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Progress in Monitoring Pub. L. 101-423

Final Report to Congress on the Joint Resolution to Establish a National Policy on Permanent Papers

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Guidance to Federal agencies

On September 8, 1995, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) issued NARA Bulletin No. 95-7, "Procurement of Writing, Copying, and Printing Papers for Federal Records" (Appendix 4). The bulletin advises Federal agencies to procure either permanent or alkaline paper grades when creating all Federal records. Permanent paper is recommended for routine use in offices that create and file a high proportion of long-term and permanent records, whereas alkaline paper is recommended for routine use throughout agencies for all other documents. In keeping with the intent of Executive Order 12873 ("Federal Acquisition, Recycling, and Waste Prevention," October 20, 1993) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, the bulletin also states that any paper is suitable for mass publications. The caveat accompanying this position is that, if the record set of the publication has long-term or permanent value, the official file copy should be printed on alkaline or permanent paper, or should be maintained electronically or on microform.

The NARA bulletin was completed after extensive discussions with records officers, printing officials, GPO, and GSA. NARA representatives met with records officers to discuss drafts of the bulletin in order to ascertain problems that could arise in the agencies upon issuance of this guidance. Representatives also worked with GPO and GSA to ensure that adequate quantities of permanent and alkaline papers, a list of which is attached to the bulletin, were available to agencies for purchase.

Ordinarily, NARA bulletins are distributed to agency heads and records officers only. Since this bulletin has wide-ranging implications for the Government in the printing and procurement field, copies were also distributed to printing and procurement officials as well as to State Governors and records officials.

During the past 2 years, representatives of the monitoring agencies also spoke at conferences, meetings, and training courses on implementation of the Public Law (Appendix 5). The monitoring agencies perceive that if agencies are to grasp the significance of preserving permanent documents through the use of permanent and alkaline papers, more was needed than mere words in a bulletin. It was important to get out and physically communicate with those Federal officials that will have a major part to play in the implementation of the law.

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