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Part 102-193 - Creation, Maintenance, and Use of Records

§102-193.5 - What does this part cover?

This part prescribes policies and procedures related to the General Service Administration’s (GSA) role to provide guidance on economic and effective records management for the creation, maintenance and use of Federal agencies’ records. The National Archives and Records Administration Act of 1984 (the Act)(44U.S.C.chapter29) amended the records management statutes to divide records management responsibilities between GSA and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Under the Act, GSA is responsible for economy and efficiency in records management and NARA is responsible for adequate documentation and records disposition. GSA regulations are codified in this part and NARA regulations are codified in 36 CFRChapterXII. The policies and procedures of this part apply to all records, regardless of medium (e.g.,paper or electronic), unless otherwise noted.

§102-193.10 - What are the goals of the Federal Records Management Program?

The statutory goals of the Federal Records Management Program are:

      (a)   Accurate and complete documentation of the policies and transactions of the Federal Government.

      (b)   Control of the quantity and quality of records produced by the Federal Government.

      (c)   Establishment and maintenance of management controls that prevent the creation of unnecessary records and promote effective and economical agency operations.

      (d)   Simplification of the activities, systems, and processes of records creation, maintenance, and use.

      (e)   Judicious preservation and disposal of records.

      (f)   Direction of continuing attention on records from initial creation to final disposition, with particular emphasis on the prevention of unnecessary Federal paperwork.

§102-193.15 - What are the records management responsibilities of the Administrator of General Services (the Administrator), the Archivist of the United States (the Archivist), and the Heads of Federal agencies?

      (a)   The Administrator of General Services (the Administrator) provides guidance and assistance to Federal agencies to ensure economical and effective records management. Records management policies and guidance established by GSA are contained in this part and in parts  102-194 and 102-195 of this chapter, records management handbooks, and other publications issued by GSA.

      (b)   The Archivist of the United States (the Archivist) provides guidance and assistance to Federal agencies to ensure adequate and proper documentation of the policies and transactions of the Federal Government and to ensure proper records disposition. Records management policies and guidance established by the Archivist are contained in 36 CFRChapterXII and in bulletins and handbooks issued by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

      (c)   The Heads of Federal agencies must comply with the policies and guidance provided by the Administrator and the Archivist.

§102-193.20 - What are the specific agency responsibilities for records management?

You must follow both GSA regulations in this part and NARA regulations in 36 CFRChapterXII to carry out your records management responsibilities. To meet the requirements of this part, you must take the following actions to establish and maintain the agency’s records management program:

      (a)   Assign specific responsibility to develop and implement agencywide records management programs to an office of the agency and to a qualified records manager.

      (b)   Follow the guidance contained in GSA handbooks and bulletins and comply with NARA regulations in 36 CFRChapterXII when establishing and implementing agency records management programs.

      (c)   Issue a directive establishing program objectives, responsibilities, authorities, standards, guidelines, and instructions for a records management program.

      (d)   Apply appropriate records management practices to all records, irrespective of the medium (e.g.,paper, electronic, or other).

      (e)   Control the creation, maintenance, and use of agency records and the collection and dissemination of information to ensure that the agency:

           (1)   Does not accumulate unnecessary records while ensuring compliance with NARA regulations for adequate and proper documentation and records disposition in 36 CFR part s1220 and 1228.

           (2)   Does not create forms and reports that collect information inefficiently or unnecessarily.

           (3)   Reviews all existing forms and reports (both those originated by the agency and those responded to by the agency but originated by another agency or branch of Government) periodically to determine if they can be improved or canceled.

           (4)   Maintains records economically and in a way that allows them to be retrieved quickly and reliably.

           (5)   Keeps mailing and copying costs to a minimum.

      (f)   Establish standard stationery formats and styles.

      (g)   Establish standards for correspondence to use in official agency communications, and necessary copies required, and their distribution and purpose.

§102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

Your agency should strive to:

      (a)   Improve the quality, tone, clarity, and responsiveness of correspondence;

      (b)   Design forms that are easy to fill-in, read, transmit, process, and retrieve, and reduce forms reproduction costs;

      (c)   Provide agency managers with the means to convey written instructions to users and document agency policies and procedures through effective directives management;

      (d)   Provide agency personnel with the information needed in the right place, at the right time, and in a useful format;

      (e)   Eliminate unnecessary reports and design necessary reports for ease of use;

      (f)   Provide rapid handling and accurate delivery of mail at minimum cost; and

      (g)   Organize agency files in a logical order so that needed records can be found rapidly to conduct agency business, to ensure that records are complete, and to facilitate the identification and retention of permanent records and the prompt disposal of temporary records. Retention and disposal of records is governed by NARA regulations in 36 CFRChapterXII.

Last Reviewed: 2020-10-22