Vital Records Management Program
This regulation outlines the policies and responsibilities for identifying and protecting records necessary for USDA to continue its essential functions and activities during and following an emergency, disaster, or event that could cause the disruption of normal operations. It augments information in DR 1800-1, Departmental Emergency Programs Responsibilities and the USDA Headquarters Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan. The primary authority for establishing a vital records management program within the Federal Government is 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Subchapter B – Records Management, Part 1223, Managing Vital Records.
Preservation of vital records is a government-wide requirement imposed through a variety of laws and facilitated by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) guidance. Each Federal agency is required by statute and by regulation to establish and maintain a vital records management program. An effective vital records management program is essential to successful records management. Vital records include records and information necessary to continue the essential functions and activities of an agency in case of an emergency or disaster; and to protect the legal and financial rights of the agency, its employees, and the public.