The primary purpose of the Coast Guard's records management program is to promote the maintenance and security of records, to ensure we have accurate and timely information to accomplish our missions, allow accessibility to information to staff and the public as appropriate, and preserve official records in accordance with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
The term "record" is not limited to paper documents, but includes all media, e.g., audiovisual, cartographic, electronic, etc. Records can be either temporary or permanent; temporary records are destroyed after a specified/approved period of time while permanent records are preserved by the National Archives for the life of the republic. Typically, for any government agency, less than five percent (5%) of the records are scheduled as permanent; the Coast Guard has almost 25% scheduled as permanent records.
All Coast Guard personnel have basic Records Management responsibilities. Originators and recipients of both paper and electronic records (including e-mail) must label and archive information per approved dispositions schedules outlined in:
Records and Information Management Roles and Responsibilities, COMDTINST 5212.12B.