1.15.1  The Records and Information Management Program

Manual Transmittal

August 19, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.15.1, Records and Information Management,The Records and Information Management Program.

Material Changes

(1) This IRM 1.15.1 updates reference to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Records Control Schedules and the General Records Schedules that were previously published in the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM). The schedules have been moved to two separate IRS documents. The Records Control Schedules previously contained in IRM 1.15.8 through IRM 1.15.37 are now available as Document 12990, Catalog 57910D. The General Records Schedules previously contained in IRM 1.15.38 through IRM 1.15.64 are now available as Document 12829, Catalog 54713E.

(2) The material in the IRM was reorganized to provide clarity and updated to reflect current organizational titles, terminology, references and citations.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.15.1, dated December 19, 2008.

Audience

All divisions and functions

Effective Date

(08-19-2013)

J. Stuart Burns
Director, Real Estate and Facilities Management (REFM)
Agency-Wide Shared Services (AWSS)

1.15.1.1  (08-19-2013)
Overview

  1. This section describes the Records and Information Management (RIM) Program, as an integral function within the IRS, as well as the roles and responsibilities of those employees who manage the program. Records and information management is the application of systematic controls to all recorded information that the IRS generates as original documentation and subsequently requires in order to conduct business. This recorded documentation falls under the statutory definition of " Federal Records." Records are considered media (or format) neutral. Consequently, procedures for records and information management apply to official IRS recorded information in all format types. See Title 44 U.S. Code (USC) §2901(2) for a definition of "Records Management," and §3301 for a definition of "Federal Records."

1.15.1.2  (08-19-2013)
Purpose

  1. In keeping with the Federal Records Act of 1950, as amended, and pursuant to Title 44, USC Section 3102, the IRS established a records management program - renamed Records and Information Management (RIM) Program - to ensure the economical and efficient management of its records. The program provides for the application, on a continuing basis, of sound management practices and techniques in the creation, maintenance, retrieval, preservation, and disposition of all records.

1.15.1.3  (08-19-2013)
Scope

  1. The program scope consists of managing the entire life cycle of records, irrespective of format (e.g. paper, digital, audio, photographic, micrographic, cartographic, geo-spatial); that is, creation or receipt, maintenance, disposal (destruction), retirement or transfer of (permanent) records to the National Archives of the United States, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), including regional archives and NARA-managed satellite archives.

1.15.1.4  (08-19-2013)
Mission

  1. The mission of the RIM program is to provide guidance and oversee related functions and processes which ensure that IRS records are available where and when they are needed, to whom they are needed, for only as long as they are needed, in order to conduct business, adequately document IRS activities, and protect the interests of the federal government and American taxpayer. All IRS records are required under statute to be efficiently managed until final disposition. The RIM program ensures this requirement. Major goals of the program are to furnish accurate and complete information when required to manage and operate the organization, and to provide information and records storage at the lowest possible cost. These goals are accomplished by:

    1. Creating only necessary records while minimizing filing of duplicates;

    2. Organizing and controlling records efficiently through inventories and files planning;

    3. Storing and managing records cost effectively through the use of electronic and local files area storage, Agency-operated records centers, and NARA-operated Federal Records Centers (FRC); and

    4. Ensuring the proper access, preservation, and timely disposition of all records according to prevailing and applicable federal statutes.

1.15.1.5  (08-19-2013)
Legal Requirements

  1. The following laws set forth basic legal requirements for federal records management and closely related activities at the IRS. Provision of these laws that are most relevant to IRS records management are codified at 5 USC §§ 552, 552a, 553; 18 USC § 641, 798, 2071; 26 USC §§ 6103, 7213; 31 USC § 3523; 40 USC §§ 1401-1503; and 44 USC Chapters 21, 29-35.

