Records Management Disposition Training 2014

Download Video
Right-click and save to download

Detailed Description

Records Management Disposition Training 2014 - webex converted to mp4 for training purposes


Date Taken:

Length: 00:45:35

Location Taken: Sioux Falls, SD, US


Disposition training as part of the Records
Management Program.

My name is John Faundeen, and I work at the
EROS center near Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

This is the continuing modules of records
management training provided by the headquarters

Records Management Program.

These are the topics that we'll be going through

There are quite a few.

Some of them will involve more time than others.

There are a lot of concepts and some confirmations
of what has been gone over in previous training


So purposes of records management.

This is again a refresher slide.

We need to ensure that our management of our
records abides with laws and regulations all

the way back to the 1950s records act.

Provides us a structure or framework to manage
our records.

We obtain legal authority through the Records
Management Program for both retaining and

for getting rid of records.

And that's really the thrust of this day's
training is the disposal or disposition.

But it also captures a description of what
we do.

And the institutional knowledge is paramount
as the nation's science agency.

It allows us to effectively and efficiently
respond to congressional data calls and legislative

litigation holds.

This is an example of how records management
is helping my center.

When our photo lab closed several years ago,
we had 160 boxes of financial records.

So these had privacy information on them that
had to be securely maintained.

This room is behind a card key and a hard

And hard to see, but if you notice the red
lettering, that is the record series and disposition


We have two more fiscal years to go before
all of these boxes will have gone through

their disposition trigger dates and can be

Lifecycle -- we have mentioned this throughout
the other training modules.

First stage is when you create or you receive
records in the course of USGS business.

The second phase or stage is when you use
those records, and by extension, need to maintain

those records.

And then the third stage, maturity element
of the lifecycle.

This is where the record can be disposed,
and disposition does not imply destruction.

It means they can be transferred or destroyed.

So also we need to understand what a records
center is.

Now, this is a formal description or definition.

Storage space or facility for the high-density,
low-cost, and controlled storage.

If you notice this picture, which is of the
Denver photo center before they moved to Broomfield,

Colorado, how far down it extends and that
it is -- an artificial floor has been given,

so these are very high stacks.

Lots of records.

This is an example of a NARA Federal Records

Actually, two of them -- the bottom left is
in Lee's Summit near Kansas City, and then

this is in Lenexa, another suburb of Kansas

And you can see that this is a former limestone

It's been repurposed.

Semis back up here all the time to the loading
dock station, and there are other private

businesses in this facility.

This is an example of their cold storage area
in one of their stacks.

So disposition is the legal authority to destroy
temporary records -- now, never permanent

records -- or the ability to transfer permanent

We'll talk about this.

It is only obtained, that is, this authority,
through the National Archives.

And this is represented on the records schedules.

So that's another reason to become intimate
with those records schedules that affects

your work.

The head, that is, in today's world, Suzette
Kimball, and the head archivist for the National

Archives sign the records schedules.

So they are considered legal documents between
our agencies.

And that's where we describe our records,
we put a value statement on them, and that

is the disposition element.

The longer the disposition or permanent versus
temporary is an indication of the value that

we put on those records.

Records centers -- these are those elements
or facilities, structures, warehouses, that

are separate from where you do most of your

They can save you money by moving boxes and
tapes out of your office environment to a

low-cost, high-density facility.

In the past, we might have micro-filmed boxes.

Today that is a less common element.

We do store in office spaces, considerably
-- amount of times that we could probably

be doing much better by working through a
records center.

And also, if these are stored in a records
center, we have less chance of someone throwing

things away, and that would be destroying
the records before they are intended to be.

So a pulse check.

So I’d like you to describe what a records
center is.

So just mentally think about some of the points
that I mentioned.

And as you can tell from this wall structure,
this is one of the mines in the Kansas City


And the definition for a records center is
a storage space or facility for the high-density,

low-cost, and controlled storage and maintenance
of semi-active or inactive records pending

their scheduled final disposition.

So typically, these are records that you do
not have a daily, weekly, need for.

It would be very irregular.

