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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

U.S. Geological Survey

General Records Disposition Schedule

Prepared by the Geospatial Information Office

432-1-S1

May 2009

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S.Geological Survey


Foreword and Table of Contents | Record of Posted Changes | Information on Official Records | How to use Records Disposition Schedules | Changes in this Issuance | Chapter 100 | Chapter 200 | Chapter 300 | Chapter 400 | Chapter 500 | Chapter 600 | Chapter 700 | Chapter 800 | Chapter 900 | Chapter 1000 | Chapter 1100 | Chapter 1200 | Chapter 1300 | Appendix 1 | Appendix 2

Chapter 500. Information Services Records

This section provides for the disposal of records relating to informational services performed by the bureau in our day-to-day affairs and in our relations with the public.

Chapter 500 Topics This section provides for the disposition of the following:

501. Electronic Freedom of Information Act (E-FOIA), Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and Privacy Act Files

502. Privacy Act Requests

503. Mandatory Review for Declassification Files

504. Information Quality Records

505. Communications Files


501. E-FOIA, FOIA, and Privacy Act Files include the following records:
501-01 E-FOIA and FOIA Request and Appeals Files - Files created in response to requests for information under FOIA or E-FOIA.
501-02 E-FOIA and FOIA Control Files - Files maintained for control purposes.
501-03 E-FOIA and FOIA Reports and Administrative Files - Reports, correspondence, memoranda, notices, and any related materials showing USGS efforts to be in compliance with E-FOIA and FOIA.


502. Privacy Act Requests include the following records:
502-01 Privacy Act Request Files - Files that respond to individual requests to gain access to information in records pertaining to them.
502-02 Privacy Act Amendment Case Files - Files relating to an individual's request to amend a record pertaining to that individual.
502-03 Privacy Act Accounting of Disclosure Files - Files maintained for an accurate accounting of a disclosure of the record.
502-04 Privacy Act Control Files - Files maintained for control purposes in responding to requests.
502-05 Privacy Act Reports and Administrative Files - Reports, correspondence, memoranda, and other materials relating to the bureau implementation of the Privacy Act.


503. Mandatory Review for Declassification Files include the following records:
503-01 Mandatory Review for Declassification Requests Files - Files created in response to requests for information under the mandatory review provisions of Executive Order 12356.
503-02 Mandatory Review for Declassification Appeals Files - Files created in responding to administrative appeals under the mandatory review provisions of Executive Order 12356.
503-03 Mandatory Review for Declassification Control Files - Files maintained for control purposes in responding to requests.
503-04 Mandatory Review for Declassification Reports and Administrative Files - General records and reports relating to the bureau implementation of the mandatory review provisions.
503-05 Erroneous Release Files - Files relating to the inadvertent release of privileged information to unauthorized parties.


504. Information Quality Records include the following records:
504-01 Records Documenting the Development, Procedures, and the General Administration of the Program - Records include planning and guidance documents, records which document and pertain to the administration of the program.
504-02 Information Quality Reports - Reports concerning information quality activities.
504-03 Complaint Files - Records relating to the adjudication of Section 515 complaints received by the bureau.


505. Communications Files include the following records:
505-01 Communications General Correspondence - Records pertaining to communication topics not otherwise covered in this schedule.
505-02 Presentations and Official Speeches - Paper copies of bureau presentations.
505-03 Communication Administrative Files - Requests for information or bureau documents, copies of replies or referrals, copies of press releases, and commendations and complaints correspondence which involve no administrative actions.
505-04 Communication Project Files - Records and related materials associated with communications projects.
505-05 Public Briefings and Community Relations - Documents associated with bureau briefings of the mission and functions of the USGS, promotion of good relations, and bureau participation within local communities.
505-06 Biographical Records - Current biographical information of bureau employees involved in newsworthy activities.
505-07 Exhibits - Case files and related documentation.
505-08 Weekly Highlights and Other Bureau Summaries of USGS Activities - Copies of bureau inputs and submissions.
505-09 Bureau Clippings Files - Files of articles appearing in commercial publications or magazines on the USGS.
505-10 Visual Identity System - Records relating to USGS visual identity.