    1. Administrative Procedure Act of June 11, 1946, Ch. 324, 60 Stat. 237;

    2. Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950, Pub. L. No. 80-784 (September 12, 1950);

    3. Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-231 (October 2, 1996);

    4. Federal Records Act of 1950, Act of June 30, 1949, Ch. 288, Title V, 64 Stat. 583, which requires, among other things, that the head of each federal agency establish and maintain an active, continuing program for the economical and efficient management of agency records;

    5. Federal Records Management Amendments of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-575 (October 21, 1976);

    6. Freedom of Information Act, Pub. L. No. 89-487 (July 4, 1966) (as amended);

    7. Government Paperwork Elimination Act, Pub. L. No. 105-277 (Division C) (October 21, 1998);

    8. Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-106 (Division E) (February 10, 1996);

    9. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Act of 1984, Pub. L. No. 98-497 (October 19, 1984);

    10. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-511 (December 11, 1980) (as amended);

    11. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-13 (May 22, 1995);

    12. Paperwork Reduction Reauthorization Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 104-13 (October 18, 1986) (as amended);

    13. Privacy Act of 1974, Pub. L. No. 93-579 (December 31, 1974) (as amended);

    14. Records Disposal Act of 1943, Act of July 7, 1943, Ch. 192, 57 Stat. 380 (as amended);

    15. Tax Reform Act of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-455 (October 4, 1976) (as amended), providing for punishment by imprisonment, fine or both of IRS employees and contractors who disclose tax information to unauthorized individuals or who access tax information in an unauthorized fashion; and

    16. Act of June 25, 1948, Ch. 645, § 1, 62 Stat. 795 (as amended), which prohibits the concealment, removal, or mutilation of federal records and punishes same by fine or imprisonment or both, and which is set forth at 18 USC § 2071. See also 18 USC §§ 641, 793-794, 798, and 952.

  2. The following Executive Orders, regulations, agency orders, and policy documents set forth additional legal requirements and guidance for federal records management and closely related activities at the IRS.

    1. Relating to the Civil Service Commission and Labor-Management in the Federal Service, Executive Order 12107, 44 Fed. Reg. 1,055 (January 3, 1979) (as amended), which supersedes Executive Order 10561 providing that official personnel folders are records of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and permitting OPM to prescribe regulations therefore;

    2. National Industrial Security Program, Executive Order 19829, 58 Fed. Reg. 3,479 (January 8, 1993) (as amended);

    3. Classified National Security Information, Executive Order 12958, 60 Fed. Reg. 19,825 (April 20, 1995) (as amended);

    4. Personnel Records, 5 CFR Part 293, which contains a basic personnel records and files system for Federal agencies;

    5. Records Management, 36 CFR Ch. XII, Subch. B;

    6. Management Accountability and Control, OMB Circular A-123 (revised), 60 Fed. Reg. 33,876 (June 29, 1995);

    7. Management of Federal Information Resources, OMB Circular A-130 (revised), Transmittal Memorandum No. 4 (November 28, 2000);

    8. Records and Information Management Program, Treasury Directive 80–05 (February 23, 2000); and

    9. Records Management, General Accounting Office Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies, Title 8, Transmittal Sheet 8-8 (February 1991).

    10. Federal Register: This is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential documents. This document is used to retrieve the IRS privacy act system of records;

    11. Treasury Directive 80-05, RIM program: This directive provides policies and assigns responsibilities for records management, forms management, and interagency reports management. This directive also authorizes the issuance of Treasury Department Publication (TDP) 80-05, RIM Manual, which includes additional policy guidance for specific categories of records;

    12. Other IRMs that relate to the RIM program: IRM 1.15.2 (Types of Records and Their Life Cycle); IRM 1.15.3 (Disposing of Records); IRM 1.15.4 (Retiring and Requesting Records); IRM 1.15.5 (Transferring/Removing Records); IRM 1.15.6 (Managing Electronic Records).

      Note:

      IRM 1.15.7 Files Management is referenced under RIM as it relates to other programs.