Difference in the records center disposition

This is a refresher again.

The key understanding between temporary and
permanent is that at some point in the life

of a temporary record, it will be destroyed.

Conversely, permanent records, at some point
in their life, those records will be transferred

to the National Archives in College Park,

I'll continue to reference the headquarters
of the National Archives as College Park,

Maryland, where permanent records go.

And that is where we transfer legal and physical

They are no longer USGS records when we transfer
them to the National Archives in College Park,


So eligible records for a records center.

Typically, inactive records, possibly of projects
been completed.

And it may have a bearing on a future one,
so you'd want to at least be able to go through

the records before possibly the start of the
next project, maybe in the next fiscal year.

But you certainly don't need the boxes enclosing
your office or taking up all of your drawer

space or a complete separate room that you
could be purposing for something else.

A logical place to look for these inactive
files would be those that have been cut off

on a fiscal year or a calendar year, sometimes
a contract year.

Maybe you host workshops every other year.

So you need access to these as you prepare
for the next one, but not on a regular basis.

You could store these records in a Federal
Records Center or a commercial records center,

saving you space, and yet they're still accessible.

You still have the legal control of them when
these are in records centers.

If you do decide to move records from your
space or your project space, your office,

your mission, your region, the guidance will
be to USGS employees to contact the RLOs and


So thus, it is important that you understand
these concepts.

Because probably starting in fiscal year '15,
staff will be coming to you.

And need to understand the concepts of temporary
and permanent.

We can store permanent records in a Federal
Records Center.

More common are temporary.

Both of those two types can go to a records

Only permanent can go to the National Archives
College Park.

Recall that the Federal Records Centers are
17 facilities set up around the U.S. solely

to serve federal agencies, at a cost.

They charge back to each federal agency.

And so they are doing the physical management
of our records on our behalf that we pay for.

The records are still legally ours.

And again, if we send records to College Park,
Maryland, to the National Archives headquarters,

we are giving up physical and legal control,
which at some point, we need to do for all

permanent records.

You also have to determine that the format
that you would send to the National Archives

-- this would be College Park -- is acceptable
by the National Archives.

In the last few months, the National Archives
has released a website and description of

acceptable formats, and they are much broader
than in the past.

If your projects are closed, and you feel
you need to just periodically check into them,

again, these are the records that would be
good to box up, whether they're paper or electronic,

and send to a records center so that they're
not taking up space in your area.

Here is that website from the National Archives.

And you simply click on one of the topics,
and it'll let you know if -- there are preferred

formats, acceptable formats, and then formats
that you need to talk with them.

And this is something you can understand.

If you were the National Archives, you would
want to know what is being sent to you.

So a National Archives Federal Records Center
versus commercial storage.

This is entirely your choice.

Maybe your science center has had a longstanding
relationship with a commercial facility that's

just a few blocks away from your office, and
that's great.

Just realize that you pay for that, and you
still must ensure that they meet National

Archives facility regulations.

If you choose to use a NARA Federal Records
Center, and some of you probably are already

doing that, the only costs incurred by your
project, office, mission, or region are the

shipping costs to this facility and any shipping
back to you for requests.

All of the ongoing costs are covered by the
USGS Records Management Program.

So let's assume you’re considering using
a records center, and off-site facility.

We'd want to start by determining what are
the records that you would be considering

to send off-site.

And as you go through those, you would want
to separate the non-record from record materials.

And then further define down permanent versus

The reason to do these separations is that
when you come to disposition, when trigger

dates come about, it will be much easier if
everything is lumped into similar categories

for you.

And then, once you've been refining down non-record
from record and permanent and temporary, you'll

want to put like records -- that's what series
are -- together.

And the National Archives does not care of
a box is half-full, a quarter-full, or completely


So don't worry about some of your shipments,
after going through the separation routine

here, you end up with a partial box.

That is not a problem.

And you should transfer by series.

This is just a good way to not get anybody,
our end or the records center end, an opportunity

to be confused.

As you complete your boxing, again, this could
be magnetic tapes as well as paper folders,

put a written, detailed inventory in at least
the first box so that someone else other than

you, in 5, 10, 15 years, could understand
what was shipped, what was done.

