Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 9, 2016
Document Release Date: 
April 30, 2001
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
May 7, 1968
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP72-00450R000100230002-5.pdf3.58 MB
Approv r anag lc rs S rin Conference e`F?oreeaseM11/~/~y 4PCA~?4W000100230002-5 Transcription from Tape Recording Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Records Office's Spring Conference. Just a few details that we would like for you to take care before we get underway with the program. As you came into the auditorium you were handed a 3 X 5 card and slip of paper. The 3 X 5 card we would like for you at this moment to record your presence by doing the following: Put your name, if you would please, in the upper left-hand corner of the 3 X 5 card. In the right corner of the card register today's date, which is the 7th of May for you that may not know. Then immediately under the printed name please reflect your component and the directorate that you represent and then last but certainly not least your signature on the card. This in its simplest form would certainly be a record as such which is part of the subject which we will be discussing today. Upper left-hand corner please print your name. Upper right-hand corner please reflect today's date, the 7th of May. Under your name your component and the directorate that you represent and then your signature. After you have completed this if you will please pass the cards to your left, one of the young ladies in the back there will pick them up.`` Now while you are doing this I would like to say that after the conference has been completed, which will be approximately I+:30 this afternoon, there will be a special shuttle departing from the regular bus stop just to I believe it's just to the left of the auditorium here as I stand now, that will be departing for the Rosslyn area and will leave you off at any one of the three buildings at that particular location. This will be at 4:30 this afternoon. Any that wish to go to that area please meet at that point--the special shuttle leaving at 4:30. As soon as you complete the registration, please just pass your card to the left. This will be used by our office. It will be used for responding to certain Agency officials who will want to know for sure who we have had in attendance this-afternoon. It will be a record, it will be our file and it will Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : Cl . DP72-00450R000100230002-5 be used accordingly. It will certainly be used as a classified document, of course. As soon as you complete that, please pass your cards to the left. Did everybody get a card when they came in, please, did everybody get one? Yes, I guess so. All right, STATINTL I would like to undersc welcome. We are delighted to see you, and we do have a very important subject to discuss today. We have always enjoyed the support of the front office of Records Management Program; and this is a wonderful opportunity for us to actually demonstrate with these officials from National Archives, as well as from our on Deputy Director of Support. We are anxious to get underway and so without further ado I would like to present the first speaker to open the ceremonies here today, the Mr. Bananman, our Deputy Director of Support. STATINTL I was very pleased when - asked me to participate in this conference. I missed the session last year because I had other commitments, but I have a very serious and responsible stake in your efforts and in this program. It's one of continuing concern and being able to-provide facilities with vehicles, the means by which we do have an effective program. Now the Agency is approaching it's 21st birthday and from those early days in 1941, the growth of information used by the Agency has been absolutely fantastic. Today, we have millions of words, thousands of pounds of material in the form of letters, memoranda, reports, cables, documents, books, publications, magnetic tapes of all forms pouring into the Agency from all over the world; and in the use of this information analysis of it on a very timely fashion and then the storage of it and here the weeding out of that which is nonessential for the future in continuing operations. Just identifying that which is pertinent to the various programs and production of intelligence and then the destruction of that which has served its purpose. But most Lfiportant, the identification of that which is worthy of future storage and the system by which it can be Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA;J DP72-0045OR000100230002-5 retrieved. We are existing in four directorates of the Agency, each having its special program, each program interrelated, though, into the whole and here any program of management of information and storage of it must be most carefully coordinated between the various components. This is necessary to avoid duplication and excessive records when we are constrained in this to some degree by our programs of compartmentation, special security clearances, special controls on access to information. But as we have grown through the years as an agency, so has our program of management control grown also. We have sought and continued to seek best methods and procedures by which documentation can be properly administered. Now our total program involves three major sub programs--the reduction of record creations, improvement of files maintenance, control of disposition of Agency records.--From the problems that we now have and the problems that we see I think one of the best means of achieving a proper program is in the area of records creation and this takes expertise and some thinking in order to put this into a manageable form. Now the Age of Automation is maw a--ptmtr and it is creating, problems we never dreamed of. It is presenting to us new dimensions in information and in the volumes of information, but completely new dimensions is to the management of that information. Now this presents a real challenge to all of us involved, and particularly to the experts, for helping create these systems. We are, at the same time, engaged in a historical program, something we really paid lip service to before but now are looking at it in an active fashion; and we are identifying with, for the first time, various documents that are historically of great value to the Agency and record the past so it can be preserved for the future. Now, a few of the daily practical questions that are being presented to us all the time is the creation of a positive program in the foam of identifying those records worth retaining and this is a difficult task and one that deserves our full attention. By whom should these determinations be Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RW72-00450R000100230002-5 made and which component should be considered the Office of Records. Now this is in itself difficult organizationally when you think of various organizational changes that have taken place through the years and it is sometimes very difficult to figure who, today, has control over a document that may have been created a few years ago with a series of organizational changes taking place. But an additional problem is the space for record storage. This is a major problem with us and we ran out of storage really last