    13. IRS Records Control Schedules (RCS) (formerly IRM 1.15.8 through IRM 1.15.37), now Document 12990, Catalog 57810D: These provide disposal authorizations for records accumulated by organizations/business units within IRS;

    14. General Records Schedules (GRS): The Archivist of the United States (NARA) issues the GRS to provide disposal authorization for temporary administrative records common to all agencies of the Federal government. They include records relating to civilian personnel, fiscal accounting, procurement, communications, printing, and other common functions, and certain nontextual records. The IRS has incorporated the GRS in the IRS comprehensive RCS Manual as RCS 38 through RCS 64 (formerly IRM 1.15.38 through IRM 1.15.64), IRS Document 12829, Catalog 54713E.

1.15.1.6  (08-19-2013)
Records Management as it Relates to Other Programs

  1. The following programs and activities relate to records management or recordkeeping programs:

    1. Correspondence Management— Correspondence is any written or documented oral communication. Any time correspondence is generated, an original record is created.

      Example:

      Letters, memoranda, notes, audio cassettes, and contact memoranda.

      Note:

      Guidelines on IRS correspondence are included in IRM 1.10.1.

    2. Files Management includes proper maintenance, selection, retrieval, retention, and disposition of files. Guidelines for managing files are contained in IRM 1.15.7, Files Management.

      Reminder:

      Accurate files management is a sound foundation of a good recordkeeping system.

    3. Publishing Management involves the printing and publishing of IRS documents. Since most documents are ultimately record-related, proper retention and disposition procedures are especially important to this program. Coordinate with the Multimedia Publishing staff, the Records Manager, and the RIM staff to ensure the proper recordkeeping practices are met.

      Note:

      Guidelines on Publishing Management are included in IRM 1.17.

      Note:

      Document 7130, IRS Published Products Catalog, contains IRS published products available to IRS offices from the Area Distribution Centers (ADC). The document does not include security products, originator controlled items, training materials (TPDS products), or the other annual government agency survey items.

    4. Forms Management involves designing and standardizing IRS forms. Effective records management is important when designing and evaluating forms.

    5. Security and Disclosure — Although the Privacy Act and Internal Revenue Code Section 6103 require the protection of tax-related information, they do not specify which methods to use. Since all tax information is gathered by a recordkeeping system, an effective records and information management program is vital to ensure that sensitive data is retained and disposed of properly.

      Note:

      Guidelines on Disclosure of Official Information are included in IRM 11.3.

      Note:

      Guidelines on Physical Security Program are included in IRM 10.2.

      Note:

      Guidelines on National Security Information are included in IRM 10.9.1. Procedures for the protection of classified information (i.e., top secret, secret, confidential).

      Note:

      Guidelines on Information Technology (IT) Security are included in IRM 10.8. All aspects of security for the protection of information technology resources (includes Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) information).

    6. Internal Management Documents (IMD) define all documents within the IMD system. They convey written policy, delegate authority, and provide information, instructions, and guidelines required for developing, revising, clearing, and issuing IMDs throughout the Internal Revenue Service. See IRM 1.11, Internal Management Documents, for guidelines in the IMD program.

1.15.1.7  (08-19-2013)
Oversight Responsibilities

  1. The IRS Servicewide Records Officer (also referred to as the IRS Records Officer), local Area Records Managers (ARM), and Information Resources Coordinators (IRC) have oversight responsibilities for the RIM program. Tasks for each are listed in IRM 1.15.1.7.1, IRM 1.15.1.7.3 and IRM 1.15.1.7.5, respectively.

1.15.1.7.1  (08-19-2013)
Responsibilities of the IRS Records Officer

  1. The IRS Records Officer reports directly to the Associate Director, Management and Administration, Real Estate and Facilities Management (REFM), Agency-Wide Shared Services (AWSS). The IRS Records Officer is delegated authority by the Commissioner under IRS Delegation Order 46 - to direct and conduct IRS records management and disposal activities, and IRS Delegation Order 156 - to act as the sole authority to facilitate NARA appraisal activities of IRS records under Internal Revenue Code Section 6103(I)(17).

