NAO 205-1: NOAA Records Management Program

Issued 1/19/10; Effective 01/19/10

NAO 205-1: NOAA Records Management Program PDF


SECTION 1. PURPOSE.

.01 The purpose of this directive is to enable the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to carry out an effective records management program in compliance with the Federal Records Act and other relevant legal authorities referenced below.

.02 The objective of records management is the effective and efficient management of the creation, organization, maintenance, use, and disposition of all records throughout their lifecycle. Effective records management controls provide NOAA with adequate and proper documentation of agency business; timely response to requests for information; protection of permanently valuable historic and scientific assets; and regular disposal of records of temporary value.

.03 This is a complete revision and update to the Order. The significant changes in this Order include the addition of responsible parties, and in some instances, clarification of responsibilities for the NOAA Office of General Counsel, the NOAA Chief Information Officer, the NOAA Records Management Officer, NOAA Line and Staff Office Program Officials, Records Liaison Officers, Records Managers and all NOAA employees. An expanded Authorities section replaces the previous References section.

SECTION 2. SCOPE.

The NOAA Records Management Program shall apply to all NOAA employees and all Federal records produced, received, or maintained throughout NOAA.

SECTION 3. AUTHORITIES.

.01 Federal Records Act of 1950, as amended, (44 USC §2901-2909) establishes the records management program of the United States, (§3101-3107) requires the heads of Federal agencies to implement a program of records management and (§3301-3314) defines a Federal “record” and requires the heads of Federal agencies to schedule the retention and disposal of records in their control with the Archivist of the United States.

.02 Title 36 CFR XII, Subchapter B, Subchapter B, Federal Records Management. Subchapter B specifies policies for Federal agencies’ records management programs relating to proper records creation and maintenance, adequate documentation, and records disposition. It is the implementing authority for the Federal Records Act.

.03 Title 41 CFR parts 101-193, Creation, Maintenance, and Use of Records, prescribes policies and procedures related to the General Services Administration's (GSA) role to provide guidance on economic and effective records management for the creation, maintenance and use of Federal agencies' records.

.04 The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 as amended (44 USC §3500) - Paperwork Reduction Reauthorization Act of 1995, and Government Paperwork Elimination Act, require Federal agencies to reduce the paperwork burden and to improve Federal information policymaking.

.05 Title 18, U.S. Code, 2071, outlines criminal penalties for unlawful concealment, removal, or destruction of Federal records.

.06 Title 18 U.S. Code, Sections 793, 794, and 798, covers unlawful disclosure of certain recorded information pertaining to classified information and national security.

.07 Department of Commerce Administrative Order 205-1 establishes the Department-wide policy and program for records management.

SECTION 4. PROGRAM CONTENT.

The NOAA Records Management Program provides effective controls over the creation, organization, maintenance, use, and disposition of all NOAA records; and for compliance with the provisions of the authorities referenced above and with the regulations issued thereunder.

SECTION 5. DEFINITIONS.

.01 Records Custodial Unit (RCU) - The smallest unit within an organization where records are created, organized, maintained, used, and disposed. The scope and structure of the unit will be determined by the number of staff to be served, the size of the records inventory, number of formal requests for records, program functions, business processes, and physical location. The RCU is the central point for the creation, organization, maintenance, use, and disposition of records. It is the point at which records are most efficiently and effectively managed.

.02 NOAA Program Officials - NOAA personnel in Senior Executive Service, executive, administrator, deputy, director, chief of staff, branch chief, and similar positions throughout the Line and Staff Offices of the agency whose responsibilities include oversight and control of the documentation of part or all of one or more NOAA business functions. One NOAA Program Official would have direct responsibility for one or more RCUs.

SECTION 6. RESPONSIBILITIES.

.01 The NOAA Chief Administrative Officer is responsible for preserving records that adequately and properly document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of NOAA. The NOAA Chief Administrative Officer shall designate, in writing, a NOAA Records Management Officer position to lead and manage the NOAA-wide records management program.

02 NOAA Program Officials have the primary responsibility for creating, maintaining, protecting, and disposing of records of their program area. Program Officials shall ensure:

a. Creation of those records needed to adequately and properly document their area of responsibility to protect the legal and financial rights of the Agency.

b. Implementation of procedures to protect records from theft, loss, and unauthorized access.

c. Establishment of a records management system for the program and implementation of procedures to ensure that records are maintained in such a manner that information and documents are readily retrievable.

d. Transfer of permanent, or destruction of temporary inactive records according to the appropriate schedule.

e. Designation of RCUs within their program areas, and designation of Records Liaison Officers for each NOAA Line and Staff Office, and Records Managers required for each RCU.

f. Cooperation with the NOAA Records Management Officer in requests for information regarding the management of records.

g. Notification of the NOAA Records Management Officer of organization or program changes that will result in the establishment of new types of records, or an increase or decrease in the retention time of the current scheduled records.

h. Notification of the NOAA Records Management Officer whenever a new Records Liaison Officer is designated.

