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We have launched a new portal to share information about our ongoing work on the Automated Electronic Records Management Plan. The portal displays a table corresponding to the three parts of the framework in the plan: governance, procurement, and technology. We will post on our ongoing projects to the portal. All of these projects demonstrate what we are thinking about and acting on the vision of the Managing Government Records Directive.

This update is from our General Records Schedule (GRS) Team

The GRS Team has recently been reviewing a number of schedules from agencies that bucket GRS items. (This review is part of the normal internal stakeholder review process that all schedules go through and any schedules superseding GRS items are reviewed by the GRS Team.)  One of the problems we commonly encounter when doing these reviews relates to cutoff instructions, so we wanted to take a moment to remind agencies about why cutoff instructions—even in big bucket schedules—are important to consider, especially when bucketing GRS items.

We will often see cases where an agency has included a GRS item with a 3 year retention in a 5 year bucket item. This all seems well and good until you look at the cutoff instructions. Many bucket items just have a simple instruction like “Destroy when 5 years old.” But the GRS item it is superseding says “Destroy 3 years after superseded or obsolete.” One instruction has a cutoff at the beginning of the lifecycle (retention is based on when the record was created). The other is based on the end of the lifecycle. This can result in the 5 year retention actually being shorter than the 3 year retention. For example, say the records here are administrative policies. That policy may still be actively used 5 years after it is created. You don’t want to destroy it if it’s in use. That is why the GRS states that it should be destroyed a certain period of time after use has ceased (it is superseded or obsolete). The GRS Team would not concur with the proposed bucketing of this item to 5 years, unless the cutoff was changed.

So how do you resolve this issue in big bucket schedules: the most common way we have seen other agencies do it while not having to completely blow apart their buckets is to include specific cutoff instructions in their crosswalks. The disposition instruction states “Destroy 5 years after cutoff” and the cutoff instruction for the bucket item refers to users to the crosswalk.  Then each item will indicate the cutoff.

If you have questions related to bucketing GRS items, please contact We’re happy to help.

BRIDG Meeting Cancelled

by on February 18, 2015

The February BRIDG Meeting has been cancelled for today.  The Office of Personnel Management has announced the following operating status: ALERT

Federal agencies in the Washington, DC area are OPEN and employees have the OPTION for UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK.

As a reminder, our BRIDG meeting cancellation policy is the following:

NARA reserves the right to postpone or cancel a meeting at any time. We will make every effort to contact registrants by e-mail and telephone if that occurs, so complete information at the time of registration is very important. Meetings WILL BE CANCELLED if the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announces a “closed”, “unscheduled leave”, “unscheduled telework”, and/or a “delayed arrival” policy for Federal employees for that day or if there has been an elevation to threat level RED in the Homeland Security status. Official Government closing and leave information is located on the OPM web site at at

We are requesting comments on a draft of an upcoming report on open source tools for records management. This report was produced in response to item A3.2 in the Managing Government Records Directive (M-12-18).  This item actively encourages us to work with agencies to review and identify open source tools for records management tasks. To kickstart this discussion, we’ve compiled a selection of open source tools that could be used for various records management functions. The list will be a “snapshot” of available tools as of October 2014. We haven’t tested the tools, nor do we endorse them.

The draft is available (as a .pdf) here.

We would like your feedback by January 30, 2015. Have you used any of these tools? Do you know of other agencies that have used any of these tools? Do you have any additional recommendations?

Note that this project only focuses on currently available open source tools. NARA will not be developing any new records management solutions in the scope of this project. However, NARA will be exploring how to build relationships with the open source community to identify gaps in tools and identify opportunities for external involvement to develop new solutions. The intended audience for this document is not only records management and IT staff in Federal agencies, but also developers in the open source community and any other interested parties.

Please contact Beth Cron ( or Lisa Haralampus ( with any feedback.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts!


Managing the Lifecycle of National Security Information is a one day class designed to improve the management of classified records in the intelligence, law enforcement and defense communities by integrating records management, information security and declassification concepts. The intended audience is anyone who handles classified records in agencies within the civilian Executive Branch, the Intelligence Community, and the Department of Defense.

Course Objectives:
• Explain the role of NARA in managing records and safeguarding National Security Information
• Identify the roles and responsibilities of Records Management and Classification Management personnel at every point throughout the record lifecycle
• Apply the rules and mandates that govern the management and safeguarding of National Security Information and records
• Define the additional requirements that pertain to National Security Information for each stage of the record lifecycle


When: Wednesday, February 18, 2015; 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Where: National Archives, Jefferson Conference Room, Washington, DC

Cost: $150.00. To register, follow this link.

You can also download a .pdf version of the course flyer here.

May 2015
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