| Agency Recordkeeping Requirements
Agencies must create and preserve adequate and proper documentation of agency activities in designated recordkeeping systems to support operational needs, protect rights, and allow accountability. To ensure complete documentation, records, including those generated electronically with office automation applications, should include:
- Proper identification of originators;
- Proper identification of recipients;
- Appropriate dates; and
- Any other information needed by the agency to meet its business needs.
Records generated with an office automation application must be copied to a recordkeeping system where they will be maintained for as long as they are needed by the Government.
In accordance with Federal Regulations, a Federal records management system must include, at a minimum, the following capabilities:
- Include complete identification documentation, including: originators; recipients; appropriate dates and other information necessary for agency business requirements.
- Be capable of organizing and indexing records to properly preserve, retrieve, use, and dispose.
- Be accessible to all appropriate staff.
- Distinguish records from non-record material and personal papers.
- Be able to apply the records disposition schedule.
A manual or automated system in which records are collected, organized, and categorized to facilitate their preservation, retrieval, use, and disposition must be established that will:
- Organize records;
- Index records; and
- Allow appropriate staff access to all records.
Recordkeeping systems may be in the following formats:
Electronic Recordkeeping System
An electronic system in which records are collected, organized, and categorized to facilitate their preservation, retrieval, use, and disposition may be either (1) a distinct system designed specifically to provide recordkeeping functionality or (2) part of another system. A distinct electronic recordkeeping system will comprise an application program which provides recordkeeping functionality, data and metadata needed for management of the records controlled by the system, and any electronic records managed by the system. An electronic recordkeeping system may be part of another system, such as an application system or an electronic document management system, when the design of that system includes recordkeeping functionality.
NOTE: Records on "live" computer applications -- such as e-mail, work processing and spreadsheet applications -- will not satisfy the needs of the agency or the needs of researchers because they are not (1) maintained in recordkeeping systems that are accessible to appropriate staff and (2) capable of indexing and providing for access to records.