1.15.1 The Records and Information Management Program

Manual Transmittal

August 04, 2017

Purpose

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

Material Changes

(1) IRM 1.15.1 contains information on the Records and Information Management Program.

(2) IRM 1.15.1.1 - Revised the title to Program Scope and Objectives to properly reflect the information communicated in this subsection. Included important information to conform to the new internal and management control standards under the following titles:

  1. IRM 1.15.1.1.1, Background - Moved content formerly at 1.15.1.2 Purpose and changed the title.

  2. IRM 1.15.1.1.2, Authority - Moved and updated content formerly at 1.15.1.5 Legal Requirements and changed the title.

  3. IRM 1.15.1.1.3, Responsibilities - This IRM is applicable for ALL IRS employees and contractors.

  4. IRM 1.15.1.1.4, Terms and Acronyms - Compiled a list of frequently used terms and acronyms used in records and information management.

  5. IRM 1.15.1.1.5, Related Resources - Added related resources here.

(3) IRM 1.15.1.3, Oversight Responsibilities - Moved and updated content formerly at 1.15.1.7.

(4) IRM 1.15.1.3.1, Responsibilities of the IRS Records Officer - Moved and updated content formerly at 1.15.1.7.1.

(5) IRM 1.15.1.3.2, Responsibilities of the PGLD Records Specialist Manager - Revised the subsection title, moved and updated content formerly at 1.15.1.7.2.

(6) IRM 1.15.1.3.3, RIM Records Specialist - Revised the subsection title, moved and updated content formerly at 1.15.1.7.3.

(7) IRM 1.15.1.3.4, Responsibilities of Headquarters Business Units - Moved and updated content formerly at 1.15.1.7.4.

(8) IRM 1.15.1.3.5, Responsibilities of the Information Resource Coordinator - Moved and updated content formerly at 1.15.1.7.5.

(9) IRM 1.15.1.3.6, Responsibilities of All IRS Employees and Contractors - Revised the subsection title, moved and updated content formerly at 1.15.1.7.6.

(10) IRM 1.15.1.3.7, Responsibilities of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) - Moved and updated content formerly at 1.15.1.7.7.

(11) Exhibit 1.15.1-1, Checklist for Evaluating IRC Recordkeeping Practices - Updated the content.

(12) Real Estate and Facilities Management (REFM) Manager has been changed to Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) Records Specialist Manager throughout this IRM section.

(13) Area Records Manager (ARM) has been changed to Records Specialist throughout this IRM section.

(14) Editorial changes made throughout this IRM section.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.15.1, dated August 12, 2015.

Audience

All divisions and functions

Effective Date

(08-04-2017)

Celia Doggette
Director, Identity and Records Protection (IRP)

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: 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 (U.S.C.) § 2901(2) for a definition of "Records Management" , and § 3301 for a definition of "Federal Records" .

  2. 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.

  3. Audience: These procedures apply to ALL IRS employees and contractors.

  4. Program Owner: The Records and Information Management (RIM) Program, under Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) is the program office responsible for oversight of the Servicewide records management policy.

Background

  1. In keeping with the Federal Records Act of 1950, as amended, and pursuant to Title 44, U.S.C. § 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.

  2. 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.

Authority

  1. The following laws set forth basic legal requirements for federal records management and closely related activities at the IRS that are codified at 5 U.S.C. §§ 552, 552a, 553; 18 U.S.C. § 641, 798, 2071; 26 U.S.C. §§ 6103, 7213; 31 U.S.C. § 3523; 40 U.S.C. §§ 1401-1503; and 44 U.S.C. 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. Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014, H.R. 1233 (November 26, 2014), modernizes records management by focusing more directly on electronic records;

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

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

    16. 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

    17. 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 U.S.C. § 2071. See also 18 U.S.C. §§ 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 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 293, which contains a basic personnel records and files system for Federal agencies;

    5. Records Management, 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Chapter XII, Subchapter 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); and

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

    9. 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;

    10. Managing Government Records Directive, M-12-18 (November 28, 2011): This directive provides a framework for records management policy and practice reforms, including Federal agency management of email in an accessible electronic format, and management of all permanent electronic records in an electronic format.

    11. IRS Records Control Schedules (RCS), Document 12990, Catalog 57810D: These provide disposal authorizations for records accumulated by organizations/business units within IRS;

    12. General Records Schedules (GRS), Document 12829, Catalog 54713E: 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 non-textual records. The IRS has incorporated the GRS in the IRS comprehensive RCS Manual as GRS 1 through GRS 27, including sub-sections that reflect NARA’s ongoing revision process.

Responsibilities

  1. This IRM is used by ALL IRS employees and contractors to help comply with paper and electronic records management requirements.

Terms and Acronyms

  1. The table lists commonly used terms and acronyms, including their definitions:

    Term and Acronym Definition
    BU Business Unit
    CFR Code of Federal Regulations
    FRC Federal Records Center
    GRS General Records Schedules, Document 12829
    IRC Information Resource Coordinator
    IRP Identity and Records Protection
    NARA National Archives and Records Administration
    OMB Office of Management and Budget
    PGLD Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure
    POD Post of Duty
    RCP Records Center Program
    RCS Records Control Schedules, Document 12990
    RIM Records and Information Management
    TD Treasury Directive
    U.S.C. United States Code

Related Resources

  1. Employees will find the following websites helpful on records and information management:

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. Anytime correspondence is generated, an original record is created.