So as you pack the boxes, realize that using
the NARA Federal Records Centers will require

you to utilize a special box that they have.

And it's not necessarily expensive, but the
reason that they have a specific box is their

shelving is set up for a certain height.

In my instance, we first sent some boxes to
them, and they were 1 inch too tall.

So we got the materials back and ordered these
boxes down below.

They're generally called just Federal Records
Center white boxes.

And they allow for labeling on the ends that
are very efficient for both you and for the

Federal Records Centers to keep track of.

You will need to get approval before you send
anything to the Federal Records Center.

And we'll go over that form, and the numbers
that come back that are approved from the

Federal Records Center that you will put on
the boxes.

Let's say you've sent seven boxes in the last
two years, and you now need to look at two

of those boxes.

Typically, if you give the National Archives
a request before 3:00 p.m. on a business day,

you'll get it the next business day.

So it's typically within 24 hours of a business
day, which is pretty good for most people.

If you actually have an emergency, they are
willing to go into the box, find the file,

scan it, and send it to you.

That is a service, but it's something that
is generally done only a emergency situation.

And when you’re done with those needs, or
those two boxes, you can send them back.

They will be re-filed in part of the bigger
collection again.

You can devise a tickler system.

Possibly -- let's say you have a drawer full
of records.

You could put a card at the end of a row of
files and indicate that, in six months, these

can all be destroyed.

They're maybe travel records that their six
years and three months are up.

Tickler is just a memory system to help you
recall when something can happen.

Or maybe the tickler system is a calendar
notice to you that certain records can be

sent to a records center in August of a certain

You can use these just to help you remember
when things are to happen.

So here's our first pulse check to make sure
you’re still alert.

What are the differences between temporary
and permanent records?

This is that key element that needs to be
known across all records management concepts.

The main idea here that I want you to understand
is, at some point in the life of a temporary

record, and this could be at the 100-year
level, temporary will be destroyed.

Permanent will not ever be destroyed.

And they will, at some point in their life,
be transferred to the National Archives in

College Park, Maryland.

This gives you an idea of how few permanent
records we deal with during our career compared

to temporary.

And the 5% is an average that the federal
-- National Archives provides for federal


USGS probably has more than that because of
our heavy science nature.

But even if it's 10 to 15%, you can see that
that is a small portion of what we deal with

through our career.

Some examples of permanent records.

I personally don't get involved in treaties
or proclamations.

But I do get involved in aerial and other

All of us come across and deal with computerized
data in one form or another.

Some of us are very involved in policy, directives,
and organizational charting, and others help

make maps, charts, and drawings.

These are just some examples of some permanent
records that the survey deals with.

Some of you may have noticed, on the coverings
of the paper we use in printers, it may say


That can also extend to folders and boxes.

You'd want to use those for long-term storage.

So what is long-term?

I would use that to mean anything longer than
five years.

You should maintain a controlled storage environment,
and the next slide will elaborate on that.

We've already talked about separation -- record
from non-record.

We should not be paying storage costs for
non-record material.

It's just not good use of USGS resources.

And separate permanent from temporary.

These separations will help you when the end
disposition comes about.

Maintain indexes -- those are just finding

Inventory listings -- so you will remember
what went on 5, 10 years ago, and someone

else that takes over for you can understand
what went on.

Electronic systems will more and more take
care of themselves.

We still need to understand how they create
records and who has the oversight for these.

So as an example, our time and attendance
and training systems used to be decentralized

and were quite paper-based.

Today the local offices -- as an example,
my facility typically is not the official

record carrier for these types of systems.

This is that guidelines table that USGS has

This was done in conjunction with the National
Archives, and it covers, I will say, the majority

of the records that you USGS deals with.

It does not cover everything.

We are still seeking community guidance on
core samples and biological specimens.

But I would say the majority of the records
that we deal with on a regular basis would

fall into this table.

And so you have specific guidance that, if
these are long-term records, they should be

placed in an environment that has these sort
of settings.

