Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Drafts and Notes

Records Management is an important part of knowledge management. The information below is directly related to records management and is intended for the USDA community only! More information on records management can be found on our public site.

Records Drafts

Every records officer faces the challenge of ensuring that all of the organization's records are properly scheduled. In some cases, we can benefit by sharing work already done, or in progress, to keep from "reinventing the wheel." The following schedules are intended to address common records within the Department, which are not covered by the General Records Schedule. Please review the following drafts and provide comments to the Department's Records Officer:

Files Clean Up - Obtaining Contract Support. Click here to view a draft Statement of Work for use by agencies and staff offices that need assistance with cleaning up their files, retiring their official records, and/or preparing to obtain records disposition authority for unscheduled records: Record Clean Up: Draft Statement of Work.

Finding Information about Record Group 016

Office of the Secretary of Agriculture Records
File Plan for Record Group 016 - Office of the Secretary of Agriculture definitions:

  • File Number. This is the file number under the current file plan. These numbers correlate to the number series of the Department's regulations.
  • Topic. The subject of the file. When the subject is in all capital letters, this is a primary subject category of the file plan. Directories and file dividers should carry these categories as a minimum. When further description is desired, for example with case files, it may be desirable to have a secondary label, providing the case specific information.
  • OPI. The Office of Primary Interest (OPI) is responsible for maintaining the record copy of the material filed. (The record copy includes the yellow copy of the outgoing material and all related papers including incoming documents.) In some cases the disposition instructions for an OPI may differ from the instructions for other offices with files in the subject category. If an OPI is not designated, the record is common to more than one organization.
  • RG - 16 Disposition. The current disposition authority for the subject area. N1-16 or NC1-16 at the beginning of the disposition indicates a disposition authority specifically given by the National Archives and Records Administration to the offices and staff offices within Record Group 016. GRS at the beginning of the disposition indicates the General Records Schedule (GRS) used as authority for disposition of the records.
  • Type. This refers to whether the record is permanent (P) and will be transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration upon the end of the retention period; or the record is temporary (T) and will be destroyed upon the end of the retention period.
  • OPI Keeps. The length of time the OPI keeps the record after the cutoff date. With the exceptions of policy and case files, records are usually cutoff and retired at the end of each fiscal year. Case files are cutoff upon close of case; policy files are cutoff when superseded or obsolete (S/O).
  • DISPOSE. The date of final disposition of the records. When the column shows SF 115, it is necessary to prepare a Standard Form 115 - Request for Disposition Authority for those records. Consult with your Agency Records Officer for guidance.
  • Other Offices. Specifies the length of retention nonrecord copies may be kept in offices other than the office of primary interest.DISPOSE. The date of final disposition of the nonrecord copy.

We welcome your comments and suggestions about these pages. For information related to the USDA Records Management Program, please contact