Records Managers

Disposition of Federal Records: A Records Management Handbook



2000 Web Edition (of 1997 printed publication)

Disposition of Federal Records - Chapter VII

Figure 7-1. Disposition Program Evaluation Guidelines
  • Does the agency have specific recordkeeping requirements for all agency activities at all levels and locations and for all record media?

  • Does the agency have a current disposition handbook, manual, or other directive that sets forth its records disposition policies and procedures?

    • Are these policies and procedures consistent with current NARA regulations and guidance?
    • Does the directive define records, nonrecord materials, and personal papers and provide general instructions regarding their disposition?
    • Does it contain the agency records schedule? If not, how is the schedule issued?
    • Does the directive explain how to transfer eligible records to an agency records storage facility and the Federal records centers?
  • Does the agency records schedule cover all recorded information regardless of medium (e.g., paper, electronic, audiovisual, and microform), and does it cover all agency functions or activities?
  • Is the disposition authority of each record series or system in the agency schedule based on the General Records Schedules or a NARA-approved SF 115?
  • When proposing records as permanent on an SF 115, does the agency follow NARA's permanent records appraisal guidelines found in the Disposition of Federal Records handbook?
  • Do SF 115's proposing records as permanent include arrangement statements, volume on hand, annual accumulations, cutoff and blocking instructions, and transfer dates to the National Archives?
  • Is an SF 115 submitted to NARA when the agency proposes to convert permanent and unscheduled records to microfilm; and, if so, does it include the certification statement and other information required by 36 CFR 1230?
  • How are SF 115's cleared internally before the agency submits them to NARA? Do program officials review those parts of the schedule relating to their office or function? Does the general counsel review all or particular schedules before their submission? Is the agency historian consulted regarding records proposed as permanent?
  • Does the agency send to the General Accounting Office for concurrence only those SF 115 items required by Title 8 of the GAO Policy and Procedures Manual for the Guidance of Federal Agencies?
  • Does the agency review and, if necessary, update its records schedule at least annually and within 6 months of NARA's issuance of new or revised GRS items for which the agency has no exception?
  • Does the records schedule also contain disposition instructions for nonrecord materials?

  • Do file custodians follow approved disposition instructions and take prompt action to cut off files, destroy records whose retention periods have expired, and retire eligible records to a Federal records center or other records storage facility?
  • Does the agency prepare SFs 135 or equivalent form properly? Does it maintain a complete file of such forms for records previously retired to a records storage facility, and does it routinely update the forms for accessions that have been returned to the agency or that have been destroyed or relocated?
  • Do the appropriate agency offices review and take timely action on records center requests, such as Federal NA Form 13000, Agency Review for Contingent Disposal and NA Form 13001, Notice of Intent to Destroy Records, or equivalent notifications from other storage facilities?
  • Does the agency transfer permanent records to the National Archives promptly in accordance with approved schedules? Does it follow NARA regulations and guidance in completing and submitting SF 258’s and in transferring the records?

  • Has the agency instituted safeguards against the unauthorized disposition of Federal records, including their unauthorized destruction or removal; and does it report violations to NARA and take corrective action whenever necessary?
  • Does the agency have a policy covering personal documentary materials? Does it permit creation and removal of extra or convenience copies of documents? Is there any policy with regard to payment for such extra copies? Does the agency have any policy regarding the removal of materials involving confidentiality or privacy? Does the agency have a policy regarding the removal of security-classified documents?
  • Does the agency review the personal documentary materials of all officials at all levels before their departure from the agency?
  • Has the records management staff received records disposition training from NARA, and has internal training been provided for all those responsible for applying records schedules and carrying out other aspects of the disposition program?
  • Does the agency periodically evaluate its records disposition program for compliance with relevant laws and regulations and for effectiveness?

Note: Web version may vary from the printed version.

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