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Additional Guidance Regarding Requesting Approval to Move Records



March 31, 2003

Memorandum

To: Solicitor
Assistant Secretaries
Special Trustee for American Indians
Inspector General
Bureau Directors and Office Heads

From: Assistant Deputy Secretary / Original Signed by Abe Haspel

Subject: Additional Guidance Regarding Requesting Approval to Move Records

Since the new process for requesting approval to move records was implemented, I have received numerous constructive comments and suggestions for improving the process. I anticipated that changes would become necessary as the process was implemented and tested. It is my utmost hope that together we can make this process as unobtrusive as possible for everyone. In that regard, I sincerely appreciate your patience, understanding, and suggestions to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the process.

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide revised guidance and procedures to follow when requesting approval from the Associate Deputy Secretary for the physical movement of records within the Department of the Interior (DOI), to a Federal Records Center (FRC), to a NARA Archives, or to a commercial records storage center. This memorandum supersedes previous guidance in my January 29, 2003, memorandum, Additional Guidance and Procedures to Follow When Requesting Approval to Move Records and in the Deputy Secretary’s December 4, 2002, memorandum. Guidance regarding the movement of records from compacted and contracted tribes will be forthcoming. As a result of lessons learned, the following clarifications and/or changes were made.

1. The Record Move Request form was modified to reflect the following changes. Please ensure that the Record Move Request, Revision 1 Form (March 2003), is used to request approval for record moves.

· The box for “Active Trust Records” was removed per explanation in number 2 below.
· The boxes in item 2 titled “Records Category” were realigned and renumbered 2a-2e.
· A new record category, item 2e, titled “Inactive Indian/Non-Trust Records”, was added to item 2 and like 2d requires a certification that they are not trust records.
· Item 2a was modified to include the phrase “crossing regional or state boundaries.”
· Item 2b was modified to include the phrase “or to a NARA Archives.”
· Item 2d was modified to include the phrases “boxes being transferred across regional or state boundaries, or to an FRC…” and “…or to a NARA Archives…”
· The boxes under item 3 were numbered 3a-f. The previous box titled “Origin of Move” was removed since it was determined not necessary. A new box, 3c titled “Accession Number” was added as an additional tool to use in tracking requests.
· A box was added at the bottom of the form in the “To Be Completed by MS-7229” section, titled “ID #,” to assist in identifying and tracking the move requests.

2. The movement of all ACTIVE records (whether trust or non-trust records) does not require prior approval by the Associate Deputy Secretary. The box indicating ACTIVE records was removed because its inclusion was unnecessary and therefore confusing. However, movement of active records (in quantities of more than one box) does require documentation. That documentation should include the chain of custody procedures, the inventory or box lists, and a self-certification that the records are either (1) Active Indian Trust Records or (2) Active Non-Indian/Non-Trust Records. The Originating Responsible Official (ORO) should retain this documentation in accordance with General Records Schedule 16, item 2b (destroy when 2 years old).

3. SF-135s (Records Transmittal and Receipt) and agency generated SF-258s (Agreement to Transfer Records to the National Archives of the United States) are to be conditionally approved by NARA before submission of the Record Move Request documentation for approval by the Associate Deputy Secretary. NARA will stamp the SF-135s and 258s
“. . . approved contingent upon NARA receiving with the records an approved Record Move Request form, plus all supporting documents.” A copy of the approved Record Move Request form must be included with the shipment of records to NARA.

4. After the Associate Deputy Secretary’s approval of the Record Move Request, the approved form will be faxed to the ORO, or to whoever is coordinating this process for the bureau/office. The ORO must include a copy of the approved Record Move Request and all supporting documentation (e.g., chain of custody procedures, inventory or box lists, approved SF-135) inside the first box for each accession being shipped to an FRC, NARA Archives, or a commercial records storage facility.

5. Item 5, Destination Certification, on the Record Move Request form is to be completed by the ORO (not the Destination Location Office). It requires the ORO to contact the destination location office to verify that the records were received and all boxes accounted for. The ORO will fill in the date the records were received at the destination location and sign and date in item 5.