  2. The IRS Records Officer:

    1. Plans, develops, promotes, and establishes IRS policy, standards and procedures, and guidelines to carry out the scope and mission of the RIM program;

    2. Develops policies and procedures for related operations that provide for effective controls over the IRS records and data;

    3. Plans, schedules, administers, directs, prioritizes, and conducts major RIM operations throughout the IRS;

    4. Plans, directs and conducts comprehensive and long-range projects or studies of records and information management practices;

    5. Serves as senior liaison for the IRS with NARA, the Department of the Treasury, other government agencies, and private industry on all records and information management matters that impact upon the entire IRS;

    6. Serves as the IRS Records Management Officer under Treasury Directive (TD) 80–05;

    7. Develops new records control schedules and reviews existing schedules based on any necessary changes consistent with IRS procedures and legal requirements;

    8. Participates in records reviews, program evaluations, special studies, task forces, etc., in Headquarters and field organizations;

    9. Provides technical guidance and assistance in fostering the mission of the RIM Program;

    10. Advises ARMs of new initiatives which will require an unplanned increase in the retiring and servicing of records at the FRCs;

    11. Reviews Systems of Records Notices (SORN) and Primary Impact Assessments (PIA) prior to publication for appropriate disposition treatment;

    12. Provides oversight and monitoring of RCP services and all off-site NARA-held holdings of IRS records, using various tools provided by the Archives and Records Center Information System (ARCIS);

    13. Certifies for payment of all NARA invoices for RCP services invoiced for administrative, policy, and program records;

    14. Transfers permanent records to NARA;

    15. Promotes awareness and understanding of records and information management through training, publicity, and related support activities; and

    16. Provides oversight and monitoring of disposition of electronic records of the IRS at all organizational levels using Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC) strategies, and advising on E-300 language, participating in the Enterprise Life Cycle (ELC) process, and using electronic records management tools.

1.15.1.7.2  (08-19-2013)
Responsibilities of the REFM Territory Manager

  1. The REFM Territory Managers:

    1. Ensure that the REFM Section Chiefs coordinate annual contact with managers in their area of coverage for the purposes of assessing program records and information management compliance. This compliance includes, but is not limited to, BU assignment of IRCs to conduct periodic inventories, complete annual files planning activities, and carry out other associated duties as required;

    2. Ensure that POD and BUs in area of coverage designate IRC responsibilities to identifiable staff and communicate information effectively to the Area Records Manager (ARM). The assignment of IRCs is a requirement in the Annual Management Control Accountability Process (MCAP);

    3. Ensure that the REFM Section Chiefs designate ARMs who serve as the primary responsible official(s) for directing and advising management and employees on RIM responsibilities and requirements for PODs within their area of coverage; and

    4. Advise the IRS Records Officer of the designated ARMs.

1.15.1.7.3  (08-19-2013)
Responsibilities of the Area Records Manager (ARM)

  1. The REFM Section Chiefs designate the ARM who:

    1. Assist the IRS Records Officer in implementing an effective RIM program;

    2. Maintain a contact directory of the designated IRC assigned for the IRS functional organizations within area of coverage and ensure the accuracy of the IRC contacts on a quarterly basis. Utilize the IRS Discovery Directory to identify the functional organizations in order to verify/obtain IRCs for area of coverage. The Headquarters ARMS (Washington, DC and New Carrollton) will provide the names of the designated BU IRCs to the IRS Records Officer;

    3. Conduct and/or participate in RIM Program activities, ensuring the adequate and timely training of IRCs and local IRS personnel in federal records management requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, site assistance visits to PODs in their area of coverage to assess records conditions and provide related support, Continuing Professional Education (CPE) training courses, and particular attention to new IRCs in need of baseline records management assistance. See Exhibit 1.15.1-1, Checklist for Evaluating IRC Recordkeeping Practices, a tool used for targeting office site visits, and training needs and priorities;

    4. Certify to the IRS Records Officer completion of the ELMS Course Number 15701, Introduction to Records Management for Information Resource Coordinators, within three months of appointment;