What records in this chapter are important or considered permanent USGS records? •   E-FOIA, FOIA, and Privacy Act records that are appealed should be retained until final adjudication by the courts.
•   Official Press Release Files.
•   Presentations and speeches by top-level USGS officials relating to bureau and program activities.
•   Biographical records of Top-level USGS Officials.


What records in this section are considered temporary USGS records? •   E-FOIA, FOIA, and Privacy request records that have not been appealed or repeals that have received final adjudication by the courts.
•   Privacy Act requests, amendments, accountings, control files, reports, and administrative files.
•   Mandatory review for declassification requests, appeals, control files, reports, and administrative files.
•   Erroneous release files.
•   Information Quality files.
•   Communications general correspondence, administrative files, and project files.
•   Press review files.
•   Copies of speeches and presentations.
•   Public briefings and community relations files.
•   Biographical records.
•   Files relating to exhibits.
•   Weekly highlights and other bureau summaries of USGS activities.
•   Clippings and articles of bureau activities.
•   Visual Identity System Files


Questions? Contact the USGS Records Manager or your discipline or regional Records Liaison Officer - http://internal.usgs.gov/gio/irm/fmassis2.html.


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Chapter 500. Information Services Records

501 Electronic Freedom of Information Act (E-FOIA), Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and Privacy Act Files || 502 Privacy Act Requests || 503 Mandatory Review for Declassification Files || 504 Information Quality Records || 505 Communications Files

Item No. Record Item / Description of Records Disposition Instructions Authority
501 Electronic Freedom of Information Act (E-FOIA), Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and Privacy Act Files

501-01 E-FOIA and FOIA Request and Appeals Files. Files created in response to requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or under the Electronic Freedom of Information Act (E-FOIA) consisting of the original request, a copy of the reply, paper copies of the electronic replies, and all related supporting files which may include official file copy of requested record.

501-01a E-FOIA and FOIA Requests Case Files. Case files, containing the request, reply, other correspondence, and supporting documents, arranged by request number. Exclude the official file copy of the records requested if filed under Item 501-01b below.

501-01a(1) Responses. Granting access to all the requested records and responding to requests for non-existent records to requestors who provide inadequate descriptions, and to those who fail to pay bureau reproduction fees and the request is not appealed. Destroy 2 years after date of reply. RCS/Item 501-01a(1) and GRS 14, Item 11a(1) and 11a(2)(a)
501-01a(2) Responses. Responding to requests for non-existent records, to requestors who provide inadequate descriptions, and to those who fail to pay bureau reproduction fees and the request is appealed. Destroy 6 years after final determination by bureau or 3 years after final adjudication by courts, whichever is later. RCS/Item 501-01a(2)(b) and GRS 14, Item 12a
501-01a(3) Denials. Denying access to all or part of the records requested.

501-01a(3)(a) Request not appealed. Destroy 6 years after date of reply. RCS/Item 501-01a(3)(a) and GRS 14, Item 11a(3)(a)
501-01a(3)(b) Request appealed. Destroy 6 years after final determination by bureau or 3 years after final adjudication by courts, whichever is later. RCS/Item 501-01a(3)(b) and GRS 14, Item 12a
501-01b Official File Copy of Requested Records. Dispose of in accordance with approved bureau disposition instructions for the related records, or with the related E-FOIA and FOIA request, whichever is later. RCS/Item 501-01b and GRS 14, Item 11b
501-01c E-FOIA and FOIA Appeals Files. Files created in responding to administrative appeals under the E-FOIA and FOIA for release of information denied by the agency, consisting of the appellant's letter, a copy of the reply, and related supporting documents, which may include the official file copy of records under appeal.

