36 CFR § 1222.12 - What types of documentary materials are Federal records?
(a) General. To ensure that complete and accurate records are made and retained in the Federal Government, agencies must distinguish between records and nonrecord materials by applying the definition of records (see 44 U.S.C. 3301 and 36 CFR 1220.18 and 1222.10 of this subchapter) to agency documentary materials in all formats and media.
(b) Record status. Documentary materials are records when they meet the conditions specified in § 1222.10(b).
(c) Working files and similar materials. Working files, such as preliminary drafts and rough notes, and other similar materials, are records that must be maintained to ensure adequate and proper documentation if:
(1) They were circulated or made available to employees, other than the creator, for official purposes such as approval, comment, action, recommendation, follow-up, or to communicate with agency staff about agency business; and
(2) They contain unique information, such as substantive annotations or comments that adds to a proper understanding of the agency's formulation and execution of basic policies, decisions, actions, or responsibilities.
(d) Record status of copies. The determination as to whether a particular document is a record does not depend upon whether it contains unique information. Multiple copies of the same document and documents containing duplicative information may each have record status depending on how they are used in conducting agency business.
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