    5. Annually coordinate and assist IRCs and local offices in the conduct of records inventories for their area of coverage;

    6. Evaluate records management problems and resolve local ones which need attention, and forward resolution to the IRS Records Officer. Refer all servicewide problems to the IRS Records Officer for resolution;

    7. Participates in local area or local business function studies and recommend actions to improve the RIM program;

    8. Assist customers in establishing and developing disposition information for revising or updating existing records control schedules or developing new records series, including the identification of new or revised disposition authorities for electronic information systems. Coordinate with and/or advise the IRS Records Officer, as appropriate;

    9. Serve as liaisons with NARA FRC and IRS BU (including campus files activities) on records disposition matters, including the retirement, retrieval, and coordination of disposal activities;

    10. Review and approve all records retirements, transfers, retrievals, refiles, and disposals. Track and monitor records requests to and from the FRCs. Develop monthly billing reports;

    11. Assist others in fostering the mission of the RIM program;

    12. Promote awareness of records management through training, publicity, and related support activities. Ensure an annual IRC Communications Plan is approved by the IRS Records Officer;

    13. Maintain documentation of all assigned RIM program activities in the area of coverage, including but not limited to, records transfer and retrieval forms, disposal notices, files plans, training files, program promotion materials, communications plans, and comprehensive listing of IRCs;

    14. Assist customers in implementing and improving methods in the creation, storage, access, retrieval, preservation and disposal of documents and other information;

    15. Assist offices in the area to mitigate disasters affecting records;

    16. Assist customers in selecting suitable media for information or data which they collect and store;

    17. Participate in servicewide studies having records component;

    18. Conduct annual reviews of IRS and POD to ensure compliance with RIM responsibilities, including training, records inventories and files planning activities, and verification that records control schedules continue to meet customers' program and administrative needs. This is accomplished through the mandatory third quarter distribution of Exhibit 1.15.1-1, Checklist for Evaluating IRC Recordkeeping Practices, to all IRCs in the area of coverage;

    19. Participate in space planning activities to effect efficient storage and ensure compliance with IRS and Department of the Treasury records management requirements;

    20. Review purchase requests and use of records equipment and supplies to effect efficient storage and ensure compliance with IRS and Department of the Treasury records management requirements;

    21. Identify permanent records in area of coverage for transfer to NARA; and

    22. Ensure timely completion of all annual and periodic ELMS learning plan requirements for the RIM program.

    Reminder:

    The IRS Records Officer and all ARMs are authorized to inspect IRS records, related paperwork, and any indexes, box listings, or shipping documents and procedures to confirm the use of appropriate retention and disposal authorities and that program objectives are met.

    Caution:

    Although ARMs have access to IRS records, their inspection of investigative records is limited. The inspection cannot include the examination of the contents of individual investigative case files including, but not limited to, those that are Grand Jury or involve undercover or covert operations (including informants). The only legitimate access to individual investigative case files is allowable when appraising records, determining compliance with retention requirements, or administering Internal Revenue Code Section 6103 (1)(17) activities as required.

  2. See Exhibit 1.15.1-1, Checklist for Evaluating IRC Recordkeeping Practices, for additional information on ensuring an efficient and effective RIM program.

1.15.1.7.4  (08-19-2013)
Responsibilities of Headquarters Business Units

  1. Each IRS Headquarters organization/Business Unit is responsible for designating a primary Business Unit Information Resource Coordinator (BU/IRC), point of contact for records, and advising the ARM and IRS Records Officer. This BU/IRC acts as the main contact for the IRS Records Officer when dealing with RIM issues across a single business or organizational unit. Differences in scheduling new records or any changes that must be made to an existing RCS that affects an entire BU will be coordinated through this individual. The BU/IRC is the records representative for his or her functional organization and may speak or act with full authority within the organization. This person should not be confused with the (local) IRC who is responsible for records activities within their function/organization, Post Of Duty.

    Example:

    The Headquarters BU could be directed by the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, or Chief, for a Division or Office.