501-01c(1) Correspondence and supporting documents (excluding the file copy of the records under appeal). Destroy 6 years after final determination by bureau, 6 years after the time at which a requester could file suit, or 3 years after final adjudication by the courts, whichever is later. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-01c(1) and GRS 14, Item 12a
501-01c(2) Official file copy of records under appeal. Dispose of in accordance with approved bureau disposition instructions for the related record or with the related E-FOIA and FOIA request, whichever is later. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-01c(2) and GRS 14, Item 12b
501-02 E-FOIA and FOIA Control Files. Files maintained for control purposes in responding to requests, including registers and similar records listing date, nature, and purpose of request and name and address of requestor. Destroy 6 years after date of last entry or after final action or final adjudication, whichever is later. RCS/Item 501-02b and GRS 14, Item 13a and 13b
501-03 E-FOIA and FOIA Reports and Administrative Files. Recurring reports and one-time information requirements relating to the bureau implementation of the E-FOIA and FOIA. Correspondence, memoranda, notices, and any related materials showing USGS efforts to be in compliance with E-FOIA and FOIA. Cutoff at the end of the fiscal year. Destroy when 2 years old. RCS/Item 501-03a and GRS 14 Item 14 and 15

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Item No. Record Item / Description of Records Disposition Instructions Authority
502 Privacy Act Requests.

502-01 Privacy Act Requests Files. Files created in response to requests from individuals to gain access to their records or to any information in the records pertaining to them, as provided for under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(1). Files contain original request, copy of reply, and all related supporting documents, which may include the official file copy of records requested.

502-01a Supporting Documents. Correspondence and supporting documents, excluding the official file copy of the records requested if filed here.

502-01a(1) Responses. Responses for granting access to all the requested records and for requests for non-existent records to requestors who provide inadequate descriptions and to those who fail to pay bureau reproduction fees and request is not appealed. Destroy 2 years after date of reply. RCS/Item 501-04a(1) and GRS 14, Item 21a(1) and 21a(2)(a)
502-01a(2) Responses to Appeals. Responding to requests for non-existent records; to requestors who provide inadequate descriptions; and to those who fail to pay bureau reproduction fees and the request is appealed. Destroy as authorized under Item 502-02. RCS/Item 501-04a(2)(b) and GRS 14, Item 22a
502-01a(3) Denials. Denying access to all or part of the records requested.

502-01a(3)(a) Requests not appealed. Destroy 5 years after date of reply. RCS/Item 501-04a(3)(a) and GRS 14, Item 21a(3)(a)
502-01a(3)(b) Requests appealed. Destroy as authorized under Item 502-02. RCS/Item 501-04a(3)(b) and GRS 14, Item 22c
502-01b Official File Copy of Requested Records. Dispose of in accordance with approved bureau disposition instructions for the related records, or with the related Privacy Act request, whichever is later. RCS/Item 501-04b and GRS 14, Item 21b
502-02 Privacy Act Amendment Case Files. Files relating to an individual's request to amend a record pertaining to that individual either agreed to by the bureau or refused by the bureau as provided for under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(2) and 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(3). Includes individual's requests to amend and/or review refusal to amend, justification for refusal to amend a record, appealed requests, and records from any civil action brought by the individual against the bureau as provided under 5 U.S.C. 552a(g). Dispose of in accordance with the approved disposition instructions for the related subject individual's record or 4 years after final determination by the bureau, or 3 years after final adjudication by the courts, whichever is later. RCS/Item 501-05b and GRS 14, Item 22a, 22b, and 22c
502-03 Privacy Act Accounting of Disclosure Files. Files maintained under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c) for an accurate accounting of the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure of a record to any person or to another agency, including forms for showing the subject individual's name, requestor's name and address, purpose and date of disclosure, and proof of subject individual's consent when applicable. Dispose of in accordance with the approved disposition instructions for the related subject individual's records or 5 years after the disclosure for which the accountability was made, whichever is later. RCS/Item 501-06 and GRS 14, Item 23
502-04 Privacy Act Control Files. Files maintained for control purposes in responding to requests, including registers and similar records listing date, nature of request, and name and address of requestor. Destroy 5 years after date of last entry, after final action by the bureau, or final adjudication by courts, whichever is later. RCS/Item 501-07b and GRS 14, Item 24a and 24b
502-05 Privacy Act Reports and Administrative Files. Recurring reports and one-time information requirement relating to bureau implementation, including submission to the Department of the Interior for biennial reports to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Report on New Systems at all levels. Records relating to the general bureau implementation of the Privacy Act, including notices, memoranda, routine correspondence, and any related records. Cutoff at the end of the fiscal year. Destroy when 2 years old. RCS/Item 501-08 and GRS 14, Item 25 and 26

