MAINTENANCE OF FILES AND
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Identify the tasks
involved with the maintenance of files and
Identify methods for obtaining
Explain the use of Change
In this section, we will explain how to maintain files
and directives, how to obtain directives, and finally,
how to process change transmittals.
The following are some of the most important tasks
involved with proper filing system maintenance:
Inventory the current filing system to ensure the
index of your files is up to date. For each file you
maintain, the index should contain the file subject title,
the SSIC, a specific cutoff date, the retention period,
and the transfer or disposal date. Do not include
unnecessary working papers, early drafts, extra copies,
or information material as part of the file material.
Obtain some type of receipt from all personnel
removing files from the filing cabinet. This will
simplify locating files that later turn up missing. The
receipt should document the name of the person
removing the file, their office or phone number, and an
approximate length of time the file will be absent from
the storage container. You may use a computer file, a
logbook, 3 × 5 cards, or slips of paper for the receipt, as
long as you can keep track of the location of all of the
Ensure all files in your filing system are properly
marked on the outside with the subject title, SSIC,
cutoff date, retention period, and the transfer or destroy
Establish new files as necessary.
Arrange file folders in SSIC order.
Place incoming information in proper subject
files in date/time order, oldest on the bottom. Most
people maintaining files in the METOC community
prefer to use paper prongs to hold papers securely in
each file, although this practice is not required.
Close out files at the cutoff date and replace with
new tile folders (properly labeled) as necessary.
Keep closed out files together in a safe,
weatherproof location. Normally, closed-out files are
maintained in the original office if space permits.
Maintain closed-out files for the required retention
Destroy temporary material at the end of the
retention period. Keep in mind security considerations.
Shred, pulp, or burn classified and "For Official Use
Transfer permanent records in accordance with
instructions in SECNAVINST 5212.5 and
NAVMETOCCOMINST 3140.1 at the end of the
All Naval Meteorology and Oceanography
Command activities and all naval ships staffed with
Aerographers Mates are required to maintain directives
issued by the Commander, Naval Meteorology and
Oceanography Command. Aboard ships, the
instructions are sometimes maintained in the ships
administration office, but more often than not, they are
maintained in the geophysics office.
You will also need to maintain selected instructions
from the Office of the Secretary of the Navy
(SECNAV), Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS),
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), and
the Commander in Chief, Atlantic/Pacific Fleet
(CINCLANTFLT/CINCPACFLT). At the Naval
Meteorology and Oceanography Command centers and
facilities, you will also maintain a set of your centers or
Most of the instructions and notices your office
maintains are only a few pages long. Others may be 1-
or 2-inch thick manuals. Usually, all but the thickest
directives are placed in standard, government-issue,
three-ring binders, and stored in some type ofbookcase.
With the exception of certain classified instructions,
which must be stored in a secure container, all
instructions from a series should be kept together. The
binders should be labeled so that the other people you
work with can find the instructions easily. All
directives within a set are arranged in SSIC order, from
the lowest number to the highest number. Recently,
most SECNAV, OPNAV, and BUPERS instructions
have been made available on CD-ROM, and only the
directives you require need to be printed. However,
these CD-ROM disks should be maintained in a similar