U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content

Home / Resources / Legislation, Regulations and Guidance / Directives and Memorandum / Orders

FHWA Order M 1324.1A
This Directive was canceled July 29, 2013.

FHWA Files Management and Records Disposition Manual: Chapter 5
Classification Code Date Office of Primary Interest
M 1324.1A November 4, 1999  


  1. PURPOSE. Officials of the Executive Branch of the Government maintain official records documenting Government service. These officials may also maintain personal collections of papers accumulated while in office. Both official records and personal collections of papers are important; both may have historical significance. This chapter will assist Government officials in making decisions about what are records that must be incorporated in agency files and what may be maintained and removed as personal collections of papers when the official leaves office.

  2. WHAT ARE PERSONAL PAPERS? NARA regards personal papers as documentary materials that are not used in the transaction of agency business (36 CFR 1222.26). It should be noted that personal papers may refer to or comment on the subject matter of agency business, provided they are not used in the conduct of that business. Traditionally, personal papers have included the following categories of material:

    1. materials accumulated by an official before joining Government service that are not used subsequently in the transaction of Government business;

    2. materials relating solely to an individual's private affairs, such as outside business pursuits, professional affiliations, or private political associations that do not relate to agency business; and

    3. diaries, journals, personal correspondence, or other notes that are not prepared, used for, circulated, or communicated in the course of transacting Government business.

      Note: Although not personal papers per se, other documents are sometimes part of personal collections. These include extra copies of records retained only for convenience of reference and other non-record materials that may be removed with the approval of the Director of Administration SBU.

  3. PROCEDURES. Personal papers should not be intermingled or interfiled with office records. A personal file should be established, and those documents that are personal papers should be claimed as personal and placed in that file or identified for placement in that file. Materials labeled "personal," "confidential," or "private," or similarly designated, but used in the transaction of public business, are still Federal records subject to the provisions of pertinent laws and regulations, despite any labeling that may be used. With the approval of the Director of Administration SBU, Government officials may take non-record copies of documents, especially self-drafted materials, those materials reviewed as a part of regular duties, or otherwise acted upon. Any charge or fee for creating the extra copies is within the discretion of the agency. Officials may be permitted by FHWA to retain and remove non-record copies of documents provided that such retention would not:

    1. diminish the official records of the agency;

    2. violate confidentiality required by national security, privacy, or other interests protected by law; or

    3. exceed normal administrative economies.

      Note: When deposited in a research institution, such extra copies can serve the needs of historical scholarship.

      Note: The FHWA Records Officer (HAIM-10) can provide additional guidance to assist officials in distinguishing between record and non-record materials.

Return to Table of Contents

Page last modified on October 19, 2015
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000