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USDA-ARS Records Management. NACOP Conference August 18 & 19, 2010. Baete Family. LYMAN KADEN PIPER. University of Nebraska, Lincoln Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Lincoln, NE

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USDA-ARS Records Management

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Records Management

NACOP Conference

August 18 & 19, 2010

  • Baete Family


University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Lincoln, NE

Student Trainee (SCEP), Secretary, Program Support Asst.

Fort Collins, CO (Area Office)

Admin. Support Asst., Purchasing Agent,

Property Management Technician, Realty Specialist

Realty Specialist

Member of the Area’s Administrative Management Team with responsibility for both real and personal property.

Supports eight states with land in excess of 115,000 acres and more than 677 owned or leased structures with replacement values of at least $920 million.

Personal Property includes 14,000 items valued in excess of $60 million.

Northern Plains Area:





North Dakota

South Dakota



  • Committees

    Fort Collins Environmental Management System Committee

    2009 NPA Leadership Conference Committee

    NPA Travel Committee

    NPA File Management Committee

  • Records Management History

  • NARA Records Schedule Implementation Knowledge Area 4 (KA4)

  • NARA Records Transfer & Reference Workshop

  • NARA Basic Records Operations Training

  • NARA IT Professionals Briefing

  • Two successful CARE Reviews in Lincoln, NE & Fort Collins, CO

  • ARS NPA Files Management Improvement Team

  • ARS NPA Records Officer

  • If you were absent, can we find the document we need?

    Photo Source: NARA, 2010

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    Records Management

    Planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promoting, and other managerial activities related to the creation, maintenance and use, and disposition of records.

    Control the Creation & Growth of Records

    Reduce Operating Cost

    Improve Efficiency & Productivity

    Ensure Regulatory Compliance

    Minimize Litigation Risks

    Safeguard Vital Records

    Preserve Agency Memory

    Source: NARA, 2010

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    Permanent records

    Records determined by NARA to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant continued preservation by the Federal Government.

    Declaration of Independence

    Temporary records

    Records approved by NARA for destruction, either immediately or after specified retention period.

    Foreign Trip Reports

    Most of Federal records are “Temporary Records”.



    Source: NARA, 2010

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010


    Any book, paper, map, photograph, machine-readable, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received by an agency of the U.S. Government.

    Source: NARA, 2010

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    Temporary Records

    Revocable Permits (Non-ARS Visitors)ARMP Packages

    Procurement Micro PurchasesStatus of Funds

    Vacancy AnnouncementsDirectories

    Annual 421 ReportsIndividual Development Plans (IDP)

    OSHA Logs & ReportsPublications – ARS-115s

    Government Vehicle Accident PackagesMonthly Vehicle Logs & Receipts

    Passport Registers/LogsTravel CC Applications


    Extra copies of documents preserved

    only for convenience or reference

    Drafts, worksheets, and notes that do not represent

    significant steps in the preparation of record


    Transcribed shorthand notes

    Routing slips and transmittal sheets

    Tickler, follow-up, or suspense copies of


    Catalogs, trade journals, and other publications

    Physical exhibits, artifacts, and other material objects

    Personal papers

    Source: NARA, 2010

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    Records Management Tips

    If the document you have is not the original, there should be a “copy” stamped on the


    Duplicates should be destroyed when the official is destroyed

    If you have a paper file, you should correspond any computer files

    Ten documents is the rule of thumb for creating its own file

    File folders should contain no more than 75 sheets

    Files should not be sitting out if anyone unauthorized has access to your room (i.e. – university

    custodial staff)

    Source: NARA, 2003

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010





    E-mail messages—both incoming and outgoing—are judged to be records by the same criteria as paper correspondence: An e-mail message is a record if it documents the agency mission or provides evidence of an agency business transaction, and if you or anyone else would need to retrieve the message to find out what had been done or to use it in other official actions.

    Who is the originator, you or someone else?



    Source: NARA, 2010

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    Can I keep emails classified as a record in the email system?