year and it is only through the good graces of the archivist that we were given extra space at the Suitland Record Center. Had we not had this facility available to us I simply don't know what we would have done at the present time. So, all these things are of vital concern to all of us and to seek the answers we must both within government and outside government call upon the expertise that is developed in this important field. Now we were honored this day to have with us several officers of considerable note in this field--Dr. Rhodes, the newly appointed Archivist of the United States; his deputy, Dr. Campbell; and the Agency's principal Historian Consultant, Dr. Rhodes STATINTL brings to his job a wide experience and knowledge in this program I am sure, from the short conversation I had with him. He has many ideas for the improvement of the whole Federal Records Management Program and we are deeply grateful and appreciative of his taking his time from his new responsibilities to come here and speak to you today. Dr. Rhodes. Thank you very much, 11r. Banaman. It is a real pleasure for me to be here this afternoon. This marks a couple of firsts for me. It is my first visit to your very fine facility here and this also marks my first public appearance and public statement as Archivist of the United States. They were obviously tourists and they were riding a streetcar. This happened about twenty years ago. They were heading easy on Pennsylvania Avenue. As they passed the Treasury Department building she read aloud the sign that said "Treasury Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-00450R000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16: CIADP72-00450R000100230002-5 Department," turned to him and asked "What's that, Honey?" He replied that that was where the Government kept its money. As they passed each public building she would read the name of the agency and ask him "What's that, Honey?" and his replies generally indicated the agency's major function or purpose. As the streetcar moved slowly from Ninth to Seventh Street she read aloud the inscription on our building "Archives of the United States of America." After a brief pause came the predictable "What's that, Honey?" A longer pause. "That's archives," he replied. She thought for a moment and then proceeded with "But what is archives, Honey?" to which he replied, possibly out of desperation, or fatigue or perhaps even simple honesty "Oh, how the hell do I know what archives is." To our tourist question there are several good answers. Archives since 1934 is the popular name for a Government building on Pennsylvania Avenue at Eighth Street. It is also the informal name given to the agency that occupies that building. But the term archives has a much, more basic and general meaning. Archives are the records of any institution or organization preserved because of their value, and the National Archives of the United States as that expression is now used refers to those records of the Federal Government selected for preseveration because of their value. This collective noun, "archives," for which there is no reputable singular form, has a venerable history dating back to the Greek city-states. The preservation of records because of their value, however, predates even the term "archives" by 2,000 years. An eminent French historian once observed that no records, no history; and the fact remains that the dividing line between prehistoric and historic times is marked by the development of writing and. the creation of records. We might note in passing that writing itself was developed notKmeet the needs of the scholar but rather to meet the needs of the administrator and the businessman. Records were then created to serve as tools to meet day to day needs of those engaged in the conduct of business, whether of a public or private character. But by their very nature records had values and uses other than those for which they were created. The term "record" traditionally has Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Jr Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 been applied to that which was written or transcribed to perpetuate the knowledge of a transaction. Records are and were deliberately created and deliberately preserved to transmit information in time, and they still serve this fundamental purpose. The same clay tablet that recorded the taxes due and collected from the Samarian merchant in 3000 B.C. today provides the historian with first-hand evi- dence of the organization and functioning of the system of taxation in ancient Sumer. Indeed for a significant part of our knowledge of history of mankin3gfor more than 2,500 years we are largely dependent on information recorded upon clay tablets. With the passing of the centuries, the character of records, the nature of the base and of the impressions made on that base have gradually changed. The clay tablet gave way to papyrus, which in turn was replaced by parchment, which gave way to paper. This process still continues as paper gives way to film and tape. The wedge-shaped symbols pressed into soft clay gradually evolved into handwriting and script form, which in turn has led to print, to the typewriter, and in our own day, to slots in cards and holes or magnetic spots on tape. But the initial purpose, the value and the use of records, regardless of their phys- ical characteristics, have changed little through the centuries. They are still created as a medium for transmitting information, information that is essential to the conduct of business; and since that information is in a tangible form, it can be preserved and transmitted through time to serve purposes other than those for which it was originally intended. Obviously not all records have been pre- served or should be preserved, and as early as 2500 B.C. administrators in the Assyrian empire directed their clerks to make monthly summaries of certain daily reports and then to destroy the daily reports. From the administrative point of view records have always been regarded as but a means to an end, as simply tools to be used in getting a job done, in conducting the daily business of the office; and when these tools were no longer needed for current operations, they were laid aside back out of the way. Records thus pass out of the current stage in Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-ROP72-00450R000100230002-5 their life cycle, as we refer to it, and enter the semi-current stage. They are not needed on a daily basis but they still possess legal, fiscal, or other administrative value; and they must be retained until they no longer serve these purposes. Since records are expensive to store and maintain, especially in office areas, those that have become semi-current as judged by the rate of frequency by which they are consulted, should be transferred to areas specifically designed to accommodate a maximum of records and provide essential reference service at a minimum of cost. This is the origin and function the Records Center, a kind of halfway station in the life cycle of records. Eventually, from the point of view of current operations, all records become noncurrent. Although their value to the administrator may recur, for example through new or revised legislation, functions, or programs, as a practical matter they can be regarded as no