  2. Each BU/IRC:

    1. Assists the IRS Records Officer and the ARM in implementing an effective RIM Program;

    2. Identifies new or revised records series and recommends retention and disposal timeframes to their ARM and the IRS Records Officer;

    3. Assists in the coordination of records inventories for the business unit and supports the activity working with the ARM and the IRS Records Officer to get the annual inventory and files plan accomplished;

    4. Certifies to their ARM completion of the ELMS Course Number 15701, Introduction to Records Management for Information Resource Coordinators, within three months of appointment; and

    5. Brings issues to the attention of the ARM and IRS Records Officer.

1.15.1.7.5  (08-19-2013)
Responsibilities of the Information Resource Coordinator

  1. Each IRS functional organization, i.e. POD or functional BU (in the case of larger activities) is required to designate an Information Resource Coordinator (IRC) to be responsible for local records activities and is required to notify the REFM Section Chiefs and ARM of changes to assignment as they occur. At least once annually, BU managers must provide organizational and contact information to their local ARM. This information is necessary to update records servicing authorities and to ensure the systemic control over local records processes (e.g. the annual files planning process, and periodic records inventorying). IRCs are required to notify their local ARMs of any new records that must be scheduled or any changes that must be made to their existing RCS. In addition, the IRC is responsible for assisting the local ARMs in implementing an effective RIM program within their function/organization. The IRC is the records liaison representative for his or her functional organization and may speak or act with full authority within the organization. At a minimum there should be one IRC in every POD where a BU is located. However, for small PODs where there is only a shared office, there should be at least one local IRC who may not be in that POD, but located in the same area with oversight of that office.

    Example:

    A functional organization may be an Assistant Commissioner, Area, Division, Office, BU, POD, or Section.

  2. Each IRC:

    1. Assists employees with records disposition and inventory questions;

    2. Develops and/or reviews files plans at least annually and submits them to their local ARM;

    3. Certifies to their ARM completion of the ELMS Course Number 15701, Introduction to Records Management for Information Resource Coordinators, within three months of appointment;

    4. Conducts periodic inventories necessary to validate files plans and identify new records series (new types of records not identified in the RCSs);

    5. Coordinates the approval for the disposal of records in their area of coverage;

    6. Maintains documentation on disposed records, records retirements and transfers, retrievals, and files plans;

    7. Plans orderly disposition of inactive records in compliance with records control schedules, IRS and Department of the Treasury policies, and Federal regulations;

    8. Ensures that records eligible for storage at a FRC are packed in standard boxes and that Standard Form (SF) 135, Records Transmittal and Receipt, is accurately prepared;

    9. Identifies new or revised records series and recommends retention and disposal time frames to the ARM; and

    10. Brings other issues or concerns to the attention of the ARM or the IRS Records Officer.

1.15.1.7.6  (08-19-2013)
Responsibilities of All IRS Employees

  1. Each IRS employee must:

    1. Manage the records they create and/or maintain in accordance with policies outlined in IRMs 1.15.1 through IRM 1.15.7;

    2. Assure the integrity and confidentiality of the records in their custody and with which they use to do their jobs. Managers are responsible for ensuring that their employees comply with these requirements; and

    3. Return records requested from the FRC promptly when finished with the records.

1.15.1.7.7  (08-19-2013)
Responsibilities of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

  1. NARA is the oversight agency responsible for appraising all Federal records, approving their disposition, providing program assistance, evaluating records management programs, and serving as the final custodian of permanent records. FRC operating under an OMB approved reimbursable program as the Records Center Program (RCP), are a functional operation within the NARA organization that provide low cost off-site storage of records to all Federal agencies.

  2. NARA operates two different types of records facilities:

    1. FRCs provide temporary storage and reference services for records that are needed infrequently by the customer but are not yet eligible for disposal or transfer to the National Archives. IRS records stored in an FRC remain in the legal custody of the IRS.

