What is a record?
A record includes 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 United States Government or because of the informational value of data in them (44 U.S.C. 3301 and 36 CFR 1220.18)
The DOE/LBNL Contract between the University of California and DOE specifies that all records, except the University’s fiscal and administrative records, are federal records. Individuals do not own Laboratory records and do not have the authority to dispose of them or transfer records to another institution. If individuals maintain personal files at the Laboratory, they must not mix Laboratory records with their personal records. Individuals may make convenience copies of appropriate Laboratory records for their personal files in reasonable quantities.
What are business records?
At LBNL, “business” records refer to records which document the activities of the various Operations divisions (Facilities, Information Technology, EH&S, OCFO, Human Resources and Public Affairs) which provide operational services and support to the scientific mission of the Laboratory.
For Laboratory business/operational records, the Records Management Office (RMO) provides free consultation to offices on what records need to be retained and archived, how to pack the records boxes and complete the transmittal form. As long as the records meet the transfer standards, RMO will do the data entry on all the folders–we will enter the title of each folder exactly as it appears on the folder into our database. If your processes or applicable laws and/or regulations require more information than what appears on the folder (for instance, information on the contents of the folder), then you will need to enter that information into the transmittal form yourself.
What are R&D records?
R&D records are research and development records. At LBNL these records are created as the result of scientific and technical activities and collaborations that result in new or modified concepts, techniques, equipment, and materials. R&D records fall under the DOE Research and Development Records Schedule (NI-434-08-2).
Scientific and technical activities may include:
- administering technical projects.
- establishing research priorities.
- developing theories and models.
- planning and designing experiments.
- conducting experiments.
- administering compiling, reviewing, and disseminating technical reports, presentations, and published articles.
RMO provides scientists with a free archiving service which includes consultation, boxing, transporting, processing, and indexing.
What are non-records?
Non-records are copies of documents maintained in more than one location or materials available from public sources, which can be disposed of at the discretion of the user. These are to be distinguished and kept separate from official laboratory records, which can only be destroyed at the point authorized by a records retention schedule. The following are examples of non-record material:
- Extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience, or reference, of which no action is recorded or taken
- Publications or other processed documents that require no action and are not part of a case on which action is being taken
- Library materials acquired for reference purposes
- Personal papers or papers of a private or nonofficial character that pertain to an individuals private affairs
What are epidemiological records?
Epidemiological records are documents, in whatever media, that provide information about individuals working at a Department of Energy (DOE) or contractor site–their work history (when they worked there and what they did), what health hazards they were exposed to (such as external and/or internal radiation, chemicals, hazardous materials), and their medical history during or after their employment. Also included are those records which document the administrative organization and management of the site, the monitoring of environmental and area hazards, process and material controls (especially for radioactive sources and chemicals), health and safety procedures, work assignments, and location. Currently there is a freeze on the destruction of epidemiological records
What are records moratoriums?
Under certain circumstances, the Department of Energy (DOE) may place a moratorium on information that relates to a specific subject or field. Once such a moratorium order has been issued, it means that there is a “freeze” on the destruction of all DOE, DOE-contractor, and University records containing information specified in that order.
Epidemiological Records Moratorium
In a memorandum dated April 6, 1990, the Department of Energy San Francisco Operations Office (DOE/SAN) notified the Laboratory to extend the freeze on the destruction of all epidemiological records which had first been ordered by the Secretary of Energy on March 15, 1989. Epidemiological records are documents, in whatever media, that provide information about individuals working at a Department of Energy (DOE) or contractor site–their work history (when they worked there and what they did), what health hazards they were exposed to (such as external and/or internal radiation, chemicals, hazardous materials), and their medical history during or after their employment. Also included are those records which document the administrative organization and management of the site, the monitoring of environmental and area hazards, process and material controls (especially for radioactive sources and chemicals), health and safety procedures, work assignments, and location.
What are vital records?
Vital Records are those records deemed essential to:
- The continuity of Laboratory operations before, during and after emergencies
- The recreation of the legal and/or financial status of the Laboratory after an emergency
- The protection of the legal and financial rights of the Laboratory and individuals affected by Laboratory activities.
There are two types of Vital Records:
- Emergency Operating Records:
These records are essential to continued functioning or reconstitution of the Laboratory during and after an emergency.