6. Attachment C, Summary of Record Movement Requirements, was significantly modified to reflect the changes made on the Record Move Request form. The first four boxes (requiring prior approval by the Associate Deputy Secretary) were numbered to cross-reference to the item numbers on the Record Move Request form. The first box, item 2a and the fourth box 2d previously stated “. . . records being moved from any Department of the Interior (DOI) agency or office to another location. . .” These sentences were modified to now read “being moved from any Department of the Interior (DOI) agency or office to another agency of office within DOI but crossing regional or state office boundaries (other than to the Office of Trust Records . . .)” The original statement was unclear. The intent of this category is to require prior approval for any inactive trust records being moved significant distances, i.e., outside a bureau’s regional or state boundaries. All inactive records being moved within a bureau’s regional or state boundaries do not require prior approval, although documentation, like in 2 above, is required (refer to the second box under the Information Section of Attachment C). Inactive Indian trust records being moved to OTR are addressed in the first box under the Informational section of Attachment C.

7. Paragraph 19 Cobell Records: In August 1999, DOI began a search for documents pertaining to the five named plaintiffs and their 31 agreed-upon predecessors according to Paragraph 19 of the November 1996 First Order for Production of Information in Cobell v. Norton (previously Cobell v. Babbitt). This search involved nine DOI bureaus and offices collecting documents from different sites (Attachment D), some of which were searched by more that one office or bureau. At every site, excluding the National Archives, Federal Records Centers and the Office of the Special Trustee, blue Cobell labels were placed on every searched storage unit, such as boxes, filing cabinets, and lectrievers. The documents within the storage unit identified for the collection were surrounded by neon colored slip-sheets. The documents and the neon colored slip-sheets located around the documents must remain intact for the duration of the Cobell v. Norton litigation. In addition, the records contained in the searched storage units must remain in their original locations for the duration of the litigation unless their relocations are approved by the Cobell Document Production Project Coordinator. The authority to approve all record relocations is now vested with the Associate Deputy Secretary.

8. The movement of Official Personnel Files (OPFs) is exempt from these procedures. Routine records transfer procedures should continue to be followed for OPFs only. OPFs are under the custody and control of the records of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), not the agency where the employee works or worked. When an employee leaves the agency for reason of reassignment, the OPF is still considered an ACTIVE record and is to be sent to the acquiring agency. When the employee retires or resigns, the OPF is considered INACTIVE and is to be sent to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, for long-term retention.

9. Prior approval is not required to request records from a Federal Records Center (e.g., reference requests submitted to NARA via a CIPS request or an OF-11). However, prior approval is required to return the records to NARA (e.g., submission of a new Record Move Request for approval).

10. The current working definition of Indian trust records is repeated below for your use. This office is working with all bureaus and offices in developing a revised definition and a decision matrix to assist in the classification of Indian trust records. You will be notified as soon as this revised definition is finalized.

The term Indian trust records is defined as: Records, regardless of format (e.g., electronic, paper, maps, etc.), upon which the Government must rely to fulfill its trust duties to Native Americans pursuant to the Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 (P.L. No. 103-412), other applicable statutes and orders of the U.S. District Court reflecting, for example,

§ The existence of Indian trust assets (e.g., as derived from ownership data, trust patents, plot descriptions, surveys, jacket files, statement of accounts),
§ The collection of income from Indian trust assets (e.g., as derived from deposit tickets, journal vouchers, schedule of collections),
§ The use or management of Indian trust assets (e.g., as derived from leases, sales, rights-of-way, investment reports, production reports, sales contracts), or
§ The disbursement of Indian trust assets (e.g., as derived from transaction ledgers, check registers, transaction registers, or lists of cancelled or undelivered checks).

The term “Indian trust assets” refers to lands, natural resources, monies, or other assets held in trust at a particular time by the United States for a tribe, or that are or were at a particular time restricted against alienation, for individual Indians.

When in doubt whether a record is a trust record, err on the side of caution and treat the record as a trust record.

11. Processing of Record Move Requests takes approximately 15 working days to complete (if documentation is provided correctly). The Special Master is given the opportunity to review all Record Move Requests. The Assistant Deputy Secretary’s office, which will coordinate all Record Move Requests, will notify bureaus/offices of receipt of their requests, and approval/non-approval by the Associate Deputy Secretary. All requests must be submitted in paper format by mail. At this time, no faxes or e-mail submissions will be accepted.

