Developing and Maintaining a Vital Records Program
Appendix 6 – Summary of Commitments and Requirements for Audit
Summary of Commitments
- Maintain vital records plan as shown in Appendix C.
- Review and submit plan annually.
- Maintain list of disaster recovery services and check periodically to ensure it is updated.
- Conduct disaster recovery drills every six months.
- Work closely with the Continuity of Operations (COOP) planners to ensure efforts are coordinated.
- Train staff in their responsibilities.
- Distribute copies of the plan to appropriate staff and management.
Checklist of Issues Identified by NARA
(May be used in auditing of a vital records program)
- Have appropriate Agency personnel, including the records officer, program officials, the emergency coordinator, facilities managers, IRM officials, and safety/security personnel, assessed the potential risks to the office's operations and records?
- Has the office determined which of its functions are most critical and would need to be continued if an emergency or disaster struck?
- Has the office identified those functions or activities that most impact the rights of the office and the individuals directly affected by its actions?
- Has the office prepared and disseminated written information to appropriate Agency staff, describing the vital records program, including the responsibilities of various Agency officials?
- Has the office assigned an official responsibility for managing the vital records program and coordinated it with other appropriate officials?
- Have liaison officers been delegated responsibility for implementing the program in the field offices?
- Has the office identified their vital records, i.e., its emergency operating records and records needed to protect legal and financial rights?
- Does the office make copies of the vital records for off-site storage?
- Does the office store duplicates at a remote location not subject to the same fire or other risks (such as high-risk geographic areas prone to flooding or earthquakes) present in storage areas where original records are kept?
- Are Agency personnel trained in their vital records responsibilities?
- Has the office established protective measures for all its records?
- Has the office designated an official responsible for the records recovery program?
- Does the office conduct a periodic review of its vital records plan and update it to ensure that it is current, complete, and usable in case of emergency?
- If special records (such as electronic information systems or microform records) are designated as vital records, have provisions been made for access to the equipment needed to use the records in the event of an emergency?
- Has the office given special attention to the protection of its vital records, regardless of the media on which these are maintained?
- Has the office prepared a written issuance establishing a records recovery program and disseminated it to appropriate Agency staff?
- Has the office designated a records recovery team?
- Has the records recovery team been trained?
- Has the office developed a list of records recovery consultants and reviewed it periodically for accuracy?
- Does the office maintain supplies and equipment required to recover records damaged in an emergency or disaster?
- Does the office conduct a periodic review of the records recovery plan and update it as necessary?
Return to Vital Records Program main page