- delegations of authority
- listings of Vital Records storage locations
- descriptions of essential emergency functions
- emergency plans and directive(s)
- lists of key personnel
- disaster recovery plans
- emergency operating procedures.
Rights and Interests Records:
These records provide evidence of legal status, ownership, and financial status, are critical to the continued life of the Laboratory, irreplaceable and cannot be reconstructed or recreated. Rights and Interests records must be stored in a manner which makes them appropriately available to support timely resumption of the Laboratory operations during and after an emergency.
- accounts payable
- accounts receivable
- payroll records
Identifying Vital Records
For each record thought to be vital, ask:
- Can the Lab’s critical work continue without the record?
- Can the records be found elsewhere or reconstructed?
- Is it considered unique and irreplaceable?
What is a record series?
Record series are units of files or documents arranged according to a filing system or kept together because they:
- Relate to a particular subject or function
- Result from the same activity
- Document a specific kind of transaction
- Examples include personnel files, procurement files, or logbooks from a research project. Records should be organized and maintained by series while they are in the active office areas and when they are transferred to storage at the Federal Records Center in San Bruno.
What is a records retention schedule?
How do I get records boxes and is there a charge for them?
Records storage boxes are only to be used to transfer Laboratory records to the Records Management Office (RMO). Contact RMO to request boxes for transferring your records. The boxes will be delivered by Transportation, usually the next day. Currently there is no charge for records boxes.
How do I transfer records to the Records Management Office?
Instructions and Form
Records that are transferred to the Records Management Office (RMO) are sent to the Federal Records Center in San Bruno for storage. Good business practice and federal regulations require all Berkeley Lab offices to transfer inactive records on a regular basis.
NOTE: Electronic records cannot be transferred to the Records Management Office. For guidance on managing electronic records at the Laboratory, please go here.
- Request boxes from email@example.com. Instructions on how to put a box together.
- Do not write anywhere on the boxes except to number them in pencil in the upper right hand corner where it reads, “Agency Box #”, e.g. 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3.
- All documents must be in file folders that are clearly labeled or have the file title written directly on the folder.
- Do not include binders or hanging file folders. Remove documents and place them in regular file folders, or pocket folders, and label them with whatever was written on the original hanging folder or binder.
- Folders need to be in alphabetical order if you are archiving employee related files. If you are archiving files that use a numerical system (like purchase orders) they need to be in numerical order.
- Download and fill out the first page of the Records Transfer Form. The form will only be accepted as a Word document. NOTE: If your records contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII), you need to check the “Yes” checkbox.
- Place a copy of the form in box one.
- Email your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org. After RMO reviews the form, you will receive an email with instructions on how to fill out the online Transportation Move Request form.
- After we have completed processing your records we will send you a copy of the records listing. Please note that records will not be available to request during the shipment process to the Federal Records Center. It may take several days for the FRC to shelve the records and update their system before records can be pulled for requests.
- Have questions or need more help? Give us a call (ext. 5525) or send us an email email@example.com.
How do I request a record?
Records can be requested by completing a request via a help ticket.
How do records get destroyed?
Before any record is destroyed at the end of its retention period, there must be written authorization from the division that transferred the records.
- The Records Management Office (RMO) receives a notice of destruction from the Federal Records Center in San Bruno for records that have met the legal retention.
- RMO notifies the Records Liaison Officer from the originating division of the records which are up for destruction and requests authorization.
- It is critical that divisions respond to the request within two weeks of receiving notification from RMO. Maintaining records past the legal retention can make them discoverable in litigation.
- The only exceptions to keeping records longer than the retention are for legal and audit requirements, or for R&D records that are needed for future research. The Records Management Office requires a justification in writing as to why the records cannot be destroyed.
What is the Records Management Office's Business Records Processing Service?
For Lab business/operational records, the Records Management Office (RMO) provides free consultation to offices on what records need to be retained and archived, how to pack the records boxes and complete the transmittal form. If you wish, and if the records meet the transfer standards, RMO will do the data entry on all the folders–we will enter the title of each folder exactly as it appears on the folder into our database. If your processes or applicable laws and/or regulations require more information than what appears on the folder (for instance, information on the contents of the folder), then you will need to enter that information into the transfer form yourself.
To request an appointment to discuss your records needs, please contact the Records Management Office (RMO).
What is the R&D Records Outreach Project?
