A Records Management Handbook
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VI. Schedule Implementation
Related Disposition Matters
Temporary Extension of Retention Periods

Program audits, litigation, investigations, or other special circumstances
may require the retention of record series or systems beyond their scheduled
destruction date. According to NARA regulations 36 CFR 1228), an agency may
request approval of a temporary extension by sending NARA a letter. The
letter should contain a concise description of the records and a complete
citation of the schedule items governing the disposition of the records. It
should also contain the estimated length of the extension and the current and
proposed physical location of the records, including specific records

If NARA approves a temporary extension for records of one agency, it will
notify that agency by letter. If it approves such an extension for records
common to several or all agencies, it will issue a bulletin. If records in
records centers are affected, the agency should send NARA 20 copies of all
formal instructions on extending retention periods. When the approved
extension expires, NARA will notify the affected agencies to resume applying
the normal retention periods.

NARA's approval is unnecessary when a court order requires the retention of
records beyond the scheduled retention period. Agencies need to notify NARA
of the extension within 30 days after the court order was issued. Besides
enclosing a copy of the court order, they should provide the same information
as required in the letter of request.

Separate procedures govern individual shipments of records retired to a
records center. If the records center sends the agency a notice of intent to
destroy specified records eligible for disposal, the agency may send the
records center a letter requesting longer retention of such records if it
provides written justification, including a new disposal date, and if it
makes the request within 90 days of the records centers notice. If the agency
wants to make a lasting change in the retention period of records in a series
or system, it needs to follow the procedures for submitting an SF 115 to

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