)
GRS 21, item 28: Production Files or Similar Files that Document Origin, Development, Acquisition, Use and Ownership of Temporary Audiovisual Records
GRS 21, item 29: Finding Aids for Identification, Retrieval, or Use of Temporary Audiovisual Records
GRS 23, item 8: Tracking and Control Records
GRS 23, item 9: Finding Aids or Indexes
GRS 27, item 5: CIO Committee Records
GRS 27, item 6: CIO Subject and Office Records

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Information sharing?
  • Library administrative records
  • Records Management program records

4.6. Records Related to Electronic Systems
Records related to electronic systems provides disposal authorization for certain electronic records and for specified paper, microform, or other hard copy records that are integrally related to electronic systems.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 20, items 1b: Files/Records Relating to the Creation, Use, and Maintenance of Computer Systems, Applications, or Electronic Records—Input/source records
GRS 20, items 2a1-4 & 2b-c: Input/Source Records
GRS 20, items 3a & 3b1-4: Electronic Versions of Records Scheduled for Disposal
GRS 20, item 4: Data Files Consisting of Summarized Information
GRS 20, item 6: Records Consisting of Extracted Information
GRS 20, item 6: Print File
GRS 20, item 7: Technical Reformat File
GRS 20, items 11a1 & 11a2a: Documentation
GRS 20, items 12a-c: Downloaded and Copied Data
GRS 20, item 13: Word Processing Files
GRS 20, item 14: Electronic Mail Records
GRS 20, item 15a & 15b: Electronic Spreadsheets
GRS 20, item 16: Hard Copy Printouts Created to Meet Ad Hoc Business Needs

5. Executive Leadership (New)
Executive Leadership includes certain common records created or maintained by high-level officials and their offices.

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Speeches
  • Calendars
  • Correspondence (including e-mail)

6. Planning & Policy
Planning and policy involves the planning related activities such as determining strategic direction, identifying and establishing programs and processes, and allocating resources (capital and labor) among those programs and processes and activities associated with developing regulations, policies, and guidance.

6.1. Agency Planning
Strategic Planning includes the high-level programmatic planning processes such as capital, strategic, enterprise architecture, and workforce planning, and management improvement.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 27, item 3: Information Technology Capital Investment Records
GRS 27, item 2: Enterprise Architecture Records

6.2. Emergency Planning
Emergency Planning/Continuity of Operations involves activities related to the processes of planning, responding to, and mitigating damaging events. It also involves activities associated with the identification of critical systems and processes, and the planning and preparation required to ensure that these systems and processes will be available in the event of a catastrophic event (known as Continuity of Operations planning, of COOP).

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 18, Item 27: Emergency Planning Case Files
GRS 18, Item 28: Emergency Operations Test Files
GRS 18, Item 29a and 29b: National Defense Executive Reserve (NDER) Case Files

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • COOP

6.3. Policy and Guidance Development (New)
Policy and Guidance Development involves activities associated with developing regulations, policies, and guidance to implement laws.

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Public comments and tracking

6.4. Regulatory Creation & Publication (New)
Regulatory creation and publication involves the activities of researching, drafting proposed and final regulations, and the publication of a proposed or final rule in the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations.

7. General Counsel (New)
General Counsel includes sub-functions (to be determined) related to operations in agency General Counsel offices.

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Litigation activities

8. Legislative and Congressional Relations
Legislative Relations involves activities aimed at the development, tracking, and amendment of public laws through the legislative branch of the federal government.

8.1. Congressional Liaison Operations (New)
Congressional Liaison Operations involves all activities associated with supporting the formal relationship between a federal agency and the U.S. Congress.

8.2. Legislation Development
Legislation development involves drafting proposed legislation that creates or amends laws subject to Congressional action, including tracking and monitoring legislation from introduction to enactment.

8.3. Legislation Testimony
Legislation Testimony involves activities associated with providing testimony/evidence in support of, or opposition to, legislation.

9. Public Affairs
Public Affairs involves the exchange of information and communication between the federal government, citizens and stakeholders in direct support of citizen services, public policy, and/or national interest.

