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Executive Order 9784—Providing for the More Efficient Use and for the Transfer and Other Disposition of Government Records

September 25, 1946

By virtue of the authority conferred on me by the Constitution and statues, in order to provide that Government records may be utilized to maximum advantage and disposed of expeditiously when no longer needed and in the interest of more efficient internal management of the Government, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. The head of each agency shall establish and maintain an active continuing program for the effective management and disposition of its records. Agencies shall retain in their custody only those records that are needed in the conduct of their current business, and except as herein otherwise provided, shall promptly cause all other records to be offered for transfer to the National Archives or proposed for other disposition in accordance with law.

2. No records shall be transferred by one agency to the custody of another agency without the approval of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget except for their retirement to the National Archives, as a temporary loan for official use, or as may be otherwise required by statue or Executive order. Any records in the custody of any agency which, in the judgment of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, are not needed in the conduct of its current business and are needed current business of another agency shall be transferred to the latter agency if, in the opinion of the Director, the public interest will be best served by such transfer, provided that any portion of such records deemed to have enduring value may be accessioned by the National Archives and placed on loan to the agency to which the records are physically transferred. In making determinations concerning the transfer of records the Director shall give due regard to the importance of having Government records which are not confidential made generally available to the Government agencies and the public.

3. The Civil Service Commission, with the approval of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, is authorized to promulgate regulations, not inconsistent with law and regulations of the National Archives Council, requiring and governing the establishment, content, transfer among agencies, and other disposition of personnel records, provided that no agency shall be required to release or transfer confidential material affecting any of its employees.

4. Except as provided in the preceding paragraph 3, the Director of the Bureau of the Budget with the advice and assistance of the National Archives shall conduct such inspections, require such reports, and issue such directives and regulations as he may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this order.

5. No transfer of records (except in connection with a termination or transfer of functions) shall be made hereunder when the head of the agency having custody of the records shall certify that such records contain confidential information, a disclosure of which would endanger the national interest or the lives of individuals. When any records are transferred which contain information procured under conditions restricting its use, the use of such records shall continue to be limited by such conditions. The provisions of this order shall not be deemed to require the transfer or other disposition of records or authorize access to records in contravention of law or other regulations of the National Archives Council.

6. Definitions:

(a) The term "agency" as used herein shall be deemed to mean any executive department or independent establishment, including any government corporation that is operated as an instrumentality of the Federal Government.

(b) The term "records" used herein shall apply to all books, papers, maps, photographs, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by any agency of the United States Government in pursuance of Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public or organizational business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency as evidence of or because of its informational value in relation to its organization, functions, policies, personnel, operations, decisions, procedures, financial transactions, and all other activities of an administrative, management, or program nature.



September 25, 1946

Harry S Truman, Executive Order 9784—Providing for the More Efficient Use and for the Transfer and Other Disposition of Government Records Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/278259

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