    2. NARA permanently preserves select historical IRS records or IRS records of continuing value (e.g. rights and interests) permanently. Only a small percentage of these records have been identified and are scheduled as "PERMANENT" in the IRS RCS, specifically RCS 36. When transferring permanent records to NARA, the IRS transfers all legal custody of those records to NARA. NARA ensures preservation of permanent records and provides reference service to the IRS and its customers. NARA will withhold information that is restricted under statute (e.g. Internal Revenue Code Section 6103) from the public.

      Note:

      The IRS can - and should - specifically identify all restrictions for NARA on official transfer documentation (i.e. SF 258 Agreement to Transfer Records to the National Archives of the United States).

  3. Other functions of NARA include the offering of records management training courses, issuing the GRS, and establishing standards for media preservation.

Exhibit 1.15.1-1 
Checklist for Evaluating IRC Recordkeeping Practices

Yes No Checklist Questions
    1) Have you completed the Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS) Course Number 15701, Introduction to Records Management for Information Resource Coordinators?

Note:

This is required base-line records management training for all IRCs within three months of appointment. Upon completion of this course you will be able to recognize a record and its life cycle, create a files plan, conduct a records inventory, know the steps to retire and retrieve records, and dispose of records properly.

    2) Have you reviewed the Automated Records Management Process Guides on the Records and Information Management (RIM) Program web site?

Note:

While designed for Area Records Managers, this on-line tutorial is also recommended for IRCs for a better understanding of records management roles and responsibilities, records identification, records scheduling, and the application of disposition authorities.

    3) Have you received/participated in other records management training this fiscal year?
a. If yes, identify.
    4) Are the employees in your office able to distinguish between record and non-record materials? Do they file each type separately?

Note:

There are different policies and procedures for the management of record and non-record materials. Records are maintained and disposed of as prescribed by the IRS Records Control Schedules, Document 12990, (formerly IRMs 1.15.8-37) and General Records Schedules, Document 12829, (formerly IRMs 1.15.38-64).

    5) Do you make office staff aware of the Records Control Schedule instructions covering records retention and disposition?
a. If yes, what have you done to make them aware of these instructions.

Note:

Your Business Unit has determined which records made or received by your office must be kept to document its activities. They are defined in the IRS Records Control Schedules, Document 12990, (formerly IRMs 1.15.8-37) and General Records Schedules, Document 12829, (formerly IRMs 1.15.38-64). You should be aware of the schedule item authorities that apply to your office’s recordkeeping requirements, as well as make your staff aware of these authorities.

    6) Do you endorse and use a uniform office filing structure?
a. If yes, has the office files plan been recently verified to be current, and has the most recent version been shared with your local Area Records Manager?
b. If no, it is important to understand that in addition to their use in providing consistent records practices, files plans (with backup copies stored off-site and/or electronically available) are key in effectively and efficiently recovering records during emergency situations. The timely identification of building, room and equipment locations (including floor plans) can make all the difference in minimizing risks to records and the recovery of mission critical information. The creation and regular review of office files plans is required by all IRCs.

Note:

A files plan is a document that designates the physical location(s) where your office files are maintained, the specific types of files, and the organizational element(s) having custodial responsibility. Files plans also contain files descriptions and records disposition authorities. The IRS Records Control Schedules include approximately 3,000 items for use Servicewide. Files plans help to customize the Records Control Schedules by identifying only those items and related authorities specific to your office needs. See IRM 1.15.7, Files Management, for additional information.

    7) Are files maintenance procedures aligned with approved IRS Records Control Schedules, Document 12990, (formerly IRM 1.15.8-37) and General Records Schedules, Document 12829, (formerly IRM 1.15.38-64)?
a. If yes, do you promptly separate "closed" files from the active files? As files are closed , they should be marked, " closed" . Inactive/closed files should not remain in active files. In accordance with the IRS Records Control Schedules, closed files should be placed in an inactive files area, retired to a Federal Records Center (FRC), or destroyed (if appraised as a temporary record). See IRM 1.15.4, Retiring and Requesting Records, for additional information.
b. If no, is your office in the process of changing the current retention instructions, or is there another reason why the Records Control Schedules are not being followed?

