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GRS Team Update

by on December 13, 2013


The following update is from our GRS Team

Status of Current Projects

Part 1 Schedules

  • 1.1 General Financial Management Records (DAA-GRS-2013-0003)—On hold pending resolution of issues with internal stakeholders. (Lead: Galen.Wilson@nara.gov)
  • 1.2 Grant & Cooperative Agreement Records (DAA-GRS-2013-0008)—Being revised based on agency comments. (Lead: Susan.Means@nara.gov)
  • 3.1 General Technology Management Records (DAA-GRS-2013-0005)—Preparing for final internal stakeholder review. (Lead: Laura.McHale@nara.gov)
  • 3.2 Information Systems Security Records (DAA-GRS-2013-0006)—Preparing for final internal stakeholder review. (Lead: Laura.McHale@nara.gov)
  • 4.1 Records & Information Management Records (DAA-GRS-2013-0002)—Being revised based on agency comments. (Lead: Laura.McHale@nara.gov)
  • 4.2 Information Access & Protection Records (DAA-GRS-2013-0007)—Out for final internal stakeholder review. (Lead: Galen.Wilson@nara.gov)
  • 4.3 Input Records, Output Records, & Electronic Copies (DAA-GRS-2013-0001)—On Federal Register. (Lead: Andrea.Riley@nara.gov)

Part 2 Schedules: All schedules are currently in the process of initial drafting. Initial drafts are expected by the end of February at which point some agencies may be contacted for additional vetting.

  • 2.1 Employee Acquisition Records (Lead: Galen.Wilson@nara.gov)
  • 2.2 Employee Management Records (Lead: Laura.McHale@nara.gov)
  • 2.5 Employee Separation Records (Lead: Galen.Wilson@nara.gov)
  • 2.6 Employee Training Records (Lead: Susan.Means@nara.gov)
  • 2.8 Employee Ethics Records (Lead: Laura.McHale@nara.gov)
  • 6.6 Federal Advisory Committee Records (changed from Temporary Commission, Board, Council and Committee Records) (Lead: Andrea.Riley@nara.gov)

Guidance

  • Guidance on Including General Records Schedule (GRS) Items in Agency Big Bucket Schedules—Final revisions in process; will require additional concurrence  from stakeholders prior in final internal vetting. Expected release in early Third Quarter, FY14.

Revised GRS Update Plan

The GRS Team is in the process of issuing an update on “The New GRS: A Plan for Restructuring and Updating the General Records Schedules” (issued October 2012, link is .pdf). The updated plan outlines changes to the structure of the New GRS, the project timeline, and our process for revising the schedules.

Why the GRS Update Plan Has Changed

The plan has changed due to changes in team resources and lessons learned from the first year of the project. Our team resources have been depleted over the past year, while at the same time we have learned that the optimal workload is two schedules per cycle. This currently means we can work on about six schedules at a time. We made structural changes to the GRS after learning that some of the planned schedules were too granular. We also learned that we need to change the timing of when we start new schedules so that we are not starting new schedules right before the holiday season and so that we make more efficient use of our time by overlapping project cycles.

Changes to the Schedules

The revised plan explains various changes to the overall structure of the GRS. Some schedules have been merged, others have been moved or aggregated under different functional headings. Overall the general structure of the new GRS remains largely the same. The most significant change is the aggregation of a number of formerly stand-alone schedules under the common heading “Mission Support.” The schedules under this heading have not changed significantly in and of themselves. Each X.X level is still an individual schedule containing multiple items associated with that particular function.

Changes to the Project Timeline

Another significant change to the plan is in the project timeline. There will be six cycles or rounds of schedules. We are currently working on the first and second rounds. Originally we had planned to complete each scheduling and approval cycle in just over a year, but with the first cycle nearing completion we now realize a more realistic projected completion time is 18 months. We are refocusing our project on the mandate in OMB/NARA M-12-18, Managing Government Records Directive to update and revise the existing GRS by December 2017, so some proposed schedules that were completely new will carry over into future plans for expanding the coverage of the GRS and not be part of this 5-year project.

Changes in Process and Approach

The overall process for revising and approving new GRS has changed very little. We are taking a more direct approach to agency involvement with the second round of schedules, seeking input from specific agencies rather than making a general request for volunteers for working groups. We also plan on longer vetting periods for draft schedules prior to sending them out for formal review. Other changes include how we approach new disposition instructions. For multiple reasons we have decided not to specify cutoff instructions in the new GRS, although cutoff instructions are still implied. We are also taking a different approach to disposition instructions in an attempt to reduce the need for agencies to request deviations. We are trying to write instructions that allow for more flexibility in retention when a longer or shorter retention is allowable. New GRS will provide clear instructions about when agencies can establish a longer retention for their records based on agency specific business needs without submitting a schedule for NARA approval.

For more information about these changes, please watch for the release of the updated plan on the GRS website and via RM Communication.

Upcoming Projects

  • Guidance on Requesting Deviations from the General Records Schedules—Preparing for internal review. (Lead: Jennie.Guilbaud@nara.gov)
  • Guidance on Implementing New General Records Schedules—Initial drafting. (Lead: Jennie.Guildbaud@nara.gov)
  • GRS Web Page—Planning stage for how to change the arrangement of the GRS web page and the online GRS. (Lead: Laura.McHale@nara.gov)

For additional information about any of the GRS Team’s projects, please contact us at GRS_Team@nara.gov, or contact the specific project lead.


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