longer administra- tively useful. It is at this point in time that it is necessary to adjust our perspective and to examine these records in terms of other values, values which we refer to as archival. Since we are dealing with public records, we must con- stantly remind ourselves that these are not the Agency's records nor any particular administrative unit's records nor the property of any particular official. They are the property of the United States Government; and just like all other Federal property, their maintenance, transfer and disposition are covered by statutory law and administrative rules and regulations. Furthermore, as public records they possess an official character and a greater value as evidence than records of private origin. From a legal point of view, the relationships that exist between Government and those that are governed are defined and documented in public records. They not only constitute the legal basis of governmental activity and documental legal and financial commitments by the Government, but they provide the ultimate truth for all of our permanent civic rights and privileges and the immediate proof for many of our property and financial rights. As citizens in a democracy, we have a right to this information; and the Government has a responsibility to Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 - J' . Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA_B.DP72-00450R000100230002-5 preserve the records containing this information and when not contrary to the public interest, to make them accessible for use. From the point of view of the historian and other research scholars, the official character of the public record means that since they are prime sources of materials generally at the time the information they contain and the related actions they record were occuring, they are a greater value as documentary evidence than for example, someone's memoirs published years after the event. In addition to their legal and research value because of their official character, the records of any institution or organization constitute the collective memory of that organization. Since the life span of an organization is not limited to that of its employees, it cannot depend on human memory to preserve the facts regarding its origin, its structure, and successive organizational changes, its functions, its policies, its proce- dures, its significant transactions. In brief, it is cumulative experience that establishes. its identity and defines its direction. An established organization that has suffered a complete loss of its records can no more function effectively than can an individual who has suffered a complete loss of memory. An agency's records are thus essential to its effective continued operations. Furthermore, as life in modern society has become increasingly complex in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, urbanization, rapid changes in transportation and communi- cation in terms of modern science and technology, as the individual and traditional private institutions are less and less able to cope with economic and social pro- blems. Government at every level, and particularly at the national level, has assumed ever increasing responsibilities and a wide diversity of functions. To a greater extent than ever before, then, the history of the United States has become a history of the United States Government. Its agencies, its programs, and its relationships with our economy and our society. To write that history requires that we first preserve the records that document the origin, structure, functions, policies, procedures, and transactions of Federal agencies. These considerations Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-fRDP72-00450R000100230002-5 lead to my two final observations regarding archival value. Because of the scope and variety of governmental activities, both past and present, an agency's records frequently contain unique information on persons, places, and events. This data may have been acquired and accumulated for one purpose. For example, the decennial census was not initially intended to provide us with information on individuals and economic activity, but rather to serve as the basis for apportion- ing seats in the House of Representatives among the several states. Those data now have great value for a wide variety of scholarly studies. This is what is meant by my previous reference to the value and use of records for purposes other than those for which they were originally created. Finally, there is a category of archival value that we refer to as intrinsic value or historic interest. I need only mention the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution and Bill of Rights to indicate what is meant by intrinsic value or historic interest. But into this same category fall even relatively routine records like appointments and commissions signed by the President, whether George Washington or Lyndon Baines Johnson. This, then, in very brief compass is the case for archives and their value and use. As a public archival institu- tion, the National Archives has a four-fold responsibility. First, to assist in carrying on the work of the Government by centralizing, preserving, and making available those public records that have continuing value. Second, to contribute to Governmental efficiency by providing for the legal and systematic disposition of those records no longer needed for current operations. Third, to protect the rights and interests of the Government and the personal rights and privileges that are established by and documented in the public records. Fourth, to pre- serve and promote the intelligent use of the cultural resource that is represented by the Government's records. To better perform these functions, the National Archives in 1949 was given responsibility for developing and promoting a Government-wide program of records Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16: ClAi .DP72-00450R000100230002-5 management; and as the National Archives and Records Service, it has since 1949 been one of the constituent services of the General Services Administration. Our legitimate interests, therefore, are in both records management and archives; and I should therefore like to comment briefly on the origin and scope of Federal records management and its relationship to Archives. Historically, Federal records management was the direct outgrowth of our experience with agency records transferred to the National Archives in the first years of its existence--say, between 1935 and 1941--and of the problems resulting from the great expansion of the Government during World War I. Early in 1941 the National Archives established what it called the Records Administration Program to assist in developing through- out the Government principals and practices in the filing, selection, and segre- gation of records that would facilitate the disposal of or transfer to the National Archives of records as they become noncurrent. The basic justification for this program was the need within the Government for planned programs of records disposal and for beginning as early as possible in the life history of records, the process of selection for preservation or elimination. Out of this program developed what we today call correspondence management, files management, mail