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G E N E R A L      S E C R E T A R I A T


Bearing in mind:

The recommendation of the Inspector General that a consistent policy be adopted to govern the removal and disposal of duplicate OAS publications;

That it is essential that the General Secretariat establish a clear, specific procedure for cases in which there is a need to remove or dispose of duplicate publications in the interest of better management; and

That the Columbus Library is the only part of the General Secretariat charged with maintaining the historic and administrative archives of the OAS, the institutional memory of the inter-American system, and that OAS publications are an integral part of that institutional record,

I. Decision

The Secretary General has decided that the following provisions shall be enacted:


1. Definition of the term "publication"

a. For the purposes of this Administrative Memorandum, the term "publication" shall be understood to mean any document prepared, printed, or produced for distribution within or outside the Organization, including but not limited to books, magazines, annual reports, letters, manuals, pamphlets, posters, drawings, maps, plates, photographs, audiovisual materials, and audio recordings.

b. This Administrative Memorandum does not apply to original works of art held by the Art Museum of the Americas.

2. Procedure

a. The Department of Material Resources (DMR) shall proceed to remove the documents specified in the preceding section when three years have elapsed since their publication and they have been placed in General Secretariat storage areas or outside the areas expressly assigned by the DMR to each section of the General Secretariat, including hallways, garages, terraces, and other common areas.

b. Before proceeding to remove any publication, the DMR shall use Form No. 129 Rev., "OAS Records Disposition Authorization" (attached hereto), to notify both the area or areas that issued the publication and the Columbus Library. In the case of the Columbus Library, the DMR shall send five copies of the publication to be removed along with Form No. 129 Rev.

c. No later than 15 working days after receiving Form No. 129 Rev., the area or areas that issued the publication and the Columbus Library shall complete Form No. 129 Rev., indicating their agreement or disagreement with the proposal to remove the publication, and shall send it, duly signed, to the DMR. Should the DMR receive no written reply from the area or areas or from the Columbus Library within that period, it shall proceed to remove the publication immediately.

d. If, within the time period established in the preceding paragraph, the area or areas involved and/or the Columbus Library express disagreement with the proposal to remove the publication, they shall have 30 additional working days to sell or donate the publication or relocate it to a space they themselves have rented with their own funds. Once that period has elapsed, the DMR shall proceed to remove any remaining copies of the publication without prior notice.

II. Derogation

This Administrative Memorandum supersedes any contrary provision, regulation, or practice of the General Secretariat.

III. Entry into Force

This Administrative Memorandum shall enter into force on the date of its signature.


James R. Harding
Assistant Secretary for Management

Date: July 1, 1998
Original: Spanish