And note that the temperature ranges would
be below a comfortable office environment,

which is typically 68 to 72.

If you have any questions on this, you may
direct those to myself on the

Records schedules -- one of those areas that
you need to be intimate with.

USGS has a general records disposition schedule.

These are those common administrative records
that every agency has, so training, travel,

procurement, financial records, are all found
in the GRDS.

And that that point, you can do a keyword
search if you’re looking for procurement

or training or travel.

Then we have our science records.

These are unique to USGS, and you'll note
that they're still labeled by disciplines,

and there's a couple reasons for that.

The mission reorg happened shortly after we
had just gotten approval for all of our discipline-related


And also, right now, the department is starting
to determine if they want to roll all of the

agencies that report to the department into
a single department record schedule.

So those two reasons are kind of slowing down
any evolution from disciplines to missions

at this time.

We do have a mapping that will help you find
your mission area-specific records.

And I do realize that core science systems
will maybe have to look through multiple areas

to find these, but it is still something that
is workable.

So preparing for utilizing and off-site, or
disposing of records.

Try not to mix paper with electronic or microfilm
or other record series.

Again, this is that separation of type and
permanent versus temporary and record from


But then also follow your record schedule
for the type of record that your project or

office or mission or region work with.

And that's where the record schedule will
help you find the series number, and then

that'll also tell you how long they are to
be kept before being disposed of.

And as you box records up, I would recommend
using a pencil until you’re done with the

activity and you've confirmed everything is
correct and as you would like it, and then

go back with a permanent marker.

This is the form that you would use to get
approval to send records to the NARA Federal

Records Center.

This is it.

There is nothing below that is not being shown.

So the top half of the form is all point of
contact -- address information.

Bottom portion, 057 is the code USGS as an

The fiscal year, I believe this will be assigned
by the National Archives.

Here is the expected volume.

Is the series that you’re sending dynamic,
or is it static?

Static, you can give the entire volume.

Maybe it's five boxes.

You would say 5 cubic feet.

That's used to assign shelf space by the National

And in this case, you'll notice I have the
agency box number one.

They do not have an end box number, and that's
because these are dynamic.

This is description of the records, so that's
coming right from the records schedule.

These are not restricted records.

And these are the series numbers from the
records schedule again.

If they're permanent records, they do have
a disposal date.

The National Archives will fill out the rest.

So this is a very simple form.

You will send them to them, and they will,
in my experience within a few days, return

back to you, or have a question.

That's possible, too, but typically, it's
a very short turnaround.

They will give you all of the numbers that
you need to authorize the transfer, and it

will be signed.

So I suggest that you would maintain or keep
this signed copy.

Make a copy of it, and put it in the first
box of the shipment.

Note that if you fill out the forms, and you
get the approval back from the National Archives,

and let's say half a year goes by.

You get caught up in another project you hadn't

As you'll note in the middle big bullet, if
90 days have gone by, you have to start the

form over again.

I suspect the National Archives has been caught
where people have gotten approval and then

waited a few years, and it gets a little confusing
in their system.

The eventual electronic system that we will
be utilizing instead of this form is called


And we'll show some slides of that.

This is the equivalent for the Federal Records
Centers as the ERA system that was provided

in February and March training is to the permanent
records transfer that goes to College Park.

So ARC IS is for the Federal Records Centers.

ERA is for the permanent transfers to College
Park, Maryland.

So if you have a lot of boxes, or have been
doing this for some time, you might be able

to get labels provided by the National Archives
to even make this system much easier.

That's what we've been experiencing here for
the last two fiscal years, where we get a

set of labels, probably every October, that
cover us for the fiscal year.

All of our numbers are on them as well as
a bar code that the National Archives uses.

But until you get that, you'll need to manually
set up the numbering system on the end of

the boxes.

And then the records officer would like you
to note this in the SharePoint site down here

so she can keep track of expected costs that
would be coming from the National Archives.

Okay, another quiz.

What temperature and relative humidity ranges
should electronic records be stored in?

If you can recall back from that chart a few
slides ago.

