Issuing Office: OM/OMA/DMS 301-496-4606
Release Date: 12/20/04
Remove: NIH Manual 1742 dated 8/30/2000.
PLEASE NOTE: For information on:
This chapter describes how to transfer inactive records from NIH to the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) for storage, retrieve records stored at WNRC, and arrange for disposal of records stored at WNRC.
Stocks of publications and processed documents kept for distribution are non-record, but one copy of each publication must be kept as a record in the office responsible for issuing the publication.
Documents created or used in fringe activities, such as carpool locators, charitable fund drives, and employee recreation and welfare activities are not government records.
Caution should be used in applying the term “non-record.” Improper application of this qualification may be equivalent to the illegal disposition of government records.
SF 135, “Records Transmittal and Receipt”
NOTE: Use the proper size box when packing records. For legal- and letter-size material, use standard-size boxes. Use half-size or other boxes only for microfilm, index cards, or other odd-size material. Contact your IC RMO or the WNRC for assistance in selecting the proper container for odd-size materials.
When using “special-purpose boxes,” indicate the size of the boxes in item 6.f. of the SF 135.
1 “Washington, DC Stop 386”
For each accession, provide the following information:
6d Total volume. A standard-size box equals one cubic foot. This is equal to the number of cartons if the standard cartons for legal or letter-sized files, as specified in E.2., are used.
6e First and last box numbers separated by a slash. (For example, if there is only one box in an accession, enter "1/1"; if there are 30 boxes enter "1/30".)
6f Series Description.
(1) At the top of 6f , identify the Charge Code (^XX). Each IC has a specific Charge Code. Contact the IC RMO or NIH RMO (301-496-4606) to obtain the Charge Code for your IC.
(2) Identify the IC and the division/branch/section which has the records.
(3) Describe the records in sufficient detail to allow the NIH RMO to verify compliance with the GRS or the Chapter 1743 which describes the records, e.g., for research data covered by item Chapter 1743, 3000-G-3-b, identify the research project in which they were used and the particular type of records. No description is completed without the closing date (or inclusive dates) of the records. Specify the earliest and most recent dates of records in the accession by calendar or fiscal year, as appropriate.
(4) Identify the basis of any restriction or use of the records as specified in 6.g. (For example, for records subject to the Privacy Act, enter "Privacy Act System of Records" and give the system number.) Restrictions are not allowed unless permitted by the Freedom of Information Act.
(5) All records related to smoking tobacco, the tobacco industry and tobacco products, and research on health effects of smoking, smoking cessation programs, and nicotine addiction, are frozen and must be identified and retained indefinitely. Therefore, indicate in this section if any of these records are related to tobacco, by entering "These Records are or are NOT Tobacco Related" and the requestor, Principle Investigator or IC Records Officer.
(6) Indicate “special-purpose boxes,” if applicable (i.e., half-size; magnetic tape; microfiche; and X-ray boxes).
(7) Special description requirements apply for certain records:
Site Audit Records. State “GAO Site Audit” if the records have been so designated by the General Accounting Office and indicate whether the site audit records do or do not pertain to Native Americans.
Non-textual Records. Descriptions of non-textual records must include the non-textual code. See the following list of codes.
ARF Artifacts (include museum items)
Permanent Electronic Records. The detailed folder-title listing must include information about tape format and size. Permanent electronic records must be either on open-reel magnetic tape or on tape cartridges, and must distinguish between the two. Open-reel magnetic tape must be on 1/2-inch 7- or 9-track tape reels recorded at 800, 1,600, or 250 bpi.
Permanent Microforms. The detailed folder-title listings must include information identifying the NIH and organization; the title of the records; the number or identifier for each unit of film; the security classification, if any; and the inclusive dates, names, or other data identifying the records. Any finding aids relevant to the microforms that are not contained in the microforms, as well as the inspection log forms and inspection reports, must be attached to the SF 135.