03. The NOAA Chief Information Officer shall:

a. Address records management provisions in Capital Planning and Investment Control proposals and Information Architecture Plans.

b. Work with the NOAA Records Management Officer to implement proper recordkeeping procedures for existing automated information systems and ensuring recordkeeping requirements are included in proposed systems.

c. Collaborate with the NOAA Records Management Officer in areas requiring records management expertise.

04. The NOAA Office of the General Counsel shall:

a. Collaborate with the NOAA Records Management Officer in areas requiring records management expertise.

b. Work with the NOAA Records Management Officer to implement proper recordkeeping procedures for existing and proposed records management systems.

c. Provide review opportunities to the NOAA Records Management Office in the development of Federal record-related policies and procedures.

05. The NOAA Records Management Officer is responsible for the development, implementation, coordination, and review of the NOAA Records Management Program. The NOAA Chief Administrative Officer has established the NOAA Records Management Officer position within the Audit, Internal Control and Information Management Office. The NOAA Records Management Officer shall:

a. Provide technical guidance and training in connection with the organization, maintenance, and disposition of NOAA's official records to staff in all organizational elements of NOAA.

b. Review, sign, and coordinate the approval of NOAA records schedules with the National Archives and Records Administration.

c. Maintain liaison with all NOAA Staff and Line Offices, the Office of the Undersecretary, the Department, the National Archives and Records Administration, and other agencies on records matters.

d. Ensure NOAA senior officials are aware of their programmatic and individual records management responsibilities.

e. Provide technical advice through the Records Liaison Officers to all NOAA organizations regarding the establishment and maintenance of effective records management programs.

f. Instruct and guide the organizational Records Liaison Officers in the proper management of organizational records.

g. Conduct periodic evaluation of recordkeeping practices to determine the effectiveness of the program.

h. Review annually, the records schedules and revise and update as necessary.

i. Ensure records disposition instructions are fully implemented for all electronic records systems.

j. Implement approved records schedules to ensure that records are not destroyed without proper authorization.

k. Implement the NOAA Vital Records Program.

06. A Records Liaison Officer shall be designated by a NOAA Program Official for each Line and Staff Office. The Records Liaison Officer shall, for each of the RCUs within their respective areas of responsibility:

a. Serve as the principal records coordinator between their organization and the NOAA Records Management Officer on all records management matters. The designating official shall notify the NOAA Records Management Officer whenever a new Records Liaison Officer is designated.

b. Identify record keeping requirements for major programmatic and administrative records.

c. Ensure the proper creation, maintenance, and disposition of.

d. Draft and update records schedules.

e. Maintain a complete set of reference copies of file plans and lists of Vital Records.

f. Ensure the transfer of all inactive temporary records to the Federal Records Center.

g. Ensure the disposal of Privacy Act records in accordance with established policies.

h. Coordinate the legal transfer of all permanently valuable records to the National Archives in accordance with approved records disposition schedules with the review and approval of the NOAA Records Management Officer.

i. Notify the NOAA Records Management Officer whenever a new Records Manager is designated.

07. A Records Manager (RM) shall be designated by NOAA Program Officials in headquarters and the field. The Records Manager shall:

a. Develop and maintain a written list of procedures and processes for the records of the RCU.

b. Orient new staff to the RCUs processes and procedures.

c. Serve as the principal point of coordination and communication between their RCU and the Records Liaison Officer on all records management matters.

d. Develop and maintain a File Plan listing all records, scheduled or those to be scheduled that are held in the unit. The plan typically provides information on the physical storage location of files, the series title, the file identifiers, schedule status as well as retention and disposition information in a spreadsheet format.

e. Maintain a list of all Vital Records held in the RCU.

f. Conduct annual inventory assessments of RCU records holdings to assess, plan, and implement required storage, accession, or disposal actions.

g. Provide reference copies of all RCU file plans, Vital Records lists, and the record inventory to the Records Liaison Officer annually.

h. Conduct the transfer of all inactive temporary records to the Federal Records Center.

i. Process the disposal of Privacy Act records in accordance with established policies.

08. All NOAA employees and contractors have responsibilities for the management and protection of the records they receive and create as they conduct NOAA agency business. All employees are responsible for seeking guidance from their work unit’s appointed Records Manager or the Records Liaison Officer. For general Federal Records Management information, the National Archives provides guidance in “Documenting Your Public Service,” which is available online.

SECTION 7. EFFECT ON OTHER ISSUANCES.

This directive supersedes NAO 205-1, NOAA Records Management Program, dated June 25, 1997. An electronic copy of this Order will be posted in place of the superseded Order on the NOAA Office of the Chief Administrative Officer website under the NOAA Administrative Issuances section.

SIGNED,

William Broglie
Chief Administrative Officer
Office of the Chief Administrative Officer

Office of Primary Interest:
Office of the Chief Administrative Officer