During the current public health national emergency, the Office of the Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government remains ‘virtually’ open. All staff are 100% teleworking and our office is available to respond to questions or concerns. If you are unsure who to contact, our website contains a list of various email addresses.
While we are virtually open for business, we are suspending in-person visits for appraisal, for oversight, and for other agency meetings. If we are able to conduct those visits virtually, we will. Also, we continue to maintain our online training content and to support virtual training for new records officers. We pushed the deadline for annual reporting back from March 13th to April 15th to give more time to agencies who have not yet submitted their reports.
We also want to share some status updates from other offices across NARA.
The Federal Records Centers are currently closed. However, staff will respond to emergency requests for records. Emergency requests are defined as reference services in support of carrying out the constitutional duties of the Congress and the President, including national defense, conduct of foreign affairs, law enforcement activities, health and safety of life or property of the Government, response to natural or man-made disasters, or similar necessary implications of supporting continuing Federal activities.
For Accessioning, NARA is not accepting physical transfer of permanent non-electronic records until further notice. Any paper or analog records ready for physical transfer must remain with the transferring agency. In the meantime, NARA is continuing to accept electronic Transfer Request forms and will continue the approval process through ERA to the fullest extent possible. In addition, if you want to transfer electronic records to NARA, please talk with your electronic records accessioning archivist, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org, to coordinate the transfer of permanent electronic records.
Our office is not issuing any new policy related to COVID-19 and records management. However, we would like to highlight our 2011 FAQ on telework. This FAQ reminds employees regardless of how or where they work, they should continue to manage records in accordance with their agency policies and procedures.
Given this unusual situation, some teleworking employees may find that they use personal email accounts to communicate for work. Please note the Federal Records Act (44 U.S.C. 2911) requires federal employees who use non-official accounts to copy their electronic messages to an official account or forward a copy to an official account within 20 days.
We continue to recognize the importance of records and information management during this crisis. We hope all of our readers remain safe and healthy over the coming months. More information about the National Archives’ response to coronavirus can be found at archives.gov/coronavirus.