6g (“Restriction”) Use the codes which are defined on the back of the form to indicate any restrictions identified in 6f. Code “W” should be used for Privacy Act system records.
6h Enter GRS or Chapter 1743 (NIH Manual) and give the number of the item in either the GRS or the NIH RCS which applies to the records in the accession.
6i Calculate the month and year in which the records must be destroyed or offered to the NARA, from the disposition instruction in the GRS or the NIH RCS, and the most recent dates of the records in the accession.
Disposable Records. Because disposal is accomplished in quarterly cycles, you may advance the date to the beginning of the next calendar quarter (for example, 1/05, 4/05, 7/05, 10/05) to obtain the actual date of disposal.
Permanent Records. Permanent records are offered to NARA on an annual basis; enter the month of January (01), the offer year, and place a “P” after the offer year (01/2025P).
6 j-m Leave blank.
(1) Pack the records in the same order in which they were originally filed.
(2) Place letter-size material in the box facing the end of the carton, or place legal-size material in the box facing the side of the carton.
(3) Arrange undersized records, such as cards or papers 3" x 5", 4" x 6", 5" x 8", etc. in small “packages” and bind with heavy rubber bands or tie with string. Arrange the packages in rows within the cartons and place cardboard dividers between the layers.
(4) An accession must fill a box (3/4 full) to be accepted by the Records Center.
(5) Close the box by interlocking the top flaps. Do not seal the top of the box.
(1) Place box numbers in the upper right corner, showing the box number and the total boxes in the accession. Begin with box number 1, and include the total number in the accession, such as 1/10, 2/10, and so forth.
(2) Place accession numbers assigned by the NIH Records Management Officer in the upper left corner. The numbers stand for the record group (443), a fiscal year (05) and the four-digit sequence number (e.g., 443-05-0010). Place the record group and fiscal year (443-05) on the first line and the accession number directly under the record group and fiscal year on the second line.
NOTE: Boxes may also be sent by mail, United Parcel Service (UPS), or other common carriers on pallets (portable wooden platforms without wheels). An example is shown in Appendix 3. Call the WNRC for questions concerning these and other options at 301-778-1550.
Any office which has a need to retrieve records from WNRC may do so by using either a Reference Request Form (OF 11) or through an emergency request, as explained in Section F.2. Records may be retrieved by accession, by box(es) within an accession or by file folder(s) within a box.
(1) Use a separate form for each non-consecutive item requested. Complete Section I and Section III.
(2) Under “Accession Number,” enter the numbers from 6.a., 6.b. and 6.c. of the SF 135 (443-05-0010).
(3) Under “Agency Box Number,” enter the box or boxes desired. If more than one box is requested, the boxes can be ordered on the same OF 11, provided the boxes are in consecutive order, i.e., 1-3 of 15. If only folders will be retrieved, enter the box number that contains the folder.
(4) Under “Records Center Location Number,” enter the location from the receipted copy of the SF 135.
(5) Under “Description of Records,” briefly identify the record, include number and title. Only one record can be requested per one OF 11, unless the records are filed in consecutive order in the same accession and box.
(6) Under “Remarks” , Request that the records be transferred to you via Federal Express and provide your Federal Express account number.
(7) Under “Nature of Service,” check Temporary Loan of Records if the records will be returned to WNRC after they are used.
If the records will be altered by substantial additions to or deletions from an accession, check “Permanent Withdrawal.” Records permanently withdrawn may later be returned to WNRC as a new accession.
If the records are close to the authorized disposal date, check “Permanent Withdrawal” and keep the records until the disposal date.
(8) In Section III, under “Name of Requester,” “Telephone No.,” and “Date,” the requester identified on the OF 11 should be the same as the organization identified at the top of 6f on the SF 135.
(9) Under “Name and Address of Agency,” the requester should provide NIH IC organization and address. Ordinarily it would be the agency contact official identified in item 3 of the SF 135.