management, records storage, and audits and surveys. To these the Navy Records Management Group added forms management and the management of office equipment and supplies.. Federal Records Management came of age with Congressional implementation of the recommendations of the First Hoover Commission. By an act of Congress in 1949 the National Archives became a part of the General Services Administration; and as the reorganized National Archives and Records Service it was charged with developing and promoting a Government-wide program for the economical and efficient management of records. Operating under the Federal Records Act of 1950 and with the further impetus of the recommendations on paper work management of the Second Hoover Commission of 1953 to 1955, the National Archives and Records Service has developed additional programs in directives Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-00450R000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA1RDP72-00450R000100230002-5 management, reports management, paper work quality control, clerical work measure- ment, and more recently, source data automation, automatic and electric data pro- cessing, and information storage and retrieval. Our specialists in each of these areas develop programs and workshops to help train Agency records personnel and work Agency personnel in the solution of work problems. These Records Management activities may appear to be quite remote from the archival considerations which I have previously discussed, Actually, the archivist has a very real interest and concern in the activities of records managers and records officers, of those concerned with the management of current records, Records managers, records officers help to determine the quality of our archives--quality in the sense of completeness or adequacy of the documentation, its integrity, including the extent to which they are cluttered up with useless and non-record material, and the ease or difficulty with which the Archives can be used for reference or research purposes. In a very real sense the records manager or records officer determines much of our work with archives, for upon the success of their efforts to improve record-keeping practices and systems determines the ease or difficulty with which the archivist can appraise the records and select those of continuing value for preservation, the ease or difficulty with which they can be physically preserved, arranged, and described, and the ease or difficulty with which they can be made accessible and available for use. The interest of the archivist in the management of current records in all phases of records creation, records maintenance, and records disposition is therefore not only legitiiaate; it is essential. At the same time it is the recognition and full acceptance of his responsibilities in these matters that distinguish the successful records manager and records officer. Like the archivist, he, too, is ultimately responsible to society at large, and thus to *terity. He should recognize that records serve both administrative and scholarly needs. He should become thoroughly familiar with his agency's structure, functions, and activities, and with all of its Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-00450R000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 :-CM4-RDP72-00450R000100230002-5 records to insure that those of archival value are preserved, perhaps for the use of Agency historians, but ultimately for use by nonofficial researchers. In closing let me assure you that I am not unaware of two special circumstances relating to your records. Not all noncurrent records of continuing value have been transferred to the National Archives Building or the Federal records centers that are located in each GSA region. Some, like scientific observational data records of the Environmental Science Services Administration, are maintained in agency record centers and agency archives because of their specialized character, others because of their confidential character are also retained by the agencies that produced and accumulated them. But even the most highly restricted and classified records are sooner or later made available for use, perhaps sooner than many might expect, as is the case of the records of the Warren Commission, for example, and in some cases, later, much later. For years some of the most carefully guarded records in Government files were the so-called Baker-Turner Papers, which had been sealed since 1866 by order of the Adjutant General's office. These papers consisted of the files of Brigadier General Lafayette C. Baker, Civil War Special Agent and of Assistant Judge Adjutant Levie Turner. They relate to investigations of fraud, examinations of civilian and military prisoners, and subversive activities generally during the Civil War; and they contain valuable information on counter-espionage activities as well as unsubstantiated charges made against numerous individuals, many of them of contemporary prominence. Baker, who played a prominent role in the apprehension of John Wilkes Booth and the other conspirators in the Lincoln assassination and was involved in the imprisonment of Jefferson Davis, was and still remains a controversial figure. These records were restricted for nearly 90 years, but eventually they were opened for research to scholars. Had these records been open to historical or other public use premature- ly untold damage could have been done to innocent persons; and not only reputations, Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 ..f.z r Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIALRDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 but lives could have been put in jeopardy. On the other hand, passage of nearly a century since the events that were mirrored in the records have by no means dimmed interest in those events nor reduced the files to the category of "dusty old archives" only of interest to the octogenarian scholar who is concerned with the number of words that can be written on the head of a pin. Within a few days of the opening of these papers to researchers, a recognized writer'was knocking on the Archives' door seeking access to them. Incidentally, almost immediately he recog- nized why these papers had been kept closed for so long. He wrote, and I quote, "To the ordinary reader it might seem somewhat ridiculous to keep under seal papers which have to do with a war and men long dead; but as the great entry book was opened and I selected the first documents I could see some sense to the order. I found that the founder of a still active New York business, noted for his sobriety and a pillar of the church, stood charged with drunkness on the battlefield. He was so drunk he couldn't stand up, his accuser told Secretary of War Stanton. These were accusations only; there are no records of a hearing and final disposi- tion. He was an incompetent intelligence officer. But judging the man's personal character as he is known in history, that particular charge seems absurd. How his enemies would have loved it half a century ago when many of the Civil War figures were still alive." The almost immediate result of the author's labors, and this was Mr. James D. Horan, was his book Confederate Agent, a somewhat fictionalized biography of one of those dashing but necessarily