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Records Schedules for Electronic Copies Previously Covered by General Records Schedule 20; Availability and Request for Comments

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).


Notice of availability of proposed records schedules; request for comments.


The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) publishes notice at least once monthly of certain Federal agency requests for records disposition authority (records schedules). Once approved by NARA, records schedules provide mandatory instructions on what happens to records when no longer needed for current Government business. They authorize the preservation of records of continuing value in the National Archives of the United States and the destruction, after a specified period, of records lacking administrative, legal, research, or other value. Notice is published for records schedules in which agencies propose to destroy records not previously authorized for disposal or reduce the retention period of records already authorized for disposal.

This request for comments pertains solely to schedules for electronic copies of records created using word processing and electronic mail where the recordkeeping copies are already scheduled. (Electronic copies are records created using word processing or electronic mail software that remain in storage on the computer system after the recordkeeping copies are produced.)

These records were previously approved for disposal under General Records Schedule 20, Items 13 and 14. The agencies identified in this notice have submitted schedules pursuant to NARA Bulletin 99-04 to obtain separate disposition authority for the electronic copies associated with program records and administrative records not covered by the General Records Schedules. NARA invites public comments on such records schedules, as required by 44 U.S.C. 3303a(a). To facilitate review of these schedules, their availability for comment is announced in Federal Register notices separate from those used for other records disposition schedules.


Requests for copies must be received in writing on or before October 15, 2001. On request, NARA will send a copy of the schedule. NARA staff usually prepare appraisal memorandums concerning a proposed schedule. These, too, may be requested. Requesters will be given 30 days to submit comments.

Some schedules submitted in accordance with NARA Bulletin 99-04 group records by program, function, or organizational element. These schedules do not include descriptions at the file series level, but, instead, provide citations to previously approved schedules or agency records disposition manuals (see Supplementary Information section of this notice). To facilitate review of such disposition requests, previously approved schedules Start Printed Page 45700or manuals that are cited may be requested in addition to schedules for the electronic copies. NARA will provide the first 100 pages at no cost. NARA may charge $.20 per page for additional copies. These materials also may be examined at no cost at the National Archives at College Park (8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD).


To request a copy of any records schedule identified in this notice, write to the Life Cycle Management Division (NWML), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. Requests also may be transmitted by FAX to 301-713-6852 or by e-mail to

Requesters must cite the control number, which appears in parentheses after the name of the agency which submitted the schedule, and must provide a mailing address. Those who desire appraisal reports and/or copies of previously approved schedules or manuals should so indicate in their request.

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Michael Miller, Director, Modern Records Programs (NWM), National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. Telephone: (301) 713-7110; E-mail:

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Each year Federal agencies create billions of records on paper, film, magnetic tape, and other media. To control this accumulation, agency records managers prepare schedules proposing retention periods for records and submit these schedules for NARA approval, using the Standard Form (SF) 115, Request for Records Disposition Authority. These schedules provide for the timely transfer into the National Archives of historically valuable records and authorize the disposal of all other records after the agency no longer needs the records to conduct its business. Routine administrative records common to most agencies are approved for disposal in the General Records Schedules (GRS), which are disposition schedules issued by NARA that apply Government-wide.

On March 25, 1999, the Archivist issued NARA Bulletin 99-04, which told agencies what they must do to schedule electronic copies associated with previously scheduled program records and certain administrative records that were previously scheduled under GRS 20, Items 13 and 14. On December 27, 1999, the Archivist issued NARA Bulletin 2000-02, which suspended Bulletin 99-04 pending NARA's completion in FY 2001 of an overall review of scheduling and appraisal. On completion of this review, which will address all records, including electronic copies, NARA will determine whether Bulletin 99-04 should be revised or replaced with an alternative scheduling procedure. However, NARA will accept and process schedules for electronic copies prepared in accordance with Bulletin 99-04 that are submitted after December 27, 1999, as well as schedules that were submitted prior to this date.

Schedules submitted in accordance with NARA Bulletin 99-04 only cover the electronic copies associated with previously scheduled series. Agencies that wish to schedule hitherto unscheduled series must submit separate SF 115s that cover both recordkeeping copies and electronic copies used to create them.

In developing SF 115s for the electronic copies of scheduled records, agencies may use either of two scheduling models. They may add an appropriate disposition for the electronic copies formerly covered by GRS 20, Items 13 and 14, to every item in their manuals or records schedules where the recordkeeping copy has been created with a word processing or electronic mail application. This approach is described as Model 1 in Bulletin 99-04. Alternatively, agencies may group records by program, function, or organizational component and propose disposition instructions for the electronic copies associated with each grouping. This approach is described as Model 2 in the Bulletin. Schedules that follow Model 2 do not describe records at the series level.

For each schedule covered by this notice the following information is provided: name of the Federal agency and any subdivisions requesting disposition authority; the organizational unit(s) accumulating the records or a statement that the schedule has agency-wide applicability in the case of schedules that cover records that may be accumulated throughout an agency; the control number assigned to each schedule; the total number of schedule items; the number of temporary items (the record series proposed for destruction); a brief description of the temporary electronic copies; and citations to previously approved SF 115s or printed disposition manuals that scheduled the recordkeeping copies associated with the electronic copies covered by the pending schedule. If a cited manual or schedule is available from the Government Printing Office or has been posted to a publicly available Web site, this too is noted.

Further information about the disposition process is available on request.

Schedule Pending

1. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Agency-wide (N9-311-01-1, 56 items, 56 temporary items). Electronic copies of documents created using electronic mail and word processing that relate to such agency programs and activities as office administration, audits and investigations, budgeting, the continuity of Government program, disaster assistance, emergency operations and mobilization programs, the Federal Insurance Administration program, informational services, planning and management, personnel and payroll, procurement, property and space management, radiological defense, records management, telecommunications, temporary housing, and training and education. This schedule follows Model 2 as described in the Supplementary Information section of this notice. Recordkeeping copies of these files are included in the agency's Files Maintenance and Records Disposition manual (FEMA Manual 5400.2).

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Dated: August 21, 2001.

Michael J. Kurtz,

Assistant Archivist for Records Services—Washington, DC.

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[FR Doc. 01-21783 Filed 8-28-01; 8:45 am]