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Administration Policy And Procedure Notice

Issuance #567

Administration Policy And Procedure Notice #1/99


May 6, 1999


Folder Retention System


Immediately in Manhattan. All the other Boroughs will be phased in as the equipment becomes available.


To update and amend the Department's policy with respect to the removal of folders from the premise.


Operations PPN#22/89 & Administration PPN#15/91


The New Folder Retention Bar Coded File System is designed to monitor and track Department records to ensure their availability to the public and filing community. Anyone requesting a folder from the record room and plan desk must have a DOB identification card.

All DOB identification cards will have a distinguishable color stripe that will enable employees to identify staff from the filing community and other city agency employees.

  • Volume researchers will be issued a white card with a yellow stripe.

  • Registered expediters will be issued a white card with a green stripe and an expiration date.

  • Employees will be issued a white with a dark blue stripe.

  • Licensed Professionals will be issued a white and black non-employee identification card. The cards issued to licensed professionals will not have an expiration date.

The Department will utilize bar codes on both identification cards and folders to monitor the release and return of folders. (The Department will permit the removal of folders from the record room and plan desk for review only, folders are not allowed to be removed from the premises).

In order to gain access to the Department's records, professionals, expediters, and volume researchers must present their DOB non-employee photo identification card. Owners, members of the public, and other city employees will be issued temporary identification cards when requested which will be good for one day.

No other forms of identification will be accepted. This applies to all Department employees, individuals employed by other city agencies, professionals, expediters, owners, employees of title search companies, and members of the public. No more than five folders (citywide) can be charged out at one time.

The DOB identification cards do not permit access to any areas in the Department not currently accessible to the general public.

  1. How to obtain an Non-Employee Identification Card

    To obtain a Non-Employee Identification Card, applicants may schedule an appointment by contacting Personnel at (212) 312-8250. All applicants must complete the Non-Employee Identification Card Application (Attachment A). All professionals are required to show proof of identity and professional status. The following identification will be accepted:

    • Current NY Drivers License, Non-Drivers License or Valid Passport.

    • Current Professional Registration

  2. Issuance of Temporary Identification Cards

    Temporary identification cards are only valid for one day and will be issued to building owners, members of the public and other city employees for one time use only. The card will have an expiration date on the back. The files requested will be scanned and the individual must return the file the same day by 3:30 p.m. Under no circumstances are individuals allowed to take folders off Department premises. In order to obtain a temporary identification card, the following identification must be presented to DOB personnel:

    • A valid New York State Drivers license, Department of Motor Vehicle non-drivers ID or passport.

    • For other city agency personnel only: a valid NYC agency picture identification card.

    The record room staff will enter the information of the temporary ID card applicant and issue the one-day card.

  3. Procedure for Charging out Folders

    The system will not permit an individual to have more than five folders (citywide) out at one time. Prior to charging out a folder, the applicant will be required to sign a Statement of Accountability and Acknowledgement of Department of Building's Record Charge-Out Policy (Attachment B). Folders must be returned by 3:30 p.m. on the day they are assigned out.

    When folders are removed from the record room the following procedure will apply:

    • The folder and the ID card will be scanned with the bar code reader. The reader will automatically record the files requested. If the folder does not have a bar code label, a label shall be placed on the folder and scanned with the reader.

      If the bar code reader is not operating, the folder and ID card shall be data entered (i.e. block, lot, address & job or application number) into the system. The file will be removed from the shelf and a yellow file replacement card will be inserted to replace removed folder.

  4. Procedure for Returning Folders

    When folders are returned to the record room the following procedure will apply:

    • Each folder must be returned at the end of the day. Upon return of the folder, the clerk will remove the folder from the system, and file the folder back. If the expediter has to leave the folder in another unit of the borough office (i.e. Plan Examination or C/O) the employee accepting the folder must complete the sign out slip (Attachment C -B Form 69) by filling in name, folder number, unit and signature. The expediter must take the sign out slip to the record room clerk. The record room clerk will enter the folder number and process the folder as a returned folder. The folder must then be charged out to the employee by looking up the name of the employee and entering in the employee's identification number and folder #. The sign-out slip shall be retained in a file by the unit for a period of six months. 

  5. Procedure for Unreturned Folders

    In the event folders are removed from the plan desk or record room area and not returned by 3:30pm, the following procedure applies.

    Individuals who have not returned folders by 3:30pm will be placed on a "Restricted List". The individual will not be allowed to request any more folders until the outstanding folder is returned. The Borough Manager shall be responsible for monitoring compliance with this procedure.

    At the end of each day, the Borough Manager shall query the system for outstanding folders. Anyone with outstanding folders shall be placed on the restricted list. If the folder is not returned in five business days, the individual will be referred to the Investigations, Audits and Discipline Unit, 11 Park Place, 2nd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10007 before their folder privileges are restored. The cardholder will be sent a letter indicating which folders are past due and instructed to report to IAD (Attachment D).

  6. Department of Buildings (DOB) Employees

    Employees who need to retrieve folders must use their bar-coded identification card. Employees shall follow the same procedure detailed in section III, except employees are permitted to remove folders from the office and are allowed seven business days to return them.

    The employee must notify the Borough Manager if the folder has to be charged out for an additional seven days. If the Borough Manager is not notified, the employee's name will remain on the "Restricted List" and their supervisors will be notified. Employees who keep folders for more than fourteen days without notifying the Borough Manager's office will be referred to IAD.

    Employees may not return folders directly to applicants. All folders must be returned to the record room and scanned in. Applicants must come to the record room to view the folder's contents.