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Records Management Solutions for the National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health Records Management ProjectThe National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director, under congressional pressure, required an expert in federal records management to perform a compliance audit of its records management program.  Drawing on our considerable knowledge of and familiarity with the NIH manual Keeping and Destroying Records, History Associates worked with the NIH records office to develop a list of offices and records series to be reviewed. History Associates staff interviewed file creators and custodians, inspected records, and delivered a report that evaluated compliance with records requirements in offices throughout the Office of the Director and provided recommendations for improvement.

During the audit, History Associates archivists/records managers found over 2,200 boxes inappropriately stored by twelve institutes and centers in an NIH warehouse intended for short-term storage and surplus property.  As a follow-on project, History Associates records managers created a box-level inventory with each box entry identified by records creator when known, classified according to the records series, and annotated with disposition recommendations.  History Associates staff implemented the NIH records schedule for this backlog of inactive records by preparing the records for transfer to a federal records center, removal by a records destruction firm, or return to the appropriate office.

To alleviate the high volume of calls regarding the records disposition process, the NIH records office engaged History Associates to develop practical guidance for implementing the NIH records management manual.  History Associates designed “Moving Inactive Records Out of the Office,” a web-based tutorial that maps the records disposition process through a series of flowcharts. History Associates presented NIH with a storyboard for the tutorial and then developed the website, including creating original content as needed to demonstrate and explain records transfer and destruction practices to augment the NIH manuals.

Get Started on Your Records Management Project

It’s as easy as contacting  History Associates! Call us at (301) 279-9697, or submit an online inquiry to discuss  your  records management program.

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