​The Federal Records Act requires all federal agencies to establish records management programs documenting their missions, functions, decisions and activities. In addition to the Federal Records Act, WAPA must follow the Code of ​Federal Regulations and guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the Department of Energy (DOE).  ​​

Records contain information necessary to protect the legal and financial rights of the government and of persons directly affected by the agency’s activities. Records disposition activities must follow a NARA-approved records schedule. ​

FREQU​​ENTLY​ ASKED QUESTIONS​

What is a Feder​a​​​l record?

The Federal Records Act defines records as ”all recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, made or received by a federal agency under federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor 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.”

More simply, federal records document an agency’s ​missions, functions, decisions and activities to protect the legal and financial rights of the agency and public they serve. ​

What is a re​​cord schedule?

Record schedules describe how long records must be maintained and what happens to them at the end of their lifecycle. For a records schedule to be valid, by law it must be approved by the Archivist of the United States and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

There are two major types of records schedules that apply to records in WAPA’s custody:

  • The General Records Schedule, which covers administrative and routine records created across the federal government and is written by NARA.
  • WAPA-specific schedules which describe agency specific program records. WAPA writes a draft of these records schedules and submits them to NARA for evaluation and approval.


​Why is W​​APA proposing new records schedules?

WAPA’s Records and Information Management Program recently submitted 10 new records schedules to NARA covering all of our key functional areas. This is needed to help us meet the goals outlined in Memorandum M-19-21 released by the Office of Management and Bu​dget and NARA. These new records schedules are needed to help WAPA simplify our approach to records management in order to handle the scale of electronic information we create.


Why are WAPA records schedules appearing in the Federal Register?

The Federal Records Act requires the Archivist of the United States and NARA to approve all records schedules. As part of this routine process, NARA publishes all draft schedules in the Federal Register for public comment.

WAPA is not part of publishing this specific Federal Register notice. NARA manages all aspects of this process. Any comments should be submitted to NARA for their adjudication, not to your normal WAPA points of contact.


Who c​​​an I contact?

  • To submit comments to the draft WAPA records schedules, submit comments to NARA following the steps outlined in the Federal Register notice.
  • For questions about WAPA’s Records and Information Management Program, please email records@wapa.gov. ​

 

Last modified on November 30th, 2023