n.a United States law (44 USC 3101) passed in 1950 granting authority to the National Archives and Records Administration for records management and disposition, requiring each federal agency to preserve its records, and establishing the Federal Records CouncilAngel 1953, 14On September 5, 1950, the President approved a second statute, the Federal Records Act of 1950 (Public Law 754, 81st Congress), which enlarged upon and superseded the National Archives Act of 1934. With respect to records management, the new act spelled out in detail the general authority granted the Administrator of General Services by Public Law 152 and also imposed on operating agencies certain responsibilities in the field of records management. The law likewise defined records management for the first time in any Federal statute, using the broad terms recommended in the Task Force report, which covered not only records retirement but records creation and maintenance as well.Garrison 1960, 415The aftermath of the study by the Hoover Commission’s Task Force on Records Management was the Federal Records Act of 1950, with its emphasis on destruction, retention, and records centers on the Federal level.Adams 1995, 182Section 2 of the 1939 Federal Records Act defines the meaning of records to preface regulations related to records disposal and explicitly includes punch cards among the record types. The definition of records from the 1939 act and from its subsequent revisions have been used traditionally and statutorily as the definition of records applied to archives.Cox et al. 2011, 16Enactment of the Federal Records Act of 1950 was a historic watershed for records management in the federal government. It required each agency to make and preserve records that accurately and completely document its functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and transactions, and to manage the quality, quantity, preservation, and disposal of these records.NARA 2014The Federal Records Act of 1950, as amended, establishes the framework for records management programs in Federal Agencies. As the primary agency for records management oversight, the National Archives and Records Administration is responsible for assisting Federal agencies in maintaining adequate and proper documentation of policies and transactions of the Federal Government. This is done by appraising records, regulating and approving the disposition of Federal records, operating Federal Records Centers and preserving permanent records.
Congress has modified the Federal Records Act several times, most recently in 2014 to add electronic records and to give the Archivist of the United States the authority to determine what constitutes a federal record.