little known heroes of the Confederacy, named Captain Thomas Hines. It was also a history of a conspiracy that might have destroyed the Union had it succeeded. You may say, of what importance is this a century after the events. This is nonetheless the stuff of which true understanding of the past consists and perhaps a century or two hence some of the records now in your agency's file cabinets or archives may similarly reveal missing bits and pieces essential to understanding of our times. At some point, at some time the public interest in a democracy requires that even the most Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA3f DP72-00450R000100230002-5 restricted information be made accessible. It is not visionary to anticipate that point in time. It is for this reason that the records officer, the archivist, and the historian, all of us`here today have a vital stake in preserving adequate and relevant records documenting their agency's history and activities. Thank you very much, Dr. Rhodes. I must confess for a moment there I knew Dr. Rhodes name better than Mr. Banaman's; but thank you very much. These gentlemen are very busy. We, of course, feel and have long felt that the hub of the universe was the Records Management Program; and we were very anxious to have this endorse- ment and we are very pleased with this state of affairs. We have long advocated this interest and this concern and this genuine necessity for attention to our records. All of us here, all of the records management officers have frequently met in conferences of this sort, have been aware of this, and have stimulated this concern. The arrival of the Agency's historical program has given us an additional ally and we are so delighted to invite you to join us and participate in this con- cern for this vital commodity in this Agency. As Dr. Rhodes pointed out this is not only of concern to us immediately here today, what we do and what we neglect will reflect upon us in the future. Consequently, the records program is definitely going to take specific and deliberate action on these problems. We do have the endorsement of the seventh floor, in fact we have more than the endorsement, we have a directive to do something about this very positively. Consequently, we are anxious to communicate this to all of you because we can't do it alone in the cen- tral staff. We need the help of every compenent, we need the help of the records 25X1A9a officers; and in chatting with we were encouraged in the fact that the historical program is also interested in this and will cooperate in this direction. In establishing this foundation and establishing our creden- tial, so to speak, our bona fides, so to speak, we are merely opening the door to you people to the next order of business in the records program that will affect all of you and that is the Records Retension Plan. For many, many years we have Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-1 t3P72-00450R000100230002-5 25X1A had records control schedules, which are commonly known as records disposal schedules which identify records and definitely indicate the amount of time that those records be kept in certain offices, after which time they may be disposed of. Now we have found that some things have not been included in schedules and too often these were very important series of records or individual documentations that were not included, and consequently we are talking now about a records reten- sion plan, a positive step to identify the material that must be kept by someone and not be everyone, but someone. Someone must be responsible and therefore we are talking positively about a positive action. We have sought authorities on 25X1A9a this field; we have in our office who has been working for some time on it and has dealt with many of you on it and will see much more of you soon. I mention this now only to alert the records management officers that in the very near future within the next month we shall meet by directorate to discuss our Records Reten`~ion Plan and the development thereof. Through the good offices of and. Dr. Campbell we have prevailed upon another official, an expert from National Archives, to come to us and enlighten us further oil this subject of positive records reten' ion plans; and therefore, it is with pleasure that I have this opportunity to introduce him. He, of course, is faced with something all of us know quite well. It seems that down at National Archives they, too, have two sides of the house and the good Dr. Campbell has served on both sides of the house. He has served in National Archives for many years and he has also served in Records Management for many years. I don't think I could possibly explain to him if I took all afternoon just what divisions are in our two sides of the house. I wouldn't even dare to attempt it but I think you all appreciate this consideration. So that the good Dr. Campbell will talk to us further on this Records Retention Plan it is my pleasure to present Dr. Edward Campbell, the Assistant Archivist for National Archives. 25X1A9a 11 / Thank you, In talking about Records Retenion plans I would like Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIADP72-00450R000100230002-5 to go back a little bit and put them in perspective. I won't go back as far as Dr. Rhodes did. I will start about 1934. In that year the National Archives Act was passed, establishing the National Archives and in one section, Section 9, there was provision for the archivist's role in really monitoring the destruction of Federal records. That passage read "He, the archivist, shall also transmit to Congress on January 1 of each year with his approval of the National Archives Coune#il a list or description of the papers, documents, and so forth (among the archives of the Government) which appear to have no permanent value or historic interest and which, with the concurrence of the Government agency concerned, and subject to the approval of Congress, shall be destroyed or otherwise effectively disposed of." I am not surehat that "and so forth" in the middle there was supposed to cover but these few lines were the archvist's charter insofar as monitoring the disposal of Federal records and I would like to call your atten- tion particularly to a couple of these provisions which I tried to emphasis as I `U- 0L- read that. One list per`. January 1. That was all; just once a year the archi- vist was supposed to send a list to Congress, this list of records to be disposed of. Before he could send that list to Congress that list had to be approved by that National Archives Council. That is the body that was abolished in 1950. Before that, theoretically, it was composed of really the heads of the Cabinet agencies of the Government, to advise the archivist to pass on disposal jobs. Of course, actually the Cabinet members never sat. They had representatives that sat; but every list that the archivist proposed to send to Congress had to be fanned out to about ten different people this way in the Government, get the approval of each one of those Council members back before it could go to Congress. Again, this provision only allowed for the archivist to send the list of past or existing accumulations of papers, only existing accumulations. And finally, and perhaps of not too much value but certainly giving