NASA logo NASA Headquarters' Directives
HQPR 1460.1
Effective Date: February 28, 2006
Expiration Date: June 28, 2024
Responsible Office: LM
Vital Records (Revalidated w/Change 2, 7/2/19)
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Table of Contents | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | AppendixA


Alternate Operating Facility (AOF) - Locations, other than the primary facility used to carry out essential functions, particularly in a continuity event.

Continuity - The ability to provide uninterrupted services and support, while maintaining organizational viability, before, during, and after an event that disrupts normal operations.

Continuity of Operations (COOP) - An effort within the Executive Office of the President and individual D/As to ensure that essential functions continue to be performed during disruption of normal operations.

Cycle - The periodic removal of obsolete copies of vital records and their replacement with copies of current vital records. This may occur daily, weekly, quarterly, annually or at other designated intervals.

Disaster- An unexpected occurrence inflicting widespread destruction and distress and having long-term adverse effects on Headquarters operations.

Emergency - A situation or an occurrence of a serious nature, developing suddenly and unexpectedly, and demanding immediate action. This is generally of short duration; e.g., an interruption of normal agency operations for a week or less, and may involve electrical failure or minor flooding caused by broken pipes.

Headquarters Emergency Management Specialist - The individual responsible for ensuring that Headquarters is planning and preparing to deal with emergencies. This individual maintains a copy of the essential records required during COOP activation.

Headquarters Emergency Planning Coordinator - Personnel designated within offices/directorates with a continuity role whose responsibilities include but are not limited to updating and maintaining emergency operating records for the office/directorate.

Medium - A form of communication, including hard paper copies, computer disks, and microfiche.

Offsite storage - A facility other than the normal place of business where vital records are stored for protection. This is to ensure that vital records are not subject to damage or destruction from an emergency or disaster affecting an agency's normal place of business.

Primary Organization - Organizations managed by Officials In Charge at Headquarters.

Records Custodian - The individual who is responsible for collecting, indexing, accessing, filing, storing, and maintaining a record or collection of records for a particular office/program.

Records Liaison - The individual designated by the primary organization to assist the organization's Record Custodian with the identification, maintenance and disposition of records. The Records Liaison serves as the point of contact for the Headquarters Vital Records Manager.

Retention - Mandatory instructions for handling records no longer needed for current government business, with provision of authority for final disposition. (See NPR 1441.1)

Vital Records - Essential agency records that are needed to meet operational responsibilities under national security emergencies or other emergency or disaster conditions, or to protect the legal and financial rights of the government and those affected by government activities. There are two general types:

Emergency Operating Records - Vital records essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an organization during and after an emergency. They include emergency plans and directive(s), orders of succession, delegations of authority, staffing assignments, and selected program records needed to continue the most critical agency operations, as well as related policy or procedural records that assist agency staff in conduction operations under emergency conditions and for resuming normal operations after an emergency.

Legal and financial rights records - Vital records, also known as continuation of government records, are essential to protect the legal and financial rights of the government and of the individuals directly affected by its activities. Examples include accounts receivable records, social security records, payroll records, retirement records and insurance records. These records were formerly defined as "rights of interests" records.

Vital Records Manager - The individual responsible for facilitating the designation, maintenance, and protection of NASA Headquarters vital records, as defined in 36 CFR 1236.14. The Headquarters Vital Records Manager shall coordinate program activities with the Emergency Management Specialist at NASA Headquarters.

Vital Records Program - The policies, plans and procedures developed and implemented to identify, use, and protect the essential records needed to meet operational responsibilities under national security emergencies or other emergency or disaster conditions, or to protect the government's rights or those of its citizens. This is a program element of the Headquarters emergency management function.

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