NOAA Vital Records Liaison's Guide

Table of Contents

Purpose Of Guide

This NOAA Vital Records Liaison's Guide has been prepared for use by all NOAA Vital Records Liaisons and agency personnel needing information about the vital records program.

The NOAA Vital Records Program provides the policies and procedures for the identification, protection, updating, and retrieval of vital records. Vital Records are those critical hard copy records and electronic data necessary to maintain the continuity of operations during an emergency. The two basic categories of vital records are emergency operating records and rights and interests records.

Vital records may be protected in different ways, depending upon the record format. Some records are duplicated and stored off-site. Washington, DC Area vital records are stored at NCDC in Asheville, NC. Other vital records are dispersed to multiple locations and electronic vital records are protected through ITS' LAN and mainframe system backup and recovery procedures.

Purpose of Vital Records Program

The Vital Records Program provides policies and procedures for the management of NOAA's vital records. The Records Management office implements the NOAA vital records program by:

The Vital Records Liaison’s Responsibilities

Overview

The NAO 210-2, Vital Records Plan, establishes the NOAA Vital Records Program which requires the appointment of vital records liaisons who have the following responsibilities:

Responsibilities

Laws, Regulations, and Guidelines

The NOAA Vital Records Program is established under the following authorities:

Glossary

Vital Records are those critical hard copy records and electronic data necessary to maintain the continuity of operations during an emergency, to recover full operations following an emergency, and to protect the legal rights and interests of citizens and the Government. The two basic categories of vital records are emergency operating records and rights and interests records.

Emergency Operating Records are critical electronic data and hard copy records necessary to support the continuity of operations during an emergency, to provide necessary support to other Federal agencies during an emergency, and to recover full operations following an emergency.

Rights and Interests Records are critical hard copy records and electronic data required for the preservation of the rights and interests of individual citizens and the Government. These records include proof of ownership, financial interests and legal proceedings and decisions

Emergency Operating Records (Vital Records) Inventory is an inventory of critical electronic and hard copy records, and back up tapes needed to support emergency operations.

Continuity of Operations Plans are plans developed by NOAA services, staff offices, and regions to define essential emergency functions and prescribe procedures for their accomplishment. Plans should include identification of records necessary to support emergency operations.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is an alternate site established at the direction of the Emergency Coordinator or a regional emergency coordinator to coordinate the response to a limited emergency, and provide a consolidation point for information pertinent to the emergency. It provides off-site storage for Vital Records.

Emergency Operating Facility (EOF) is an alternate facility or relocation site that will serve as operational headquarters during a wide spread emergency.

Fly Away Kits are packages of hard copy and electronic emergency operating records and backup tapes, notebook computers, printers, cellular phones, pagers, basic office supplies, and other items or materials that the members of the Management Team at the Emergency Operating Center can use during an emergency.

Vital Records Inventories

Overview

The Records Management office manages the process for identifying vital records in Washington, DC area and the regions. Washington, DC area offices and the regions are required to identify new or discontinued vital records and to certify the accuracy and completeness of their inventories. They also are required to certify that vital records stored off-site are complete and current.

Identifying Vital Records

Records that meet the following criteria are vital:

Vital records format:

The vital records inventories contain the following:

Completing the Vital Records Inventory

Each Vital Records Liaison will be responsible for completing the Vital Records Inventory for his/her office. The following steps will be taken in conducting the inventory:

Transferring the Records to the Off-site Location

The Vital Records Liaison will be responsible for transferring the Vital Records to the Off-site Location.

Updating Inventories and Certifying Records Stored Off-site