some, should we says moral problems. The records reported in this way had to have value. They couldn't Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-00450R000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CJRDP72-00450R000100230002-5 have a little bit. The archivist had to certify they had no value. Now, I say that gave a little problem, because I think you can understand that it is pretty hard to say that anything has no value. The tenth carbon copy of a letter in your files may have value simply to prove that ten copies were made. But the archivist had to certify no value. Now after two years of working under this legislation certain escape routes were found to simplify things a little bit. The Agriculture Department is a leader in this. They simply resubmitted the same list every year. They gave the same list to the archivist each year, just changing the dates--uping the dates one year but sending in the same thing so they could literally just print the list up annually and send it into the archi- vist and he could send it on to Congress with the dates changed. Again, some of the agencies got wise to the business and instead of listing all of the records at each field office, for instance, they would simply lump them and say at all field stations. Again it cut down some of the paperwork of listing all of the existing accumulations. But anyway, in 1943 the disposals legislation was com- pletely rewritten and the Disposal Act of 1943, which is still on the books and is still the basic authorization for the disposal of Federal records, was ap- proved. No~ithis Act had several advantages over the 19 Act. Of course, in- stead of being a couple of lines in general legislation, it was a two- or three-page bill directed solely to the disposal of Federal records, so itent into much more detail. The first thing it did was to define "records." I am sure you have all run across that tongue-twisting definition, which is not easy to comprehend, at least first reading; but it certainly was an improvement over the lack of any definition. Before 1943 there was no generally accepted def i- nition of what a record of the Federal Government was. Some people contended the telephone call slip which your secretary left on your desk was a record, that the first draft of a memo that you scribbled in longhand and dictated off to your secretary was a record, even though it was rewritten five times. There Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA P72-0045OR000100230002-5 ""'.# 0-0 ,r no definition. The Act of 1943 gave a definition which allowed the Government official to use some discretion or some common sense in using the wastebasket behind his desk. Presumably the official could determine what should be recorded within the limitations set down by the definition.FSecondly, this 1943 Act pro- vided for what came to be known as schedules; that is, authorizations for the continuing disposal of the same type of record. Agriculture, then, could quit sending in that same list every year, just send it in once and that would take care of it as long as that particular type of record was being created. Again the 1943 Act provided for the National Archives Council, which was still in existence, to approve procedures for the handling of authorizations for the disposal of records, but not the individual lists. They simply approve the general procedures that were to be in effect. Again, the language in the 1943 Act provided that to be retained, records must have sufficient administrative, legal, research, or other value. It was not required that the records have no value, and certainly a number of rather important disposal transactions have hinged on thatNA sufficient valuelfidea. Some years ago the archivist approved the disposal of individual income tax returns after a given number of years. No one pretended those records had no value, but their value in relation to the volume, the cost of maintaining and so on was deemed not sufficient to warrant their retention. Again, a few years ago the so-called cover sheets of Selective Service registrants of World War II were approved for disposal; but there was no question that these cover sheets had material of value in them, but it was deem- ed not sufficient to warrant retaining the records. Now, of course you can always get into an argument of how much is sufficient. That comes down to a question of the judgment of the people concerned Finally, this 1943 Act for the first time put into legislation the procedures which Congress would follow in acting upon requests for the authorization to dispose of records. The earlier Act simply said the archivist would transmit to Congress and left a Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RPP72-0045OR000100230002-5 deep void as to what Congress was going to do. The 1943 Act spelled out the pro- cedure which is still in effect that the archivist's lists of records to be dis- posed of are sent to both House and Senate. A Joint committee on the disposition of executive papers then reviewed these lists and reports to the Congress. When they file a report, the filing of that report is actually the Congressional action. Somewhat as an aside there, I wouldn't pretend that the members of the joint committee very often read those reports in great detail. Herb Angel, who is on the Archives staff now but during the War was with the Navy, used to tell the story of getting a phone call from a very irate Congressman one day "Why in the world did you throw out such and such records of the Navy?" He was in the Navy Records Program. The Congressman was quite undone. Well, Herb had a search of their records made and came up with just what he needed and called the Congressman back. "We destroyed them in accordance with House Report No. so and so, on which yours is the second name." That, of course, was simply a lucky bureaucratic deploy that he was able to pull. But there is some sense also to having Congress review in this Government of checks and balances it does give a certain affect. Under the 1943 Act, which is still in effect, the agencies took the initiative in scheduling their records (those of them who wanted to) up until about 1950. In 1950, as a result of the First Hoover Commission and the passage of the Federal Records ActOl950, Archives put on a crash program to try to get all the records of the Government scheduled. Archives tried to assist the agencies where they could, otherwise to encourage agencies to schedule all their records. By 1954 almost all the records had been scheduled. However, those scheduled provided that about 24% of the Government's records were to be retained. The agency would simply mark on the schedule the such and such series that were to be retained. But that did not really mean the agency were retained or not. It did mean that they didn't want their dis- posal at this point. Even though frequently these didn't want to approve Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RD P72-0045OR000100230002-5 disposal of necessary correspondence files. We all know how difficult those are to appraise and evaluate. Others were Veterans Administration up until the present time has not determined just when all claims folders of World War IT, World War I veterans can be destroyed. I think almost everybody who has ever been concerned with these problems