FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
Washington, D. C. 20426
January 8, 1999
In Reply Refer To:
Docket No. AI99-2-000
TO ALL JURISDICTIONAL PUBLIC UTILITIES, LICENSEES,
NATURAL GAS COMPANIES AND OIL PIPELINE COMPANIES
SUBJECT: RECORDS STORAGE MEDIA
The Commission's present regulations (1) for long-term
storage of records generally require the media form to be paper
or microforms. As a result of rapidly changing technological
advances, other storage media forms have developed. The
alternative storage media often allows for more efficient storage
capability. This letter constitutes the requisite authority for
public utilities and licensees, natural gas companies and oil
pipeline carriers to use storage media other than those specified
in our regulations.
1. Question: What types of storage media will the Commission
Response: The Commission will give each jurisdictional company
the flexibility to select its own storage media. It will not
limit the companies to the currently approved storage media:
paper and card stock; magnetic and punched tape; microfilm,
including Computer Output Microfilm, microfiche jackets, and
aperture cards; updatable microfilm; and metallic recording data
strips. This will enable each jurisdictional company to avail
itself of the latest technological advances and, depending on its
resources and storage requirements, select the most economical
and efficient storage media.
2. Question: Is the media selected required to have a life
expectancy at least equal to the specified retention period?
Response: The storage media selected must have a life expectancy
at least equal to the applicable record retention period unless
there is a quality transfer from one media to another with no
loss of data.
3. Question: The regulations require that "records supporting
plant and licensed project cost shall be retained in their
original form, unless microfilmed." Does this requirement still
Response: No, jurisdictional companies are now allowed to retain
these records on any type of storage media.
4. Question: What are the jurisdictional companies' internal
Response: The Commission is concerned that records stored on and
produced from machine readable media may be susceptible to
accidental alteration, or incorrect processing. Accordingly,
each jurisdictional company is required to implement internal
control procedures that assure the reliability of and ready
access to data stored on machine readable media. When records
are transferred, each transfer of data from one media to another
must be verified for accuracy and documented. Similarly, the
software and hardware required to produce readable records must
be retained for the same period the media format selected is
5. Question: What is the effective date of this authorization?
Response: This authorization is effective immediately. The use
of any type of storage media may be implemented without obtaining
specific authorization from the Commission to do so.
By direction of the Commission.
1. See 18 C.F.R. 125.2 (d) (1), 18 C.F.R. 225.2 (d) (1), and 18 C.F.R. 356.6 (a) (1998).