The process, described in Attachment A, to facilitate the review and approval of bureau and office Record Move Requests has been revised to reflect the latest changes/corrections. A revised version of the Record Move Request form is provided at Attachment B (Revision 1, March, 2003). Attachment C provides a corrected Summary of Record Movement Requirements chart. The chart has been corrected to address (1) the written information that is required, and (2) the record movements that do not require advance approval. Attachment E provides a sample chain of custody plan for your use in describing accurately and completely all the steps in the records custody chain during the movement of records.


Please ensure that this memorandum and its attachments are disseminated to all appropriate staff in your bureau/office. Questions about this guidance should be directed to either the Assistant Deputy Secretary, Abraham E. Haspel, or to his Special Assistant, Sharon Michel, at (202) 208-7471, fax (202) 208-4561.

Attachments A-E

cc: Deputy Secretary
Associate Deputy Secretary
Bureau/Office Records Officers
NARA, Office of Regional Records Services

Attachment A

Description of Process for Records Move Plan Requests and Approvals

(Refer to the “Summary of Record Movement Requirements” chart to identify record move requests requiring approval by the Associate Deputy Secretary.)

1. Complete blocks 1 through 3 of the Record Move Request form (see attached). Note: In most cases, the Bureau-level Records Officer or the regional/field office Records Liaison will be the Originating Responsible Official (ORO). The ORO will ensure that all required signatures/certifications and the chain of custody information are obtained and completed on the form.

2. SF-135s and agency generated SF-258s must be approved by NARA before submission of the Record Move Request for approval by the Associate Deputy Secretary. A copy of the NARA approved SF-135(s) or SF-128(s) with accession numbers and inventories must be included in the Record Move Request documentation package.

3. Submit the Record Move Request form, with all supporting attachments to the Assistant Deputy Secretary, MS-7229, in paper format by mail only. No e-mail or faxed requests will be accepted.

4. After receipt and date stamp of the Record Move Request form by the Assistant Deputy Secretary’s Office, a copy of the form will be faxed back to the ORO, or to whomever is coordinating the process for the bureau or office.

5. The Assistant Deputy Secretary will review the request for completeness and, if complete, the request will be shared with the Special Master.

6. The request will then be forwarded to the Associate Deputy Secretary for approval.

7. Following approval by the Associate Deputy Secretary, the approved request will be faxed to the ORO, or to whoever is coordinating the process for the bureau/office. [Note: The original Record Move Request form will be retained by the Assistant Deputy Secretary.]

8. The ORO will implement and oversee the records move in accordance with the procedures outlined in the chain of custody plan.

9. The ORO will contact the destination location office to verify that the records were received and that all of the boxes are accounted for. The ORO will document on the Record Move Request Form (item 5) the date the records were received at the destination location and sign and date in item 5.


10. Within two working days after signature of the ORO and completion of the records movement, a copy of the completed form with all required signatures/certifications (including block 5) will be mailed or faxed to the Assistant Deputy Secretary (202-208-4561) to document that the move was successfully accomplished.

11. The ORO will ensure that adequate and complete documentation for all records movements is retained in accordance with the retention/disposition instructions in GRS 16 items 2a or 2b.

12. The Assistant Deputy Secretary’s office will handle any questions or problems that may arise during the review and approval of the Record Move Request package. If problems or questions are encountered by NARA at the point of receipt of the records shipment, they will directly contact the ORO listed on the Record Move Request form to resolve any issue(s) with acceptance of the shipment.


Attachment B

Attachment C

SUMMARY OF RECORD MOVEMENT REQUIREMENTS

CATEGORY
WRITTEN INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED PRIOR APPROVALS
NEEDED
Item 2a
For INACTIVE trust records being moved from any Department of the Interior (DOI) agency or office to another agency or office within DOI but crossing regional or state office boundaries (other than to the Office of Trust Records in Albuquerque, New Mexico) in volumes of one box or more: A Record Move Request Form, including:

* a chain of custody plan;

* a description/inventory (box lists) of the records being moved;

*A certification to the Assistant Deputy Secretary that the move was successfully accomplished. Associate Deputy Secretary

Approval signature to be indicated on Record Move Request form.
Item 2b
For INACTIVE trust records being moved to a Federal or commercial records center or to a NARA Archives. A Record Move Request Form, including:
* a chain of custody plan;
* a description/inventory (box lists) of the records being moved;
* other supporting documentation (e.g., NARA Approved SF-135, SF-258, etc.)