This would be B, 50 to 65 degrees for the
majority of paper, electronic, optical, black-and-white

photographic film and paper.

And then that would be 30 to 40% relative
humidity also.

This is explaining a little bit about what
the costs are that you would not be paying

for utilizing the Federal Records Center,
but the USGS Records Management Program will


So every time we transfer to a Federal Records
Center, there's a setup charge -- $42 plus

$3.50 per box.

If you have a pickup in the Reston area, you
can see that that could add up to $500 per


Again, that is not something that you would
pay for.

And then, ongoing costs on a box basis.

And that doesn't very expensive.

That's a monthly charge -- 23 cents for temporary
boxes and 28 cents for permanent -- but it

adds up.

All of these charges typically will run USGS
over $100,000 a year.

And then if you need a box pulled and sent
back to you for investigation, that'll charge


And when you send it back, it will get a re-file
charge also.

There's also the situation, you may send a
box to the Federal Records Center and then

determine something's changed.

A project has started that will rely significantly
and for a long time on a box you'd already


You can request the box to be brought back
and let the National Archives know you will

not be re-filing it.

It will stay with you.

That's perfectly fine.

So if you’re at the federal -- if you’re
at the national center in Reston, you don't

have to pay for any of the shipment costs.

So if you’re in the field, this is the only
cost covered by yourself, to the Federal Records

Center, and we'll show you where some of those

And then, if you need to request the records
back from them at any time, you would pay

the shipping.

You also should note, if you have any privacy
or sensitive information, especially if you

have classified records, just have a chat
with the records officer.

As you can imagine, these need to be treated
a little bit differently.

Most of us will not have too many of those

Again, when you get the signed form back from
the National Archives, keep that.

The number system on it will be used to find
those records whenever you need them.

And also if there's a question from the National
Archives, let's say, in seven years, they

indicate that you have some records coming
up for disposition in a few months.

You will need to go back to your files and
refresh yourself as to what those were, and

that form will help you.

Also note that the National Archives cannot
delete or dispose of or destroy any records

without your concurrence.

So that's why the Federal Records Centers
are a good place to store our records.

They're taking on the physical ownership and
management of them on our behalf.

We pay them to do that.

But any legal elements, such as getting rid
of them, has to be concurred by us.

If you get notified that any of your records
are part of a litigation, please let the records

officer know.

Not always is that person known to have gotten
or been in the loop when these are levied.

Here's a brief summary of who pays what for
storage costs in a Federal Records Center.

The top half is all by the Records Management

The bottom half would be by yourself.

We've already talked about the shipping back
and forth, but you may want additional services.

Maybe you've got some electronic tapes that
you need to degauss.

That's the magnetic cleansing of tapes.

You could pay for that to be done at the National

Scanning is actually something that is being
investigated by the Records Management Program.

Two pilots are undergoing right now, and we
should have the results of that known soon.

So that can be some opportunities for scanning
throughout the bureau.

ARCIS -- the Archives and Record Center Information

Again, this is that electronic system that
is used to set up transfers between these

Federal Records Centers set up throughout
the United States.

Right now we're still sort of paper-based,
but at some point in the future, all of us

will be expected to use ARCIS, and it will
be just easier.

Right now it's a bit informal.

Once you have the paperwork in place and signed
off by the National Archives, in my situation,

when I send a box, I simply send an email
to three people in Lee's Summit, Missouri.

I give them the transfer number, the box number,
and that's all I need to do -- and then a

FedEx tracking number, and then we're set

And they'll send me back an email when the
records are received.

So it's pretty informal, but it works really

I suspect ARCIS will do the same once we're
all on that.

The form for transfers, down at the location
indicated for the standard form 135, that

would be to transfer records so a National
Archives Federal Records Center.

These are those NARA Federal Records Centers
around the country.

So try to locate the one nearest you.

So, example, in Sioux Falls, we're actually
close to the one in Chicago, Kansas City,

and Denver.

We've been using the Kansas City ones, actually
multiple ones, for a few years now up to seven


The Anchorage one that is not listed here
is now closing, and that will be Seattle.