Note:

Reorganizations, different program responsibilities, and new legal requirements can all effect office recordkeeping and can signify necessary changes to the Records Control Schedules. It is important to contact your Area Records Manager if the Records Control Schedules are no longer meeting your office needs to effect those necessary changes.

    8) Are permanent series of records clearly identified and maintained separately from temporary series? Are permanent records kept under proper storage conditions?

Note:

Permanent records are eventually transferred to the National Archives for preservation. They need special care to prevent damage or accidental destruction. Permanent records should be kept on magnetic tape, stored under proper temperature/humidity conditions, rewound at specific times, and transferred to the National Archives as soon as possible to prevent information loss.

    9) Have you conducted a records inventory this fiscal year?

Note:

A records inventory is a detailed listing of the volume, scope, and complexity of an organization's records, usually compiled for the purpose of creating (or updating) a records control schedule. Necessary changes or updates to the records control schedule identified during the annual inventory (or other means) must be brought to the attention of your Area Records Manager. See IRM 1.15.7, Files Management, for additional information.

    10) Does your office maintain a centralized files area, or are files physically located throughout the work area (i.e., dispersed in file cabinets)? Are file drawers and folders adequately labeled to allow quick reference? Have the files in the office been broken down into major file types (i.e., Administrative Subject Files, Standard Form 3081, travel, case files, etc.)?

Note:

You should have a designated files location in which you keep your official records. Drawer, guide cards, and/or folder labels should be standardized and easy to read. Simple arrangements by period of time and type of record speeds the filing and finding of records. Files should be broken down into file types to simplify filing and facilitate finding and disposal.

    11) Do you maintain files rooms or staging areas for the storage of records or files in-house? If so, do you follow the standards and requirements for the storage of the records?

Note:

Records require special care to prevent damage. 36 CFR 1228, Subpart K, covers the standards and requirements for the storage of records.

    12) Do you have procedures established for staff to follow when they wish to use records stored in-house?

Note:

You should have reference and charge-out procedures that facilitate the finding, borrowing, and refiling of records.

    13) Have procedures and controls been established to ensure that records received from the FRCs are promptly returned when no longer needed?
a. If yes, explain.

Note:

The prompt return of records to the FRCs helps to ensure the integrity and proper care of agency information. You should also be aware that often times multiple IRS offices have business needs to access the same files, and it is necessary that all offices do their part in ensuring records access to other possible agency stakeholders.

    14) Have you encountered any problems or difficulties in transferring records to an FRC, or in retrieving records from an FRC?
    15) Do you maintain electronic, microform, photographs, and/or audiovisual records? If so, are the records maintained in accordance with the IRS Records Control Schedules (formerly IRM 1.15.8-37) and General Records Schedules (formerly IRM 1.15.38-64)?

Note:

These non-paper materials are records and should be maintained in a manner appropriate to their use and format. You should know which copy is the record copy and what constitutes a complete record.

    16) Do you follow the IRS standards, guidelines, and regulations for the storage of sensitive information, security-classified documents, privacy act materials, and/or other restricted records?

Note:

Classified information must be stored in locations and equipment that ensures access is limited exclusively to authorized personnel. Records accessible by personal names, Social Security numbers, or other personal identifiers, and records containing sensitive or restricted information must be stored in locked file cabinets to prevent access by unauthorized personnel.

    17) Do you record and report the number of cubic feet of records that your office internally destroys, and document as required on a Form 11671, Certificate of Records Disposal, which Records Schedule retention authorities you are applying? See IRM 1.15.3, Disposing of Records, for additional information.
    18) Have there been any instances of missing, lost, or damaged records in your office during the past fiscal year?
    19) On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being poor, and 10 being proficient), how would you characterize your office’s records management acumen, e.g. knowledge of and adherence to Federal records management responsibilities and requirements?

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