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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

July 7, 2009

1278 (MT9340.DD) P
Information Bulletin No. MT-2009-043
To:                   All Montana/Dakotas Employees
From:               Deputy State Director, Division of Support Services
Subject:           Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests for Records at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
This Information Bulletin (IB) provides general guidance concerning FOIA requests for the Montana/Dakotas records maintained at a NARA facility. The NARA has two distinct records facilities, the Federal Records Center (FRC) and the National Archives.
Federal Records Center
Many inactive records (whether temporary or permanent) are shipped to the FRC for temporary storage. All BLM records retained at the FRC are under BLM control. When records are requested under the FOIA, the BLM records stored at the FRC must be treated as agency records in the same manner as those records retained at the Montana/Dakotas BLM offices.
  • All Montana/Dakotas BLM records located at the FRC, falling within the scope of a FOIA request, are considered responsive records.
  • The office shipping the records to the FRC shall retrieve all records that may be responsive to the FOIA request.
  • On-site FOIA reviews by FOIA requesters are not permitted at the FRC.
As a result of ongoing litigation, the BLM has been placed under temporary suspensions/freezes on the destruction of all records until further notice. Currently, records which would ordinarily be destroyed on a regular basis in accordance with the General Records Schedule (GRS)/BLM Combined Records Schedules may now be sent to the FRC for storage until the temporary suspensions are lifted. Records past their destruction date must still be considered responsive if they fall within the scope of a FOIA request.
National Archives
Only inactive permanent records are transferred to the National Archives. Generally, these records are first shipped to a FRC for temporary storage (usually 20 to 30 years), then the FRC transfers the records to the National Archives.
  • Once the Montana/Dakotas BLM records are transferred to the National Archives, the records become the sole responsibility of the NARA; the Montana/Dakotas BLM loses ownership and control over the records.
  • We do not process FOIA requests for records that have been transferred to the National Archives. In these instances, we direct FOIA requesters to NARA. Specific guidelines shall be followed to notify FOIA requesters. The State FOIA Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the response to the requester.
If you have any questions concerning records stored at the FRC or transferred to the National Archives, please contact Anita McKenna, Management Assistant, at (406) 896-5187, or
Debbie DeBock, State Records Administrator. If you have questions concerning FOIA, please call Debbie at (406) 896-5157.
Signed by:                                                                               Authenticated by:
Diane M. Friez                                                                        Jennifer C. McKinley, (MT-9340)
Deputy State Director,                                                            Staff Assistant (O.A.)
Division of Support Services