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Item No. Record Item / Description of Records Disposition Instructions Authority
503 Mandatory Review for Declassification Files.

503-01 Mandatory Review for Declassification Requests Files. Files created in response to requests for information under the mandatory review provisions of Executive Order 12356 consisting of the original request, a copy of the reply thereto, and all related supporting files, which may include the official file copy of requested records.

503-01a Correspondence and Supporting Documents. Granting access and responses to requests for non-existent records to requestors who provide inadequate descriptions and to those who fail to pay agency reproduction fees and the request is not appealed (excluding the official file copy of the records, and sanitizing instructions, if applicable). Destroy 2 years after date of reply. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-10a(2)(a) and GRS 14, Item 31a(1) and 31a(2)(a)
503-01b Responses to Appeals. Responding to requests for non-existent records, to requestor's who provide inadequate descriptions, and to those who fail to pay agency reproduction fees and request is appealed. Destroy as authorized under Item 503-02. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-10a(2)(b) and GRS 14, Item 32a
503-01c Denials. Denying access to all or part of the records requested.

503-01c(1) Request not appealed. Destroy 5 years after date of reply. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-10a(3)(a) and GRS 14, Item 31a(3)(a)
503-01c(2) Request appealed. Destroy as authorized under Item 503-02. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-10a(3)(b) and GRS 14, Item 32a
503-01d Official File Copy of Requested Records. Dispose of in accordance with approved disposition instructions for the related records or with the related mandatory review request, whichever is sooner. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-10b and GRS 14, Item 31b
503-01e Sanitizing Instructions. Destroy when superseded or when requested documents are declassified or destroyed. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-10c and GRS 14, Item 31c
503-02 Mandatory Review for Declassification Appeals Files. Files created in responding to administrative appeals under the mandatory review provisions of Executive Order 12356 and its predecessors for release of information denied by the agency. Files consist of the appellant's letter, a copy of the reply, and related supporting documents, which may include the official file copy of records under appeal.

503-02a Correspondence and supporting documents (excluding the official file copy of the records under appeal). Destroy 4 years after final determination by agency. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-11a and GRS 14, Item 32a
503-02b Official File Copy of Records under Appeal. Dispose of in accordance with approved disposition instructions for the related records or with the related mandatory review request, whichever is later. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-11b and GRS 14, Item 32b
503-03 Mandatory Review for Declassification Control Files. Files maintained for control purposes in responding to requests, including registers and similar records listing nature, purpose of request, and name and address of requestor. Destroy 5 years after date of last entry or after final action by the bureau. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-12b and GRS 14, Item 33a and 33b
503-04 Mandatory Review for Declassification Reports and Administrative Files. Records, including notices, memoranda, correspondence, and related records and reports relating to bureau implementation of the mandatory review provisions of the current Executive Order on classified national security information, including annual reports submitted to the Information Security Oversight Office. Cutoff at the end of the fiscal year. Destroy when 2 years old. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-13 and GRS 14, Item 34 and 35
503-05 Erroneous Release Files. Files relating to the inadvertent release of privileged information to unauthorized parties, containing information whose disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Files contain requests for information, copies of replies, and all related supporting documents and may include the official copy of records requested. Follow the disposition instructions approved for the released official file copy or destroy 6 years after the erroneous release, whichever is later. N1-57-02-03, Item 501-15a and GRS 14, Item 36a and b

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Item No. Record Item / Description of Records Disposition Instructions Authority
504 Information Quality Records. Files maintained under the provisions of Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001, Public Law 106-554, which requires Federal agencies to issue procedures to ensure and maximize the quality, utility, objectivity, and integrity of government information disseminated to the public.

