36 CFR § 1223.22 - How must agencies protect vital records?

§ 1223.22 How must agencies protect vital records?

Agencies must take appropriate measures to ensure the survival of the vital records or copies of vital records in case of an emergency.

(a)Duplication. Agencies may choose to duplicate vital records as the primary protection method. Duplication can be to the same medium as the original record or to a different medium. When agencies choose duplication as a protection method, the copy of the vital record stored off-site is normally a duplicate of the original record. The agency may store the original records off-site if their protection is necessary, or if it does not need to keep the original records at its normal place of business.

(b)Dispersal. Once records are duplicated, they must be dispersed to sites a sufficient distance away to avoid being subject to the same emergency. Dispersal sites may be other office locations of the same agency or some other site.

(c)Storage considerations. Copies of emergency operating vital records must be accessible in a very short period of time for use in the event of an emergency. Copies of legal and financial rights records may not be needed as quickly. In deciding where to store vital record copies, agencies must treat records that have the properties of both categories, that is, emergency operating and legal and financial rights records, as emergency operating records.

(1) The off-site copy of legal and financial rights vital records may be stored at an off-site agency location or, in accordance with § 1233.12 of this subchapter, at a records storage facility.

(2) When using a NARA records storage facility for storing vital records that are duplicate copies of original records, the agency must specify on the SF 135, Records Transmittal and Receipt, that they are vital records (duplicate copies) and the medium on which they are maintained. The agency must also periodically cycle (update) them by removing obsolete items and replacing them with the most recent version.