agrees they can be destroyed eventually. But because of the legal rights of veterans and their descendants, to a certain degree, certainly those records cannot be destroyed for at least 100 years, probably 125 years. As long as that is the case, the earliest of these records date to about 1919. Nobody is worrying very much right now about deciding whether or not it should be 100 years or 125 years. It will be our grandchildren probably who will have to do the job. That type of record was included in this 24% marked for retention )In 1950, as I mentioned, the Federal Records Act that we now operate under was passed; and this gave another slight push in this records disposal seal. Section 505B of that Act said the administrator shall establish standards for the selective retension of records of continuing value and assist Federal agencies in applying such standards to records in their custody. Now the schedules that had been drawn up hereto had not done this. They had not highlighted the selective retention of records. On the other side of the fence, Section 506 of the same Act required that agencies insure that important policies and decisions are adequately record- ed and that these records of continuing value are preserved. Responsibility here Cr6 fTSrrs is two-fold. One, the administrator 4generally services through the Archives should establish standards for selective and the agencies should assure that perfect records were made and then that they be retained. Thus, after 1950 we had the three-fold requirement for the retension of valuable records. One, the legal requirement of the law. Second, the requirement that Dr. Rhodes referred to that all good management requires retenon of good records. Again, Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RIDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 we have all seen these advertisements in various journals "Will a fire wipe you out overnight if you are in business?" Such and such percentage of small businesses who have had a fire have not been able to resume because their records were lost. And which Dr. Rhodes referred to, is that of cultural impor- tance. The importance to the history of the country requires the retention of good records. The scheduling of records under the 19+3 Act and the crash pro- gram of the early 1960's had not actually identified those records that must be and should be kept. Those programs had not identified a lot of records that could be thrown out. They had identified a lot that "maybe they should be kept and maybe not," but nobody, either the agency, the Archives, or any place else could really look at the records, examine the, or critically evaluate them. The result was by 1962 24% of the Government records 5.7 million cubic feet were marked for indefinite preservation and that total was going up 200,000 feet every year. Generally, it seems that about one or two percent of most agency's records should be kept. To meet this situation the Archives inaugu- rated its program for records retenJon plans. The idea was to identify as pre- cisely as possible the records of continuing values to the agency and to the Government. Here was almost n evolutionary departure from past practice. Emphasis was put on valuable records, not on the junk. Ever since 1943, for almost 20 years, certainly the Archives' time and most of the agencies' time were devoted to junk. Nobody paid any attention, so to speak, to the suppor- tive records. Reams have been written about why you should .''-Yt ~ requisitions, for call , - -a inter-office memos, and about telephone Now this toNRecords Retention Plan reversed that. Time was to be spent on identifying the valuable records. This approach, though, was not a repudiation of what had gone before--of the efforts to schedule the disposal Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 :-C[ -RDP72-00450R000100230002-5 of many records that reasonably could be thrown out. Rather, it was a culmination and a of the efforts that had gone before. The first thing, of course, basically it directed attention immediately to the records that had already been authorized for disposal. in that way what had been done before. The chief idea was, though, amongst all of had already been set aside to be kept. There was, ought to be, an examination of and a determination of ought to be kept Actually what you wanted was only a few folders of yours. be directed to information that was wanted. The beginning of the process was usually the examination of whatever was available for the function: of the agency. to document each function to be determined. Naturally, that sounds very vague I am afraid, so I purposedly started yesterday with the most obvious place to look for what your agency does--the Government Organization Manual. The Government Organization Manual lists five functions of your Agency.- It advises the National Security Council on matters concerning certain intelligence activities of the Government and numerous agencies as they relate to national security. It makes recommendations to the National Security Council for the coordination of such intelligence activities of the departments and agencies of the Government as they relate to national securityIt correlates and evaluates the intelligence relating to the national security and provides for the appropriate dissemination of such intelligence within the Government, (using more appropriate) assisting agencies in facilities, and so forth. Actually the Government Organization Manual was the beginning of half of these reten ion plans. From there the person responsible for 41W;:iem tt usually can ,'to Agency directives, Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-00450R000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : Cb DP72-00450R000100230002-5 organization charters, statement of missions^,and so forth. Each of those three functions I read---each of those is information from within an agency's own structure can usually be broken down to a considerable extent to isolate the functions performed by agencies at this point regardless of where in the agency they are performed. What are the Agency functions? Once those functions have been established then the question is what is necessary to document that func- tion. Now to determine that it is necessary to have some idea what records are created--what records there are relating to each function. Now the first step after the functions have been identified is then the idenification of what is needed. Now in every case the first two sections of the Retention Plan are practically they would be for your Agency as well as any other. They are first the records necessary to establish the legal identity of the agency, organization--the sort of information that you must have to go on to further problems. The general documentation--organization charts, directives, annual and other periodic reports, publicty information, general documentation and then the records of executive direction like the orders, procedures, all that sort of thing. Invariably the first two sections of the Retension Plan cover these records, and the wording is about the same for all of them. They would be the same for CIA, Internal Revenue Service as for the Coast Guard. Then, the next part of the Retension Plan covers the substitute program for the Agency--those functions