*A certification to the Assistant Deputy Secretary that the move was successfully accomplished. Associate Deputy Secretary

Approval signature to be indicated on Record Move Request form.
Item 2c
For ACTIVE or INACTIVE Indian trust records identified in the Cobell Paragraph 19 search being moved from any Department of the Interior (DOI) agency or office to another geographical location within DOI (other than to the Office of Trust Records in Albuquerque, New Mexico) in volumes of one box or more: A Record Move Request Form, including:
* a chain of custody plan;
* a description/inventory (box lists) of the records being moved;

*A map/schematic illustrating the new location of the Paragraph 19 Cobell records.

*A certification to the Assistant Deputy Secretary that the move was successfully accomplished. Associate Deputy Secretary

Approval signature to be indicated on Record Move Request form.


Item 2d & 2e
For INACTIVE non-Indian /non-trust records or INACTIVE Indian /non-trust records being moved to another office within DOI but crossing regional or state office boundaries, (other than to the Office of Trust Records in Albuquerque, New Mexico) or to a Federal or commercial records center, or to a NARA Archives. A Record Move Request Form, including:

* a chain of custody plan;

* a description/inventory (box lists) of the records being moved;

* other supporting documentation (e.g., NARA Approved SF-135, SF-258, etc.)

* Certification/Signature of Responsible Official that the records are not trust records.

*A certification to the Assistant Deputy Secretary that the move was successfully accomplished. Associate Deputy Secretary

Approval signature to be indicated on Record Move Request form.


INFORMATIONAL
(Not requiring approval by the Associate Deputy Secretary)
For INACTIVE Indian trust records being moved from any Department of the Interior (DOI) agency or office to the Office of Trust Records in Albuquerque, New Mexico) in volumes of one box or more.
Obtain Office of Trust Records guidance for procedures to follow when moving records to OTR in Albuquerque. OTR phone number: (505) 816-1600. Director, Office of Trust Records (OTR)
Approval signature to be indicated on OTR Record Move Request form.
For all INACTIVE records being moved from any Department of the Interior (DOI) agency or office to another within DOI, inside the regional or state office boundaries, in volumes of one box or more. A copy of the chain of custody plan;
* a description/inventory (box lists) of the records being moved;
* the signature of the official responsible for the
movement of the records.

*A self-certification that all records were successfully moved and accounted for at the intended location. None
For all ACTIVE records being moved within DOI in volumes of one box or more. A copy of the chain of custody plan;
* a description/inventory (box lists) of the records being moved;
* the signature of the official responsible for the
movement of the records.
*A self-certification that all records were successfully moved and accounted for at the intended location. None
For ALL records within the Department of the Interior moved in volumes of less than one box None – but exercise prudence, appropriate due diligence and care; use customary business practices. None

Attachment D


Listing of Locations that are Storing Paragraph 19 Cobell Records

National Archives
Chicago, IL
College Park, MD
Denver, CO
Fort Worth, TX
Kansas City, KS
Los Angeles, CA
Suitland, MD
Seattle, WA
Washington, DC
Oklahoma Historical Society, OK

Federal Records Centers
Chicago, IL
College Park, MD
Denver, CO
Fort Worth, TX
Kansas City, KS
Los Angeles, CA
Suitland, MD
Seattle, WA

BIA Offices
Central Office - Washington DC
Division of Accounting Management - Albuquerque, NM
Lawton, OK (Soil & Moisture Conservation Unit)
Phoenix Field Office, AZ
Division of Energy and Minerals Office - Lakewood, CO
Appraisal Office Rapid City, SD

BIA Area Offices
Aberdeen, SD
Anadarko, OK
Billings, MT
Minneapolis, MN
Phoenix, AZ
Portland, OR