    NO. Once you determine that an email is an official record, you should ensure that it is kept in an approved file system (hardcopy or electronic drive).

    Example) Procurement invoice from

    vendor sent via email

    Source: NARA, 2003

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    E-mail records should be separated from personal e-mails and stored in an approved recordkeeping system that must do the following:

    • Logically relate or group records in accordance with your office’s file plan

    • Ensure that the records are accessible to authorized persons throughout the life of the records

    • Support retention of the records for as long as required

    • Facilitate destruction of records on schedule

    • Enable transfer to the National Archives of those records that will not be destroyed

      E-mail servers and e-mail clients (such as GroupWise and Outlook) ARE NOT recordkeeping systems.

    Source: NARA, 2010

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    What if an e-mail record is sent to several recipients?

    Which copy is the official record?

    It depends. Different copies of the same message may be records:

    • If you take any official action related to a message, and if the message is needed for adequate and complete documentation of the action, the message would be a record in your office, regardless of whether copies are retained elsewhere.

    • If you receive a message only for information and do not take action related to it, your copy would not be a record.

    Source: NARA, 2010

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    Email Tips

    Treat each e-mail as if it were a memo or letter

    representing your agency

    • Correspondence Manual 261.2M

      Send the e-mail only to the people who need it

    • Ask yourself: Would I send this to 30 people by mail?

      Supervisors should not send “sensitive”

      information to students who are not using official

      work e-mail accounts

      Do not keep passwords on or by your desk

    Source: NARA, 2003

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    Northern Plains Area

    Files Management Improvement Team

    Lisa Baete

    Fort Collins, CO

    Kim Swanson

    Fargo, ND

    Linda Parnell

    Clay Center, NE

    Elaine Liddell

    Manhattan, KS

    Connie Wooten

    Fargo, ND

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    NPA Files Management Improvement Team

    Vision: A files management plan that meets today’s filing needs within the NPA.

    Mission: To develop a standardized files management plan for the NPA that enhances efficiency in file handling, control, maintenance, and disposition.

    Objective: To achieve consistency in filing throughout NPA at all levels (Area Office, Center Director, Administrative Officer, Research Leader, and Scientist)

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    Files Management Sources

    ARS Records Schedule, 1980 (online)

    ARS Files Management Guidebook, 1985 (online)

    National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)

    • General Records Schedule (GRS)

      Records Management P&P 251.8

      ARS Records Management Manual 251.8M

      Care Review Manual

      ARIS Records Disposition Schedule, 3/19/08

      OSHA Standard

      NPA ARIS Online Guidance

      Property Management Quick Guide

      Safety, Health, & Environmental Management Program Manual 230

      Northern Plains Area Council of Office Professionals (Quick Reference Guide)

      File Codes

      Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)

    Goal: Find the most current source for the specific item

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    File Guide Categories:

    Asset Management

    Budget & Finance



    Information Technology


    Personal Property

    Research Project Documentation


    Outreach/Diversity/Equal Opportunity

    Technology Transfer


    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    NARA Files Specifically Approved for ARS


    Rainbow Folders

    NPA File Management Label Requirements



    Name/Unit/Project #

    Current Year Disposition




    Volunteer Timesheets

    Smith, Jane


    • CY-2010 Shred 1/1/2016


    APC Quarterly Audit Rpt

    Smith, John A.

    Quarter 2

    FY-2010 Shred FY 2013

    Property - Personal

    Property Passes

    Grain, Forage & Bioenergy

    Research Unit

    CY-2010 Destroy 3 years

    after expiration

    Budget & Finance

    Period-End Estimates

    Agricultural Systems Research Unit

    FY-2010 Destroy 1/1/2016

    (6 yrs, 3 months)

    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

    Example of File Folder with three labels

    *Folder utilizes category color coding (Personal Property-Pink)

    File Destruction Date Calculator

    (National Wildfire Coordinating Group)

    Source: NARA, 2010


    • USDA-ARS-NPA, 2010

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