The Records Management Office (RMO) provides a number of archiving and records management services, including the transfer, retrieval, and destruction of Laboratory records at no charge to the customer. This service includes consultation, boxing, transporting, processing, and indexing of research and development (R&D) records.
Before researchers leave the Lab, they should contact R&D Records Specialist Beret Ranelletti (BARanelletti@lbl.gov, extension 4685) to discuss their scientific records.
Please note that all records are not kept permanently. Under the DOE R&D Records Retention Schedule, most are kept from 10-25 years. Only 5% of records are permanent. This means that most likely you will get notices for destruction of the records at some point. If you choose not to have them destroyed by the Federal Records Center and we cannot reschedule them, you will be given the records back. Federal records must remain on site. They cannot be stored at home. Because work space is limited, we encourage the destruction of records when it is no longer a legal requirement to keep them.
What we archive:
What we don’t take:
-LBL reports (we already have them)
-journal articles or any publications (they can be found elsewhere – we are only interested in original material)
-travel (we get the original records from the Travel Office)
What is an RLO?
Berkeley Lab Records Liaison Officers (RLO’s) represent their division/department in records policy matters and work with the Records Management Office (RMO) to coordinate and implement the policies and procedures of the Laboratory’s records management program in their division/department.
Records Liaison Program
The RPM requires that divisions appoint a Records Liaison Officer with the following responsibilities:
- Coordinate records management activities with both the Laboratory-wide program and within their division or department,
- Help ensure that their division or departments records program adheres to applicable laws and regulations as well as standards, procedures and guidelines from RMO.
- Adhere to RMO’s requirements for RLOs.
View the current list of Records Liaison Officers.
Records Liaison Officer Duties
- Coordinate the transfer of inactive records. Direct people in your division to use the Records Transfer Procedure.
- Prevent the accidental, unwarranted, or unscheduled destruction or removal of records within your division/department. If you think this has occurred or is occurring, contact us immediately (ext. 5525 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Respond to records disposal notices you receive from RMO in a timely manner.
What are the Laboratory regulations regarding records management?
To learn more about the Laboratory regulations, please refer to the Records Management Policy.
What kind of training is available about archiving and records management?
As part of its responsibilities as outlined in the RPM, the Records Management Office (RMO) is tasked with providing records management training to the Laboratory population about their records responsibilities. RMO offers annual training on a range of archives and records management topics, including records scheduling and disposition, vital records, and archiving research and development records.
What services does Records Management Office (RMO) provide for historical laboratory artifacts?
At LBNL, artifacts can take many forms: mechanical equipment, models of proposed equipment and facilities, plaques and awards, scrapbooks, photo albums, posters and artwork, guest books from lab events, and objects that may or may not have scientific significance, but were used by prominent scientists. Artifacts are considered non-record material and do not fall under the records retention schedules. Since artifacts cannot be stored at the Federal Records Center, a determination has to be made as to which ones are worth maintaining or donating to other institutions.
Why Accession Artifacts?
Artifacts at LBNL aid in areas of historical research, help define a sense of scientific community and pride in past accomplishments, and validate the historic and scientific importance of the lab. Accessioning artifacts is solely the responsibility of the Records Management Office (RMO) as detailed in the RPM Chapter 1 §1.17.D.4.8.
Guidelines for Accessioning Artifacts
What Artifacts are Considered for Accessioning?
- One of a kind pieces of equipment that demonstrate novel and highly significant scientific developments at LBNL.
- Equipment and objects used by prominent scientists, Nobel Laureates, or those involved in highly significant research conducted at LBNL.
- Objects of historical value associated with the lab such as the original Radiation Lab door.
- Models of significant scientific equipment or facilities such as the Bevatron.
- Plaques and awards given to prominent LBNL scientists.
- Photo albums of significant lab events.
- Signed guest books from significant lab events.
What Questions Will Be Asked of Potential Donors?
- What is the significance of the artifact?
- What project and/or scientist was it associated with?
- Was the research project highly significant?
- How was the artifact used?
- Who originally maintained the artifact and where was it stored previously?
- What is the size of the artifact? Is it a large piece of equipment or model that needs special storage considerations?
- Is the artifact suitable for display?
- Can the artifact be donated to another institution?
- Is there another institution that may be interested in the artifact?
For more information on identifying and accessioning historic LBNL artifacts, please contact Karen Nelson at KCNelson@lbl.gov or at 510-486-4686.
What is the Records Management Office's scanning service for scientific records?
