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Chapter 12 - Archives and Records Management

Chapter 12 - Archives and Records Management

4.1201 Definitions.


As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the following meanings apply:

(1) “Agency” means a department, office, agency, board, commission, institution, instrumentality, or other organization, in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government.

(2) “Archives” means those official records or other items that have been determined in accordance with this chapter to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the government, and have been deposited or offered for deposit with the national archives and records service, pending establishment of a government archives.

(3) “Archivist” means the archivist of American Samoa.

(4) “National Archives and Records Service” means the national archives and records service of the General Services Administration of the government of the United States of America.

(5) “Public records” as defined by subsection 46.4601(g) includes the definition of archives and records of this chapter.

(6) “Records” means a document, written or printed book, drawing, map or plan, photograph, microfilm, sound recording, magnetic media or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristic, made or received by an agency of the government in pursuance of law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriated to be preserved by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the government or because of the informational value of data in them. Excluded from this definition are library and museum materials made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibit, extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference, and stocks of publications and of processed documents.

(7) “Records management” means all phases of management from the creation of records to final disposition, including transfer to the national archives and records service.

4.1202 Office of Archives and Records Management—Position of archivist created.


There is established within the office of the Governor the position of the archivist of American Samoa, who exercises program responsibility for records management These program responsibilities include maintenance and disposition of records; identification of the government; vital records management; management of records equipment and supplies; and communications management under subparagraph 4.1205(1) (G) of this chapter.

4.1203 Archivist—Appointment.


The archivist possesses sufficient technical knowledge, skill, experience and other managerial qualifications required to carry out purposes of this chapter. The archivist functions under the program direction of the Governor.

4.1204 Archives identified.


The archivist identifies the archives of the government, which will be transferred from any agency to the national archives and records service pending establishment of an archive of the government, and he is responsible for the management of all other materials transferred to his custody.

4.1205 Archivist—Duties and responsibilities.


The archivist shall adopt rules under the Administrative Procedure Act, 4.1001 et seq., which:

(1) establish standards, regulations, and procedures for:

(A) the economical and efficient use and maintenance of records;

(B) the identification and selection of records for transfer to the national archives and records service, documents, material or items of whatever kind and from any source, that have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their preservation by the government;

(C) the disposal of records which do not, or will not after a lapse of time, possess sufficient administrative, legal, fiscal, historical or other research value to warrant their further retention; except that, records known to pertain to unsettled accounts, claims, incomplete investigations, audits, or litigation may not be destroyed until resolution has been made;

(D) the selection and protection of records essential for the continuity of government operations and the protection of the rights and interests of individuals in the event of an emergency;

(E) the reproduction and maintenance of records by micrographic, photographic, magnetic or other processes. Reproductions made in compliance with these standards have the same force and effect as the originals would have and are treated as originals for audit, admissibility in evidence, and other similar purposes;

(F) the standardization of equipment and supplies necessary for records maintenance; and

(G) the efficient management of communications, including directives, correspondence, printing and publications, reports, forms, mail and all paperwork processes and systems;

(2) identify, and select the archives of the government as a part of the records retention program;

(3) establish, maintain, and operate a government records center for storing and servicing records for agencies pending disposition records for agencies pending disposition as authorized in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2) of this section;

(4) inspect or survey the records and records maintenance and disposition practices of all agencies, and report and make recommendations thereon to the head of the agency, with copies of the report provided to the Governor and the Legislature. Records, the use or access of which is restricted by law or rule for reasons of security or the public interest, may be inspected or surveyed by the archivist subject to the same restrictions imposed upon employees of the agency holding the records.

4.1206 Heads of agencies—Responsibilities.


(a) The heads of agencies submit to the archivist for administration, disposition, and preservation the records in their custody not needed for the transaction of current business, in accordance with standards and policies established under paragraphs (1) and (2) of 4.1205 of this chapter. In addition the agency head shall:

(1) establish and maintain an active continuing program in accordance with standards and procedures established by the archivist for the economical and efficient management, maintenance, and disposition of the records of the agency;

(2) make and maintain records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency necessary and designed to provide direction, guidance, and information, or to protect the legal and financial rights of the government, and of persons directly affected by the agency’s activities.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an official of the government who is authorized to certify on the basis of records in his custody may certify the facts on the basis of records that have been transferred by him or a predecessor to the archivist, and may direct the archivist to certify the facts and to make administrative determinations on the basis of records that have been transferred by him or a predecessor to the archivist, and may direct the archivist to certify the facts and to make administrative determinations on the basis of records transferred to the national archives and records service.

4.1207 Governor to accept gifts.


The Governor may accept as archives any gifts, devises, bequests, or contributions of documents, materials or other items of historical or other value and offer them for transfer to the national archives and records service.

4.1208 Penalty.


A person violating a provision of this chapter commits the crime of tampering with a public record under 46.4612 punishable as a class A misdemeanor.