Records will be returned directly from WNRC to the requester.
(1) The Nature of the Emergency. The WNRC will only accept emergency requests pertaining to congressional requests, Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act requests, and audits.
(2) Identification of Congressional Office. WNRC will send records directly to the Congressional office requesting them. However, the NIH offices must ensure that the specific disclosure to Congress is authorized for any records subject to the Privacy Act before directing WNRC to send the records to a Congressional office.
(3) Mail-outs. The requester will need to supply its IC Federal Express number for express mail services.
(4) Courier. Whether a courier service or an NIH employee, a notation to that effect must be made in the “REMARKS” section of Section 1 of the OF 11.
Records which have been withdrawn from WNRC as a "Temporary Loan of Records" may be returned to WNRC when no longer needed. Records returned must have the original accession number, box number(s) and location clearly identified. A copy of the OF 11 should be included with the records with the instruction "RETURN TO WNRC" in the remarks section. If only a few folders were withdrawn, they may be mailed directly to WNRC through regular mail, as follows:
Washington National Records Center
If one or more boxes have been withdrawn, the records must be re-packed into the original boxes before returning to WNRC. Follow the same instruction provided under E.6., Shipment of Records to arrange for return of a box(es) to WNRC.
At least two months before the disposal date given for an accession on an SF 135, the NIH RMO will send to the originating office, through the IC RMO, a memorandum stating that the records in the accession are scheduled for destruction. If the originating office has no objection to the destruction, the IC RMO returns the signed memorandum to the NIH RMO authorizing destruction.
NOTE: ICs will continue to be charged for storage of “frozen ”records stored at the Federal Records Center (FRC) that have exceeded their authorized disposal date. ICs that wish to extend the disposal date of inactive records stored at the FRC must provide the NIH RMO with the required information, as indicated on the disposal memorandum, i.e., name and address of IC official authorized to execute the reimbursable agreement with NARA.
The destruction of records on the authorized disposal date is required by law unless the originating office identifies a program or administrative need for the records, or unless the records are required for litigation. In either case, the reason for not destroying the records should be stated on the memorandum and returned to the NIH RMO at 6011 Executive Blvd., Rm. 601, MSC 7669.
All records ( e-mail and non-e-mail) pertaining to this chapter must be retained and disposed of under the authority of NIH Manual 1743, “Keeping and Destroying Records, Appendix 1, “NIH Records Control Schedule,” Item 1700-B-1.
NIH e-mail messages (messages, including attachments, that are created on NIH computer systems or transmitted over NIH networks) that are evidence of the activities of the agency or have informational value are considered Federal records. These records must be maintained in accordance with current NIH Records Management guidelines. Contact your IC RMO for additional information.
All e-mail messages are considered Government property, and, if requested for a legitimate Government purpose, must be provided to the requester. Employees’ supervisors, NIH staff conducting official reviews or investigations, and the Office of Inspector General may request access to or copies of the e-mail messages.
E-mail messages must also be provided to members of Congress or Congressional committees if requested and are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. Since most e-mail systems have back-up files that are sometimes retained for significant periods of time, e-mail messages and attachments may be retrievable from a back-up file after they have been deleted from an individual’s computer. The back-up files are subject to the same requests as the original messages.
CONTROLS: This chapter describes how to transfer inactive records from NIH to the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) for storage, how to retrieve records stored at WNRC, and how to arrange for disposal of records stored at WNRC.
The NIH RMO, Division of Management Support, Office of Management Assessment is accountable to ensure that these processes are implemented and working, as applicable. The method used to maintain oversight and a system of internal controls ensuring effective implementation and compliance with the guidelines/instructions will be regular on-going feed-back from the WNRC on NIH compliance. Any policy compliance issue that can not be resolved with the IC, will be reported to the NIH Deputy Director for Management.
Samples of SF 135, Records Transmittal and Receipt
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