And I believe the western, like, Hawaiian
area would also use Seattle.

So the difference between an accession number
and a transfer number.

Transfer is just moving records into a Federal
Records Center.

Accession is differentiated from that when
you are moving something to the National Archives

College Park.

Again, that's a bigger deal because it's permanent
records, and we're giving up physical and

legal control.

Down on the bottom is an actual transfer number.

PT stands for physical transfer.

And this is something we just used this fiscal

So it's physical transfer, USGS, which is
057, fiscal year 2014 -- 23 is a sequential


The National Archives assigned it.

And it's our box 14.

So it's a pretty easy number system to figure

This is an ARCIS screen.

And for those of you that have been exposed
to ERA, you'll find this to be a very simple


And this is really the only screen that is
directly involved, so it's much easier and

much less involved than the ERA system.

Which is the next slide.

This is again transferring permanent records
to College Park.

There was a standard form, but we now must
all use the ERA transfer request.

And when you fill that out, the electronic
system, realize that the request goes to the

USGS records officer first.

They will validate.

Again, this is pretty important.

When you transfer permanent records, we need
to make sure everything's just right.

And when you do this, Chris would like to
have -- the records officer would like to

have the system notify that in SharePoint
that that has occurred.

It's just sort of an informational backup
system now until rec reporting can come out

of ERA.

The Records Management website has lots of

This should be a good starting point for you
to just go through every one of these links.

You can get down to the liaison officers that
will direct you to a SharePoint site for records

management, where more information is.

This is just a really good starting point
for you to become intimate with.

I talked a little bit about scanning.

These are some questions that you should ask.

If the records are temporary and probably
have a life of, let's say, three years or

less, we would not probably endorse scanning.

It just probably -- it doesn't have the cost
benefit that we'd be looking for.

But longer-term records and essentially permanent
records for sure, scanning is a consideration.

So just talk to the records officer or myself
if you have scanning questions, and there

will be many of you that will have opportunities
to do scanning.

So pulse check.

I would like you to type this internal USGS
address in and provide me the disposition

for original vouchers.

So that would be series number 303-01a.

So type in the internal, dot-USGS-gov, and
then gio/irm/fmref2.html.

And then you can scroll or keyword-find original

And then let me know what you find for disposition.

Hopefully most of you have found that right
now, and you can confirm that it states the

disposition for original vouchers is to destroy
when they reach six years and three months

after the period of the account.

Pretty specific.

And that is an administrative record in the
general records disposition schedule.

Now I’d like you to type in this longer
URL, and we'll be looking up a science record

disposition for digital punched paper tape
and paper charts.

So this is in series 1400-10b(3).

Again, you can use keywords.

And once you get to that page, you could put
in 1400-10b(3), in parens.

And you'll find this is a very different disposition
than the previous administrative one that

was very specific.

This one has elements that state unit values
recorded on tapes and charts are converted

to digital files and entered into NWIS as
funding allows.

Okay, that's a non-specific date, then -- as
funding allows.

Also, destroy original paper records after
conversion to digital files -- after conversion.

So now you need to wait until funding allows
and they've been converted.

Then transfer remaining tapes and charts to
the Federal Records Center after active reference

ceases -- after active reference ceases.

That's a subjective element.

That's triggered by when your project, your
office, mission, or region have determined

there's no longer a need to reference the

Then you can destroy 100 years after transfer.

Now, this is not necessarily typical, but
I wanted you to see the extremes of a very

specific records schedule disposition and
one that has some contingencies built into

it that certain things have to happen in sequence
before anything else happens, like destruction.

Additional information is found on SharePoint

Look up your local Federal Records Center,
and if you are near these, I would highly

recommend that you hook up with them and request
a tour so you have a familiarity of how they

work and where potentially your records could
be or maybe are already placed.

So you can contact Christina Bartlett, USGS
records officer, for more questions.

You can leave questions yourself at the

Or, for those scientists that come to you,
and you don't have the answer, you can give

them that email or use that email yourself
so that you hear the answer also.

Thank you very much for your time in the USGS
Records Management Disposition training module.

Thank you.