Also, includes records related to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review which is aimed at enhancing the practice of peer review of Federal Government science documents and requires that Federal agencies publicly post on the Web an agenda of peer review plans for influential scientific information and highly influential scientific assessments.



504-01 Records Documenting the Development, Procedures, and the General Administration of the Program. Included are program planning records, DOI guidance records, and records which document policy, directives, or instructions which fall outside of the Bureau's official directives. In addition, correspondence, memoranda, and other records pertaining to the general administration of the bureau Information Quality Program. Cutoff at the end of the fiscal year. Destroy 2 years after cutoff or when superseded, obsolete, or no longer needed, whichever is sooner. N1-57-08-2, Item 504-01
504-02 Information Quality Reports. Periodic and annual reports concerning information quality activities, including reports on the completed peer review of influential scientific information and highly influential scientific assessments. Cutoff at the end of the fiscal year. Destroy 5 years after cutoff. N1-57-08-2, Item 504-02
504-03 Complaint Files. Records relating to the adjudication of Section 515 complaints received by the bureau. Case file records include, but are not limited to: formal communications to and from complainants; communication to and from program office(s) disseminating the information being challenged; documents detailing findings; and any other records pertinent to the appeal and/or resolution of Section 515 complaints. Cutoff at issuance of final agency letter issued in response to the complaint. Destroy 5 years after cutoff. N1-57-08-2, Item 504-03

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Item No. Record Item / Description of Records Disposition Instructions Authority
505 Communications Files.

505-01 Communications General Correspondence. Records pertaining to the Bureau Office of Communications and its regional communications contacts. General correspondence, memoranda, or records pertaining to communication topics not otherwise covered in this schedule. Cutoff at the end of the fiscal year. Destroy 3 years after cutoff. N1-57-08-2, Item 505-01
505-01a Official Press Release Files. Consists of one original copy of each informational release and publication including press releases, media advisories, letters to the editor, opinion editorials, press conference transcripts, graphic presentations (refer to Chapter 1100, Audiovisual Records), and other similar materials, i.e., statements of high-level USGS officials before Congressional committees. May include chronological list and electronic index to the records and may be maintained in different media and formats. Therefore, this series is written to authorize the disposition of records in any media (media neutral). Records created and maintained electronically, will be transferred to NARA in an approved electronic format.

NOTE: For any original record copies that are created outside the Headquarters Office of Communications, when sending record copies to the National Archives, provide the Headquarters, Office of Communications (Mail Stop 119) with a copy of the box inventory listing.
PERMANENT. Cutoff at the end of the calendar year. Transfer textual records to the Federal Records Center 5 years after break or earlier, if volume warrants. Transfer to NARA in 5-year blocks 20 years after break. Transfer electronic data, with related documentation and external finding aids, as applicable, to the National Archives, as specified in 36 CFR 1228.270 or standards applicable at the time, every 5 years. N1-57-05-03, Item 502-01a
505-01b Public Information Reference Files. Contains files created in connection with the preparation or review of press releases and may be composed of clearance sheets, photographs (see Chapter 1100, Audiovisual Records), correspondence, memoranda, clippings, backup material collected in the course of preparing the releases, and related papers which are either non-record material or duplicated in files maintained elsewhere. Destroy 1 year after release of press release. RCS/Item 503-01b and NC1-57-81-2, Item 30b
505-02 Presentations and Official Speeches.

