This document outlines the primary steps to follow to establish and maintain a records management program for your office. Why is this important?
First, as a Federal employee, at the FAA, you will be creating and using Federal government records. There are rules governing the use and destruction of all Federal records. For example, it is your responsibility to protect Federal records in your custody, and there are legal implications for destroying records without the proper authority.
Second, following good records management practices will not only help you meet legal requirements, they will benefit you and the Agency in many ways such as:
Here is the 10-step records management plan for your office.
Establish a project team with representatives from all sub units and job series (not just support and clerical staff) to oversee the project. The project team should:
Conduct an inventory of the materials in your office. Don't forget to include empty offices, closets, and other areas where things may have been "stashed."
Document, at a minimum, where materials are located, how much there is, and the format (e.g., paper, electronic, maps, etc.). (When you have a "snapshot" of the scope of materials in your office, you may need to go back to Step 1 and review the resources available to complete the project.)
An inventory will help you identify which materials are:
The inventory will also help you identify which records would need to be immediately available in the event of an emergency (vital records).
Now that you know what you have in your office, the project team needs to determine:
Remember - Nonrecord materials such as convenience copies and personal papers need to be maintained separate from records.
The next step in the project is to match the records identified in your inventory with the records schedules. Records schedules provide information on how long records are to be kept in the office and what happens when they are no longer needed in the office. Retention periods as stated in the schedules are mandatory.
If a records schedule is still in draft, you can not destroy records covered by that schedule until it has been moved to the approved portion of the website.
Contact your Program Office, Region, or Center Records Officer if:
Now that you know what records you have and what the appropriate records schedules are, you can begin to organize them. Step 5 resources
Prepare a document, a file plan, which gives details on:
Include all the decisions you made in steps 1 through 5 (e.g., what happens to draft documents).
Once you have documented your file plan you can begin to organize your records. First, however, it is a good idea to get rid of those materials in your office which are not needed. If authorized by the records schedule, you can:
Now you can begin to implement your file plan.
First, prepare folders and organize documents within the folders. Follow the procedures established in your file plan.
Place reference sheets in folders, when necessary, to refer users to the location of related non-paper materials such as maps, drawings, videotapes, etc.
Organize electronic documents (e.g., WordPerfect documents, e-mail messages) residing on individual computer or local network directories using the Agency file codes.
Remember to spend the majority of your time on the "mission-related" records and less on administrative or "housekeeping" records such as routine correspondence.
Once everything is organized, it is important to keep it current and up to date. Be sure to:
Congratulations! Now you have a file plan. You've cleaned out all the unnecessary materials and organized the necessary materials. Your job isn't over yet! You need to be sure all staff members (and contractors) know about their recordkeeping responsibilities. Records liaisons need to brief senior management on the importance of your records management program and train office staff on how it works.
Your RO can help you with:
Page Last Modified: 01/09/12 14:06 EST
This page can be viewed online at: http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/records/tools/10-step_records_management_plan/