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Records Management

IMLS’ Records Management Program resides within the Office of the Chief Information Officer and provides oversight, guidance, and direction to ensure proper documentation of the agency's functions, decisions, policies and procedures, and essential transactions.

What is a Federal Record?

Per the Federal Records Act, federal records include all books, papers, correspondence, maps, photographs, publications, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, produced or received by an agency of the United States Government. The documents are maintained in association with the transaction of public business and preserved by the agency as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the Government or because of the informational value of the data in them (44 U.S.C. 3301).

What are the different types of records? 

Temporary Records: Temporary Records are records approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for disposal, either immediately or after a specified retention period. These records are sometimes called disposable or nonpermanent records.

Examples of IMLS Temporary Records are:

  • Program and Grants & Contracts Office maintained grant files, cooperative agreement files, and final grant products (when applicable) related to IMLS grant awards.
  • All closed out grant files and cooperative agreement files which are designated for retirement/archiving.
  • Panel and Council Books.
  • Panel meeting records (e.g., books, tapes, notes, ballots, etc.).
  • White House Correspondence Working Files.
  • Grant Applicant work samples (e.g., supporting materials) including determination of funding or rejection of the application.
  • Publications Working Files.
  • Audit Services Records.
  • Estimates of Appropriations.
  • Copies of correspondence generated by IMLS offices.

Vital Records: Vital Records are essential records that are needed to meet operational responsibilities under national security emergencies or other emergency or disaster conditions to protect the legal and financial rights of the Government. Vital records are also known as essential information.

Permanent Records: Permanent records are those documents that NARA has appraised as having sufficient value to warrant continued preservation by the Federal Government as part of the National Archives of the United States.  Permanent Records are created or received while conducting government business.

In the IMLS 2016 Open Government Plan, IMLS commits to maintaining appropriate records including electronic records of the agency operations in compliance with the Presidents November 2011 Memorandum on Managing Government Records and the 2012 Managing Government Records Directive.