505-02a Official Record Set. Paper copies of presentations made by top-level USGS officials relating to program activities. Arranged chronologically by name of speaker. (See Chapter 1100 for audiovisual presentations). PERMANENT. Cutoff at the end of the fiscal year. Hold 2 years or until volume warrants and retire to FRC. Transfer to National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in 5 year blocks when 20 years old. RCS/Item 503-02a and NC1-57-81-2, Item 31a
505-02b Copies of USGS Presentations and Speeches. Copies of top-level USGS officials and any other bureau employee presentations and speeches. Destroy in agency when no longer needed for reference. RCS/Item 503-02b and NC1-57-81-2, Item 31b
505-03 Communication Administrative Files. Requests for information or bureau documents and copies of replies or referrals. Involves no administrative actions, no policy decisions, and no special compilations. Also, information copies of communication press releases and copies of commendation or complaint correspondence which involves no administrative actions. Destroy in agency when no longer needed for reference. RCS/Item 503-03 and GRS 14, Item 1, 2, 3, and 5
505-04 Communication Project Files. Records and any related materials associated with all administrative aspects of communication projects. If any official agreements are in place, refer to Chapter 600, Item 603-03. Examples include such projects as oversight of community science camps held at USGS facilities, teacher workshops, and other educational projects. Cutoff at project completion. Destroy 6 years after cutoff. RCS/Item 503-06 and GRS 14, Item 4
505-05 Public Briefings and Community Relations. Documents accumulated in the process of providing briefings of the mission and functions of the USGS and promotion of good relations and bureau participation within local communities. Includes records relating to individual or group tours of bureau facilities or research areas and personal appearances by USGS personnel to community facilities or bureau personnel participating in community functions such as parades or community fairs. Destroy when no longer needed for current agency business or when 3 years old, whichever is later. N1-57-02-03, Item 502-08
505-06 Biographical Records. Current biographical information about principal and prominent management and staff officials, program and project managers, scientists, and other selected employees.

505-06a Top-Level USGS Officials. Senior agency personnel involved in newsworthy activities, with a recent photograph, when available. Files are generally required in preparing news or feature stories about the individual and/or the individual's activity at the bureau. PERMANENT. Cutoff when person retires or transfers. Transfer to FRC in 5-year blocks 20 years after file break of most recent records in block, or if volume warrants, transfer earlier. (For example, offer files broken into a 1990-94 block in year 2015). N1-57-08-2, Item 505-06a
505-06b All Other Biographical Records. Records are maintained as long as there is public interest in them. Destroy when no longer needed for reference. N1-57-08-2, Item 505-06b
505-07 Exhibits. Case files and related documentation and materials including pictures of set-up/design, specification sheets, and any photographs of the exhibit. Cutoff at exhibit completion. Destroy when no longer needed. N1-57-08-2, Item 505-07
505-08 Weekly Highlights and Other Bureau Summaries of USGS Activities. Copies of bureau inputs including submissions for Weekly Highlights, USGS reports to DOI, Office of Management and Budget, Congress, and for articles such as found in People Land & Water. Destroy when no longer needed for reference. N1-57-08-2, Item 505-08
505-09 Bureau Clippings Files. Files of articles appearing in technical, trade, commercial publications, or magazines on USGS and/or our agency, in general. Destroy when no longer needed for reference. N1-57-08-2, Item 505-09
505-10 Visual Identity System. Bureau system required to be used in the planning, design, and production of all USGS science, information, communications, and identification products.

505-10a Visual Identity System Policies and Procedures. This file consists of policy and procedures for the bureau Visual Identify System that are not included in the bureau master set of directives. Place in inactive file when canceled, superseded, or revoked. Destroy when no longer needed for reference purposes. N1-57-08-2, Item 505-10a
505-10b Visual Identity System Design Specifications. Oversight records relating to the creation and implementation of bureau specifications, templates, fonts, image files, toolkits, and other general records relating to oversight responsibilities. Cutoff at the end of the fiscal year. Destroy 6 years after cutoff or when no longer needed, whichever is later. N1-57-08-2, Item 505-10b

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