9.1. Official Information Dissemination
Official Information Dissemination includes all efforts to provide official government information to external stakeholders through the use of various types of media, such as video, paper, web, etc.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 13, item 2a & 2b: Project Files
GRS 13, item 3: Control Files
GRS 13, item 4a & 4b: Mailing Lists
GRS 14, item 1: Information Requests Files
GRS 14, item 2: Acknowledgment Files
GRS 14, item 3: Press Service Files
GRS 14, item 4: Information Project Files
GRS 16, Item 13a & 13b: Documents Published in the Federal Register

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Conferences?

9.2. Public Relations/Customer Service
Public Relations/Customer Service involves the efforts to promote an organization’s image through the effective handling of citizen concerns, support of activities associated with providing an agency’s external customers with information regarding the agency’s service offerings and managing the interactions and relationships with those customers, and marketing of government services products, and programs to the general public in an attempt to promote awareness and increase the number of customers/beneficiaries of those services and programs.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 14, item 5: Commendation/Complaint Correspondence Files
GRS 14, item 6: Indexes and Check Lists
GRS 21, item 26: Daily or Spot News Recordings Available to Local Radio Stations on a Call-in Basis (Audio/Sound Recordings)

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Customer feedback
  • Fundraising/development files

10. Knowledge Creation & Management
Knowledge Creation and Management involves the programs and activities in which the federal government creates or develops a body or set of knowledge, the manipulation and analysis of which can provide inherent benefits for both the federal and private sector.

10.1 Research and Development (New)
Research and Development involves the gathering and analysis of data, dissemination of results, and development of new products, methodologies, and ideas.

10.2 General Purpose Data and Statistics (New)
General Purpose Data and Statistics includes activities performed in providing empirical, numerical, and related data and information pertaining to the current state of the nation in areas such as the economy, labor, weather, international trade, etc.

10.3 Knowledge Dissemination
Knowledge Dissemination addresses instances where the primary method used in delivering a service is through the publishing or broadcasting of information. This sub-function may also include the gathering of information for possible publication or broadcast, such as taking photos of agency events.

Existing GRS Items:
GRS 21, item 1: Activities not Related to the Mission of the Agency (Still Photography)
GRS 21, item 5: Viewgraphs
GRS 21, item 6: Routine Artwork for Handbills, Flyers, Posters, Letterhead, and Other Graphics
GRS 21, item 7: Line and Halftone Negatives, Screened Paper Prints and Offset Lithographic Plates Used for Photomechanical Reproduction
GRS 21, item 8: Line Copies of Graphs and Charts
GRS 21, item 12: Routine Scientific, Medical, or Engineering Footage (Motion Pictures)
GRS 21, item 16: Rehearsal or Practice Tapes (Video Recordings)
GRS 21, item 19: Routine Scientific, Medical, or Engineering Recordings (Video Recordings)
GRS 21, item 24: Premix Sound Elements Created During the Course of a Motion Picture, Television, or Radio Production (Audio/Sound Recordings)

Additional Records/Functions to Consider Adding:

  • Publications
  • Web sites/social media
  • Permanent photographs?

11. Temporary Commissions, Boards, Councils and Committees
This section covers records created and maintained by temporary commissions, boards, councils and committees (including continuing entities governed by renewable charters such as agency advisory committees).

Existing GRS Items:

GRS 26, item 1a: Internal Agency Committees
GRS 26, items 2a-b & 2c1-3: Records Created by Advisory Commissions
GRS 26, item 3: Committee Records Not Maintained by the Sponsor
GRS 26, item 4: Committee Management Records

12. Regulatory Compliance & Enforcement (New)
Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement involves the direct monitoring and oversight of a specific individual, group, industry, or community participating in a regulated activity via market mechanisms, command and control features, or other means to control or govern conduct or behavior.

12.1 Inspections and Auditing (New)
Inspections & Auditing involves the methodical examination and review of regulated activities to ensure compliance with standards for regulated activity.

12.2 Standard Setting/Reporting Guideline Development (New)
Standard Setting / Reporting Guideline Development involves the establishment of allowable limits associated with a regulated activity and the development of reporting requirements necessary to monitor and control compliance with allowable limits. This includes the development of requirements for product sampling and testing, emissions monitoring and control, incident reporting, financial filings, etc.

12.3 Permits and Licensing
Permits and Licensing involves activities associated with granting, revoking, and the overall management of the documented authority necessary to perform a regulated task or function.

Top of Page

Records Managers >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.