Please contact email@example.com for further information.
What guidance does Records Management Office provide about managing electronic records?
At Berkeley Lab, records are being created and stored solely in electronic formats within electronic information and business systems as well as on servers and even desktops. Records generated, received, and maintained in an electronic format are not excluded from records management requirements.
Electronic records, generated through the use of computer-based applications, or captured through scanning or imaging, that have long-term retentions present a particularly unique challenge if the Laboratory is to remain in compliance with the Department of Energy’s records program.
The Contractor Requirements Document of the DOE Records Management Order 243.1C requires that Berkeley Lab manage electronic records according to Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 36 Part 1236, Electronic Records Management. The requirements include:
- Integrate records management and preservation considerations into the design, development, enhancement, and implementation of electronic information systems.
- Agencies must incorporate controls into the electronic information system or integrate them into a recordkeeping system that is external to the information system itself.
- That all records in the system will be retrievable and usable for as long as needed to conduct agency business (i.e., for their NARA-approved retention period). Where the records will need to be retained beyond the planned life of the system, agencies must plan and budget for the migration of records and their associated metadata to new storage media or formats in order to avoid loss due to media decay or technology obsolescence.
- Agencies must design and implement migration strategies to counteract hardware and software dependencies of electronic records whenever the records must be maintained and used beyond the life of the information system in which the records are originally created or captured.
- Recordkeeping functionality may be built into the electronic information system or records can be transferred to an electronic recordkeeping repository, such as a DoD-5015.2 STD-certified product.
- Email messages must be maintained according to Subpart C § 1236.22.
- Agencies must maintain inventories of electronic information systems and review the systems periodically for conformance to established agency procedures, standards, and policies.
- Agencies that manage unstructured electronic records electronically must ensure that the records are filed in a recordkeeping system.
The creators and maintainers of records need to ensure that Laboratory electronic records are managed throughout their life cycle in accordance with approved records schedules. Records management should be considered when planning for the acquisition of a new system or a significant upgrade to an existing system:
- Identify information systems that contain or provide access to Laboratory records.
- When planning for a new information system or an upgrade to an existing system, determine whether the system will contain or provide access to Laboratory records.
- Contact the Records Management Office (RMO) to determine the correct records retention schedule which establishes how long the records must be kept.
- The information systems owner(s), in consultation with Berkeley Lab IT’s Business Systems Department, should develop a schedule to migrate records to new hardware, software, or other media to ensure that records will be accessible, retrievable, readable, and preserved throughout their retention period.
- The following are some factors to consider when developing a migration plan and schedule:
- The frequency with which the records will need to be accessed.
- The media on which the records will be stored; the hardware software, and/or equipment that will be required to access the records; and the cost-effectiveness of continuously upgrading them.
- Transferring records to a platform-independent, non-proprietary format, as a cost-effective alternative to continuously upgrading system hardware and software.
- The volume of records that may be generated over the life of the system, and their required retention period and how these factors will affect the cost-effectiveness of the various options for migrating them.
- The frequency with which records will need to be migrated to ensure their preservation.
- How migrated record information will be authenticated to ensure that the information does not change and that the original records are not altered.
- Implement the migration plan and update as appropriate in response to changes in technology and other factors.
There are steps that the individual employee can take to help better protect records created and maintained in local repositories (such as workstation desktop filing systems or network servers):
- Declare a record
- When electronic documents (Microsoft Word files, spreadsheets, Microsoft PowerPoint slides, database reports) are finalized, submitted, used in a transaction, or otherwise meet the definition of a record, employees need to identify that document as a record.
- Save records to the network
- Save electronic records with standardized titles that are meaningful and use corporate language and business terminology.
- Include details such as the author and subject of the document, version number, date, type of document, etc.
- Save electronic records to your network directory (which is regularly backed up). Only maintain electronic documents on your workstation.
- Directory structures
- Set up file directories (on the workstation and network) that mirror the employee’s business functions and activities, or the relevant records retention schedule.
- File records documenting similar functions/activities together.
- Retention and preservation
- Retention must be in compliance with the Department of Energy and National Archives records retention schedules in effect at LBNL (contact RMO for guidance).
- Ensure that the records are maintained as long as the records schedule(s) require.
Given the limitations of workstations and network servers, the above steps only provide interim protection for electronic records maintained in local repositories until the records can either be output to paper, or deposited in an electronic records management application.