What are two types of financial records

Only a small part of all federal business documents is archived. The Federal Archives decide together with the administrative units what goes into the archive. The determination of the archivability takes place depending on the initial situation before or after the creation of the documents.

The Federal Archives decide together with the administrative units which of their documents will be archived. It is important that decisive state actions are documented and remain comprehensible for future generations. The administrative units assess the archival quality of the documents according to legal and administrative criteria. The Federal Archives are based on historical and social science aspects. It takes over the documents assessed as worthy of archiving and archives them on a long-term basis.

The Federal Archives have summarized the principles and practice of its assessment work in the overall concept (PDF, 1013 kB, 19.10.2010) Assessment. In order to make the selection of the documents intended for the archive transparent, it also publishes the results of the evaluations, the evaluation decisions.

The Federal Archives differentiate between two types of assessments:

1. Prospective assessment: Determine archivability before the documents are created

As a standard, it is determined before the documents are created which of them will one day be worth archiving. This is done by means of the prospective evaluation in the classification system. The Federal Archives and the administrative unit jointly assess the archival quality of the documents that will be created in the future. The corresponding metadata (archivable / not archivable) are stored in the classification system. The prospective assessment is a prerequisite for the acceptance of a new order system within the framework of the introduction of electronic business administration. However, it can also be carried out retrospectively in the case of an existing organization system.

2. Retrospective evaluation: Determine archivability of existing, not yet evaluated documents

The administrative units must offer the Federal Archives for archiving purposes already existing documents as well as data whose archivability has not yet been determined Overview form (XLS, 273 kB, October 24, 2019). You can find out how to do this in the SFA's web-based learning unit "Retrospective assessment and delivery". The learning unit is available online on the LMS Bund:

Retrospective evaluation and delivery

For external employees and interested parties: Without logging in to LMS Bund, progress and completed learning units are not saved.

If a prospectively assessed classification system already exists, this can be used for the retrospective assessment work. Already evaluated classification system can be found under evaluation decisions.

If you have any questions, please [email protected]

Which documents are to be offered for evaluation?

According to the Federal Archiving Act (BGA, Art. 6), the administrative bodies must offer all documents that have not yet been assessed to the Federal Archives for assessment. Other bodies that perform federal tasks submit all documents that have arisen in the performance of federal tasks. The obligation to make an offer applies to all types of documents (regardless of the respective information carrier) and also includes specialist applications and reference files.

Documents that are subject to a retention period are not automatically worthy of archiving. Like all business-relevant documents, they must be offered to the Federal Archives in order to determine whether they are worth archiving.

What happens after the assessment?

After evaluating your documents, the administrative units determine the protection periods for the documents worthy of archiving. This defines the accessibility of the documents after they have been taken over by the Federal Archives. This is done in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Archiving Act (BGA 152.1, 3rd section “Accessibility of archived material”). A list of the protection periods can be found under Protection periods and requests for inspection.

If the documents are no longer required on a regular basis, the administrative unit delivers the documents that have been assessed as archivable to the Federal Archives. It compiles a separate delivery for each protection period category. It destroys your documents and data that are not worth archiving or stores them for a limited period.

Assistance with the evaluation

To support the administrative units in their assessment, the Federal Archives have published the Assessment Tool (PDF, 1 MB, 03.12.2013) and the assessment recommendations (PDF, 861 kB, 03.12.2013). We will be happy to advise you if you have any questions about valuation.

For advice and questions about offers and evaluations, please [email protected]

Additional information