which the Agency was created to perform. For each function there are listed types and classes of records which should be kept. This is still without regard to who is keeping them, without regard to where they are. That is the first half of the Reten;ion Plan. That usually can be drawn up by a records management officer. Sometimes a small agency's centra- lized staff, sometimes Archives has done it for agencies, sometimes the records management officers in the various elements of the agency. They can usually draw up these recommendations. Part Two, then, of the Retension Plan becomes Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-00450R000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CtAARDP72-00450R000100230002-5 much more meaty. It gets down to basic facts. It is an identification of par- ticular records, particular files in such and such an office, such and such a file cabinet perhaps of the records that actually fill the specifications in the first part of the Plan. If these plans call for the retention of annual reports, where are annual reports of the Agency? Where can they be found as a complete official set? Well, the second part of the Reten(ion Plan keys the requirement to. keep annual reports with a particular file in a particular office. That is where not only the record officer's concern usually the operating people will know what records they have and what their functions are. As a crevice to the normal Records Retension Plan there is a rationale, an explanation of what the plan intended to do and how it operates. I want to read to you parts of an existing introduction to a Records Retension Plan. The standards are in the first part of what should be kept of each function. The standards represent decisions concerning the extent to which documentations produced under the functions should be retained for archival use. This Retension Plan is focussed on those records which are judged to have archival value and so no retension standards are set forth for those records of value indefinitely to service but of no archival value. Here, I go back for a moment to what I said a few minutes ago records such as those of veterans claims. They would not be included in the Retension Plan. It has been determined that they do not have to be kept permanently, so don't worry about them in this case. Here we are trying to isolate, to zero in simply on what should be kept, should be properly cared so that it is indefinitely available. Now, implicit in all the recommendations is the (opposite) record concept, and this is a key point. Accordingly, in applying the standards only those records that are the primary record copies should be designated for archival retension. Generally, the primary record copies will be those that accumulate in a national office; but it is realized that in some cases decisions may have to be made concerning Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : G@k-RDP72-00450R000100230002-5 records found in more than one office, or in a field office and in a national office, and so forth. That point is, that if annual reports are to be kept that does not mean that annual reports are to be kept in every office that has a copy of it. The second part of the Retension Plan will key in on the one official file of annual reports. The standards shown under Functions One and Two are those that are common to practically all Federal agencies. The application of these standards would be of assistance to an agency in compling with the requirements of Section 506 of Federal Records Act of 1950, which I read to, requiring the agencies to keep proper records. These two standards are concerned with the designation of those records which are produced in the caring and issuing policy of procedural, organizational, and rep?rtorial 4ocuments and in providing executive direction to the Agency's activities. These are records containing evidence of the organization and functions of the service. These records document the rationale of the policies of the Agency and of decisions which affect organizational and procedural matters. Such records are of archival value because they contain information useful for research in the administrative district of the Agency, and they are of value to the Agency because they contain information needed in dealing with organiza- tional, procedural, and policy matters. These records on organization policy are the bare bones of the records' archival value in an agency. They at least say what the formal story was. To find out where the agency deviated from the formal story or perhaps didn't quite live up to some of the press releases, etc. I am sure that all of our agencies have that problem. Other records must be kept than identified. Now some of the records produced under this so-called Functions One and Two in the Retension Plan may or may not be discreet records, series or units. They may be interfiled with records produced for performance of a sustenant function of the agency. Such cases can be handled in Part Two of the Plan where permanent records are identified by particular file, par- Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 26- ticular file cabinet, particular office, by cross reference. Then the distinctive functions of the agency which produce records deserving permanent attention appear as other sections of this Retension Plan of the Archives. I want to spend a few minutes now in talking about how to decide which records deserve all this atten- tion. I spoke of the fact that you should isolate the permanently valuable records, should identify them, etc. But what are the bases on which these decisions are made? First, by whom are they made? Records officers usually have to at least take the initiative to suggest "can't this be thrown out?" Or "shouldn't this be kept?" The operating people certainly don't have the time to think about that The records officers ask the operating people how they get their ideas. The operating people are the ones who know just what the records are and also what the significance is. And, in an agency which has an active (discardal) program. the people working in that history program should be consulted. They should be asked what sort of records you would have kept in the specific areas where you are working. They can contribute a great deal in determining what should be kept. The three elements have to work together--the records officers, the operating officials, and, if available, the agency's his- torical officers. There are many ways to approach this question of evaluation of records. I don't think any one of the methods has a particular claim to infallibility. One way considers four types of values of records--administrative; fiscal, in the sense of the type administrative; legal; and then, historical or general. Now the administrative value of records is simply the value of the records in carrying out, concluding, a particular transaction. Usually it is fairly brief, but not always. Both your Agency's records, your naval legislation for the Agency has administrative value as long as the Agency is in existence. Records used in court cases have administrative value as well as legal as long as the court case is continuing. But for the most part, the administrative Approved For Release 2001/07/16 : CIA-RDP72-0045OR000100230002-5 Approved For Release 2001/07/16 :