An effective FAA records management program requires:

  • A clear definition of program objectives, responsibilities, and authorities;
  • Sufficient resources to administer the program;
  • Continuing training for staff; and,
  • Regular internal evaluations to monitor compliance and program effectiveness.

The benefits derived from a good records management program include:

  • Ready access to records that provide essential evidence of Agency actions;
  • Documentation of the rights of citizens and the actions of federal officials;
  • Economy and improved efficiency through access to complete and accurate information;
  • Avoidance of unnecessary costs for records storage; and,
  • Assurance of continuity of operations through preservation of vital records.

A. Program authorization and organization

Questions to ask are:

  1. Has the program or office formally designated a records liaison with responsibility for carrying out a records management program?
  2. Does a program directive(s) define the role and responsibilities of the records liaison and the scope of the records management program and provide authority to the records liaison to conduct an effective program-wide program?
  3. Has the program or office formally incorporated its records management program into the information resources management program?
  4. Does the program or office records liaison provide program direction to a network of records liaisons in major divisions throughout the program?
  5. Are records management responsibilities included in the position descriptions for records liaisons?
  6. Does the program or office records liaison routinely communicate with all records liaisons?
  7. Are all employees informed of the identity and role of the records liaisons serving their office?
  8. Does the program or office records liaison participate in planning for new electronic information systems and in major modifications to existing systems to ensure incorporation of recordkeeping requirements and records disposition procedures? Specifically:
    1. Is the records liaison involved in the development of program requirements for software and electronic applications?
    2. Is the records liaison involved in the development of electronic recordkeeping systems, including procurement of computer equipment?
    3. Is the records liaison involved in the development of document imaging systems?

B. Guidance and Training

Questions to ask are:

  1. Has the program or office records liaison received training in Federal and FAA records management regulations, policies, and procedures?
  2. Do records liaisons, secretaries, file clerks, and others with regular records duties receive training in records maintenance and filing procedures and records disposition?
  3. Is records management guidance received from their Records Officer, or other oversight agencies such as NARA, tailored, when appropriate, to reflect the program or office specific procedures prior to dissemination to appropriate program or office staff?
  4. Does the records liaison brief senior officials and program administrators on the importance of records management and records handling responsibilities?

C. Internal evaluations

Questions to ask are:

  1. Does the records liaison periodically evaluate records management practices?
  2. Do these evaluations include electronic records?
  3. Are written evaluation reports prepared?
  4. Are evaluated programs or offices required to respond to the evaluation reports promptly?
  5. Does the records liaison follow up to determine if offices implement necessary corrective action or recommendations for improvements?