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NPR 1441.1E
Effective Date: January 29, 2015
Expiration Date: January 29, 2024
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: NASA Records Management Program Requirements (Updated w/Change 3)

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Information Officer

| TOC | ChangeLog | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | ALL |

Chapter 1. NASA Records Management Program Overview

1.1 Records

1.1.1 All Federal agencies are required by law and Agency policy to maintain and preserve records. The heads of Federal agencies are responsible for preventing any unlawful alteration, removal, or any accidental or unauthorized destruction of records.

1.1.2 Records (or Federal records) are defined in 44 U.S.C. §3301 as "all books, papers, maps, photographs, machine readable materials, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by an agency of the United States Government under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or suitable 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."

1.1.3 Nonrecord materials include those Federally owned informational or documentary materials that do not meet the statutory definition of records (44 U.S.C. §3301) or that have been excluded from coverage by the definition. Excluded materials include reference and duplicative information or materials intended solely for exhibit.

1.1.4 Documentary materials are NASA records when they meet both of the following conditions:

a. They are made or received by NASA under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of agency business, and

b. They are preserved or are suitable for preservation as evidence of NASA organization and activities or because of the value of the information they contain.

1.2 Information vs. Records

1.2.1 Information comes in a variety of forms and formats and the digital age has led to the creation of a multitude of new formats. The format of documentation does not alter the retention value of the content of the documentation (whether paper, film, photograph, electronic communications, notices/announcements created as blog entries, or other Web application content, or content residing in a cloud).

1.2.2 Information, regardless of format, constitutes a record when it meets the definition of a record provided in 1.1.2.

1.3 "Permanent" and "Temporary" Records Differentiated

1.3.1 A permanent record is any Federal record of such historical significance as to warrant NARA's authorization of its preservation in the National Archives beyond the time that it is needed for NASA administrative, legal, or fiscal purposes. Permanent records are indicated as such in the NRRS with a permanent disposition authority. An example of permanent records are those of senior NASA managers specified in NRRS 1/item 22.A.1. All such records will be accessioned by NARA into the National Archives for preservation for the life of the Republic..

1.3.2 A temporary record is any record which has been determined by the Archivist of the United States to have insufficient value (on the basis of current standards) to warrant its permanent preservation by the National Archives. Temporary records are approved by NARA for disposal after a specified retention period which is provided in the NRRS. This does not mean that a temporary record may, by default, be destroyed immediately.

1.4 Media Neutrality

1.4.1 The basic requirements for records management (e.g., identification, protection, management, and disposition) are considered "media neutral" in that they apply to all records regardless of their format. While there may be additional requirements for specific records formats, all procedural requirements in this document are considered media neutral unless otherwise noted.

1.4.2 Records that are created electronically, e.g., "born digital," are managed electronically. NASA's approach to addressing the management of certain digital content (e.g., e-mail, cloud, and social media content) is addressed in Chapter 5.

1.4.3 Complex data and software objects within systems, including analysis and design models (e.g. trajectory analysis or structural design models) that serve as indispensable contributors to records themselves should be delivered in formats (such as a lightweight format) or standard that accommodate long-term data accessibility.

1.5 Introduction to Records Life Cycle

1.5.1 This requirements document utilizes a "Records Life Cycle" concept as a framework for defining and prescribing Agency-wide processes to ensure management of records and valued information assets throughout their life cycle. The records' uses differ as do the requirements for managing them at different phases of the records' lives. The records life-cycle concept is also used as an organizing framework within Chapter 3 of this NPR, with sections containing the procedural requirements for each of the four life-cycle phases.

1.5.2 Figure 1 illustrates the Records Life Cycle. Records are either created or received by NASA employees or contractors in the course of conducting NASA business. During their active use phase, the records are used for various purposes by NASA in its business processes. However, there comes a time (inactive or semi-active phase) when the records are only occasionally sought for reference purposes. After the inactive records have fulfilled their authorized retention periods, they are either destroyed, if temporary records, or transferred to the National Archives, if permanently valued. In addition, copies of inactive records or records due for disposition may at times be brought into a new NASA office or function to be used as inputs for the new business processes. An example of such re-purposing was the Space Launch System Program's incorporation of temporary Solid Rocket Booster records from the completed Space Shuttle Program, with careful documentation to maintain traceability of the records' history.


Figure 1, Records Life Cycle

1.5.3 The Records Life Cycle model and approach is further described in IT-HBK 1440.01, Records Planning and Management, along with more detailed explanations and procedures/guidelines for its use.

| TOC | ChangeLog | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | ALL |
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