BIA Agency Offices
Anadarko - Anadarko, OK
Blackfeet - Browning, MT
Fort Hall, ID
Great Lakes - Ashland, WI
Papago - Sells, AZ
Uintah & Ouray - Fort Duchesne, UT
Wind River - Fort Washakie, WY
Winnebago, NE


BLM State Offices
Arizona - Phoenix, AZ
Eastern States - Springfield, VA
Idaho - Boise, ID
Montana - Billings, MT
New Mexico - Santa Fe, NM
Utah - Salt Lake City, UT
Wyoming - Cheyenne, WY

BLM Field Offices
Casper, WY
Great Falls, MT
Moore, OK
New Castle, WY
Tulsa, OK
Vernal, UT
Southern California Agency, CA
Western Nevada Agency, NV

Document Production Office
Washington, DC

MMS Audit Offices
Dallas, TX
Lakewood, CO
Oklahoma City, OK
Tulsa, OK

OHA Offices
Interior Board of Indian Appeals - Arlington, VA
Oklahoma City, OK
Salt Lake City, UT
St. Paul, MN

OST Facilities
Office of Trust Records - Albuquerque, NM
Office of Trust Funds Management - Albuquerque, NM
Records Center - Albuquerque, NM
Washington, DC

DOI Solicitors' Offices
Billings, MT
Portland, OR
Salt Lake City, UT
Tulsa, OK
Twin Cities, MN
Washington, DC

USGS Offices
Reston, VA

Others
Indian Trust Accounting Division (ITAD) - Greenbelt, MD


Attachment E

SAMPLE

CHAIN OF CUSTODY PLAN

After receipt of the approved Record Move Request, the bureau or office Originating Responsible Official (ORO) and the Destination Responsible will ensure that the following procedures are followed during the transportation and transfer of custody of the records being moved. A copy of the Record Move Request along with the records inventory and other supporting documents will be filed and retained by the Originating Responsible Official in accordance with retention and disposition instructions found in the General Records Schedule (GRS) 6 items 2a or 2b.

Transporting Records Procedure (Chain of Custody)
Using a Common Carrier (e.g., FedEx, UPS)

1. Records are packed in appropriate storage boxes.

2. Box lists or inventory of records for all boxes are included inside the first box of each accession in the shipment.

3. Each box is labeled to describe the contents. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) labeling procedures must be followed for movement to a Federal Records Center (FRC) or to NARA.

4. Each box is sealed with tape and boxes are numbered sequentially (e.g., box 1 of 5, box 2 of 5, etc.).

5. Boxes are dropped off at common carrier pick-up location.

6. Common carrier shipment form is completed and provided to carrier staff.

7. The Originating Responsible Official retains a copy of the shipment form for tracking purposes in the event that a shipment is missing.

8. The Destination Responsible Official is notified when the carrier has arrived at the destination to deliver the boxes.

9. The Destination Responsible Official verifies to the Originating Responsible Official that all boxes were received. The ORO completes box 5 on Record Move Request form.

10. The originating and destination offices will create and maintain a file to document the records transfer process (by shipment). The Record Move Request, records inventory, chain of custody plan, and other supporting documentation will be maintained in accordance with GRS item 16 items 2a or 2b.


Transporting Records Procedure (Chain of Custody)
Using NARA’s Courier Service

1. Records are packed in appropriate NARA storage boxes.

2. Box lists or inventory of records for all boxes are included inside the first box for each accession in the shipment.

3. Each box is labeled to describe the contents. NARA labeling procedures must be followed for movement to an FRC or NARA.

4. Arrangements are made with the FRC for records pick-up service.

5. Upon arrival of the FRC truck, the Originating Responsible Official signs the NARA receipt form and retains a copy along with the other move plan records.

6. The Destination Responsible Official verifies to the Originating Responsible Official that all boxes were received. The ORO completes box 5 on Record Move Request form.

7. The origination and destination offices will create and maintain a file to document the records transfer process. The Record Move Request, records inventory, and other supporting documentation will be maintained in accordance with GRS 16 items 2a or 2b.

BIA/OST: Transporting Records Procedure to OTR (Chain of Custody)

Obtain procedures from the Office of the Special Trustee, Office of Trust Records (OTR), at (505) 816-1600.