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4.805 Storage, handling, and contract files. Table 4-1 - Retention Periods

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4.805 Storage, handling, and contract files.

4.805 Storage, handling, and contract files.

      (a) Agencies must prescribe procedures for the handling, storing, and disposing of contract files, in accordance with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) General Records Schedule 1.1, Financial Management and Reporting Records. The Financial Management and Reporting Records can be found at These procedures must take into account documents held in all types of media, including microfilm and various electronic media. Agencies may change the original medium to facilitate storage as long as the requirements of the part, law, and other regulations are satisfied. The process used to create and store records must record and reproduce the original document, including signatures and other written and graphic images completely, accurately, and clearly. Data transfer, storage, and retrieval procedures must protect the original data from alteration. Unless law or other regulations require signed originals to be kept, they may be destroyed after the responsible agency official verifies that record copies on alternate media and copies reproduced from the record copy are accurate, complete, and clear representations of the originals. When original documents have been converted to alternate media for storage, the requirements in Table 4-1 of this section also apply to the record copies in the alternate media.

      (b) If administrative records are mixed with program records and cannot be economically segregated, the entire file should be kept for the period of time approved for the program records. Similarly, if documents described in the following table are part of a subject or case file that documents activities that are not described in the table, they should be treated in the same manner as the files of which they are a part.

      (c) An agency that requires a shorter retention period than those identified in Table 4-1 shall request approval from NARA through the agency’s records officer.

Table 4-1 - Retention Periods
Record Retention period

(1) Contracts (and related records or documents, including successful and unsuccessful proposals, except see paragraph (c)(2) of this section regarding contractor payrolls submitted under construction contracts).

6 years after final payment.

(2) Contractor’s payrolls submitted under construction contracts in accordance with Department of Labor regulations (29 CFR 5.5(a)(3)), with related certifications, anti-kickback affidavits, and other related records.

3 years after contract completion unless contract performance is the subject of an enforcement action on that date (see paragraph (c)(8) of this section).

(3) Unsolicited proposals not accepted by a department or agency.

Retain in accordance with agency procedures.

(4) Files for canceled solicitations.

6 years after cancellation.

(5) Other copies of procurement file records used for administrative purposes.

When business use ceases.

(6) Documents pertaining generally to the contractor as described at 4.801(c)(3).

Until superseded or obsolete.

(7) Data submitted to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). Electronic data file maintained by fiscal year, containing unclassified records of all procurements exceeding the micro-purchase threshold, and information required under 4.603.

6 years after submittal to FPDS.

(8) Investigations, cases pending or in litigation (including protests), or similar matters (including enforcement actions).

Until final clearance or settlement, or, if related to a document identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (7) of this section, for the retention period specified for the related document, whichever is later.