Making Use of GRS Crosswalks

The following post is from the GRS Team.

New schedules published in General Records Schedule (GRS) Transmittals are not one-to-one replacements of old schedules.  Crosswalks provide temporary bridges to help agencies understand what has changed in the GRS and how to convert superseded authorities to new authorities.  Once the new GRS is completed and in place long enough for agencies to use it with agility, the importance of these crosswalks will diminish.  Eventually, they will no longer be needed at all.  But right now, they are your key to understanding the full scope of change.

Two types of GRS crosswalks trace conversion from both ends of the equation: old-to-new and new-to-old.  Crosswalks attached to each new schedule compare new items to old ones.  These list new items on the left and old (superseded) items on the right.  Going the opposite direction is a single crosswalk tracking old-to-new conversion (.pdf) for the entire old GRS.  It shows old items on the left, and superseding new items on the right.

How to read a crosswalk

Each “side” of the crosswalk contains schedule and item numbers, an abbreviated retention statement, and the legal authority for the disposition.  See this annotated pdf for details on how the two sides match up.

How to make use of crosswalk information

  1. Use crosswalks to update your agency records disposition manual. If your manual imports GRS items verbatim, you need to know when they have been superseded.  Use crosswalks to search for and identify superseded GRS items and update your manual with current, authoritative information.
  1. Use crosswalks to update your agency records disposition manual. If you reference GRS disposition authorities or have approved deviations to GRS items, you need to determine if those GRS items have been superseded by a new GRS transmittal.  This is particularly true if your agency uses big-bucket schedules.  Big buckets frequently incorporate records covered by the GRS into larger units for simplicity of scheduling.  Remember that NARA requires you to inform it within 120 days of each new GRS transmittal if you intend to continue using your approved big-bucket items based on old GRS items instead of newly published items superseding those old items on which your bucket item was based.  Here’s where to look for links between agency items and GRS items.
  • If your agency has an approved deviation to the GRS, the superseded GRS item(s) should appear on your approved schedule (SF-115 or equivalent) under superseded authorities.
  • If you have a big-bucket schedule, supersession of GRS items should appear in its crosswalk as well as in the schedule under superseded authorities.
  • If your agency manual includes items drawn directly from the GRS but incorporated into your manual for ease of one-stop shopping, check your manual for items whose authority is the GRS item. Agency records disposition manuals should cite the underlying disposition authority for the records, including GRS disposition authorities.

Updating disposition authorities and manuals will likely prove time consuming, particularly if your agency has not updated its manual in several years.  The GRS Team wants your experience to be as painless as possible and stands ready to help.  If you have any questions on how to do this comparison or why we mapped items to certain schedules, please contact us at GRS_Team@nara.gov.

About Arian Ravanbakhsh

Supervisory Records Management Policy Analyst in the Office of the Chief Records Officer.
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