      Example:

      Letters, memoranda, notes, Email, Instant Messaging, audio cassettes, and contact memoranda.

      Note:

      Guidelines on IRS correspondence are included in IRM 1.10.1, IRS Correspondence Manual.


    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, National Distribution Center (NDC) Product Catalog, contains IRS published products available to IRS offices from the NDC. The document does not include security products, originator controlled items, training materials (Training Publications Distribution System (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 — An effective records and information management program is vital to ensure that information protected, for instance, under the Privacy Act and Internal Revenue Code § 6103 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.

Oversight Responsibilities

  1. The IRS Servicewide Records Officer (also referred to as the IRS Records Officer), local Records Specialists, and Information Resources Coordinators (IRC) have oversight responsibilities for the RIM program. Tasks for each are listed in IRM 1.15.1.3.1, IRM 1.15.1.3.3, and IRM 1.15.1.3.5, respectively.

Responsibilities of the IRS Records Officer

  1. The IRS Records Officer reports directly to the Associate Director, Records and Information Management (RIM), Identity and Records Protection (IRP), Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD). The IRS Records Officer is delegated authority by the Commissioner under IRS Delegation Order 1-50, Servicewide Records Management (formerly Delegation Order 46, and also found in IRM 1.2.40.39) - to direct and conduct IRS records management and disposal activities, and IRS Delegation Order 11-2, Authority to Permit Disclosure of Tax Information and to Permit Testimony or the Production of Documents (formerly Delegation Order 156, and also found in IRM 1.2.49.3) - to act as the sole authority to facilitate NARA appraisal activities of IRS records under IRC 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 Records Specialists 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 Privacy and Civil Liberties Impact Assessments (PCLIA) prior to publication for appropriate disposition treatment;

    12. Provides oversight and monitoring of Records Center Program (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.

Responsibilities of the PGLD Records Specialist Manager

  1. The Records Specialist Manager:

    1. Ensures that the IRS business unit organizations coordinate annual contact with the Business Unit (BU) IRCs for the purpose 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. Ensures that Posts of Duty (PODs) and BUs in area of coverage designate IRC responsibilities to identifiable staff and communicate information effectively to the Records Specialist. The assignment of IRCs is a requirement in the Annual Management Control Accountability Process (MCAP);

    3. Designates Records Specialists 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. Advises the IRS Records Officer of the designated Records Specialists.

Responsibilities of the RIM Records Specialist

  1. The Records Specialist Manager designates the Records Specialist who:

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

    2. Maintains a contact directory of the designated IRC assigned for the IRS functional organizations within area of coverage and ensures the accuracy of the IRC contacts on a quarterly basis. Reviews the IRS Discovery Directory to identify the functional organizations in order to verify/obtain IRCs for area of coverage;

    3. Conducts and/or participates 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. Certifies 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 coordinates and assists IRCs and local offices in the conduct of records inventories for their area of coverage;

    6. Evaluates records management problems and resolves local ones which need attention, and forwards resolution to the IRS Records Officer. Refers all Servicewide problems to the IRS Records Officer for resolution;

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

    8. Assists 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. Coordinates with and/or advises the IRS Records Officer, as appropriate;

    9. Serves 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. Reviews and approves all records retirements, transfers, retrievals, refiles, and disposals. Tracks and monitors records requests to and from the FRCs. Develop monthly billing reports;

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

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

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

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

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

    17. Participates in Servicewide studies having records component;

    18. Conducts 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 annual distribution of Exhibit 1.15.1-1, Checklist for Evaluating IRC Recordkeeping Practices, to all IRCs in the area of coverage;

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

    20. Reviews 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. Identifies permanent records in area of coverage for transfer to NARA; and

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

    Reminder:

    The IRS Records Officer and all Records Specialists 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 Records Specialists 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.

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 Records Specialist 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 is appointed and directed by the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, or Chief, for a Division or Office and reports directly to an Executive.

  2. Each BU/IRC:

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

    2. Identifies new or revised records series and recommends retention and disposal time frames to their Records Specialist and the IRS Records Officer;

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

    4. Certifies to their Records Specialist 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 Records Specialist and IRS Records Officer.

Responsibilities of the Information Resource Coordinator (IRC)

  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 Records Specialists Manager and Records Specialist of changes to assignment as they occur. At least once annually, BU managers must provide organizational and contact information to their local Records Specialist. 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).

  2. IRCs are required to notify their local Records Specialists 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 Records Specialists 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.

  3. 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 Records Specialist;

    3. Certifies to their Records Specialist 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 Records Specialist; and

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

Responsibilities of All IRS Employees and Contractors

  1. Each IRS employee and contractor must:

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

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

    4. Certify the completion of the ELMS Course Number 62965, Records Management Mandatory Briefing.

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.

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 a recommended 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 SharePoint?

Note:

While designed for Records Specialists, 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 and General Records Schedules, Document 12829.

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 and General Records Schedules, Document 12829. 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 for your paper and electronic records?
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 Records Specialist?
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 and General Records Schedules, Document 12829?
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 Records Specialist 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 Records Specialist. 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 paper and electronic 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 and General Records Schedules?

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?