Skip to site content

Disposition Schedule


On December 3, 1987, the Secretary approved the Agency status of the Indian Health Service (IHS), effective January 4, 1988. Section 3101 of Title 44 of the United States Code requires the head of each Federal agency to preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the Agency. Agency records provide the necessary information to protect the legal and financial Rights of the Government and of persons directly affected by the Agency's programs. An effective records disposition program is the key to successful records management in Federal agencies. It helps ensure that agencies have the recorded information necessary to conduct Government business, avoid waste and preserve America's documentary heritage. The IHS Records Disposition Schedule is designed to provide disposition authorities for records collected and maintained by the IHS. It has been developed as a means of identifying and describing, in one publication, all records unique to the operations and functions of the IHS. The disposition of most IHS administrative records should be based on the guidelines provided in the General Records Schedule issued by the National Archives and Records Administration for government-wide use. The disposition of IHS program records and other records unique to the IHS should be based on the guidelines provided in this Schedule.

Agency personnel will not destroy records on the basis of individual opinion that they have no value. Only disposition standards defined in the IHS Records Disposition Schedule and the National Archives and Records Administration's General Records Schedule will be used for records management activities. Records which are not currently covered in one of the two schedules should be described in detail and reported to the IHS Records Management Officer.

Questions or comments regarding Records Management should be directed to Derrick Terry.

This Schedule is divided into five parts and is written to interface with the Parts and Chapters of the Indian Health Manual. The five Schedules are:



This records disposition schedule is to be used in conjunction with the Indian Health Manual, Part 5, Chapter 15, titled “Records Management Program” and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) General Records Schedule (GRS).


Title 44 United States Code 2904, 3102, and 3301 and 36 CFR 1228.10 requires agencies to develop and implement records schedules for all of the records created or received by the agency and to obtain approval of the schedule from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). This schedule is mandatory for use by all Indian Health Service (IHS) activities and contractor personnel, who create, accumulate, or manage Indian Health Service records.


On December 3, 1987, the Secretary approved the Agency status of the Indian Health Service effective January 4, 1988. Before IHS became an agency, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) had the responsibility of the IHS Records Management Program. Records play a vital role in managing and operating Indian Health Service activities. They serve as the memory of the organization, a record of past events, and the basis for future actions. Records managed systematically are complete, easily accessible, and properly arranged to serve current and future management needs and enhance effectiveness and economy of operations.


The major objectives of this records disposition schedule is to insure that records of continuing value are preserved and that records which have no current value are properly disposed of or retired to the Federal Record Center (FRC). The specific goals are to:

  1. Assure uniformity and simplicity in maintaining records;
  2. Provide adequate controls over the creation of file materials and prevent theumulation of unnecessary files;
  3. Assure the preservation of those records having sufficient continuing value;
  4. Provide for the systematic cutoff and periodic destruction or retirement of records in accordance with the approved disposition schedules.