5 FAH-3 H-000

5 FAH-3 H-010


(CT:TAGS-95;   12-19-2023)
(Office of Origin:  A/GIS/IPS)

5 FAH-3 H-011  Traffic Analyses by Geography and Subject (TAGS)

(CT:TAGS-95;   12-19-2023)

Traffic Analyses by Geography and Subject (TAGS) and Terms work together to identify subject matter topics and specific activities in cables and to disseminate those cables to a targeted audience.   TAGS are a powerful tool to search and disseminate cable information to the right users in the form of cables and Record emails within the SMART Center system.  There are different types of TAGS and they each have a specific purpose and usage.

5 FAH-3 H-012  Subject TAGS

(CT:TAGS-95;   12-19-2023)

Subject TAGS represent broad subjects or topics that go hand in hand with the Department’s mission.  These Subject “categories” have already been established and all new Subject TAGS should fit within one of the existing categories.  The first letter of the TAGS acronym corresponds to the first letter of the Subject category. The remaining three letters of the acronym further refine the topic you are looking to describe within that broader subject area that you are reporting on in your message.



Subject Category and Description


Administrative Affairs covers aspects of the administration of the Department of State, Foreign Service posts, and international organizations.


Business Services Reporting primarily intended for communications of a routine nature between the Department of Commerce and officers performing commercial work abroad.


Consular Affairs covers all aspects of citizenship and passports, visas, protection and welfare, and other services.


Economic Affairs covers all aspects of economic reporting.


Legal covers legal issues, both domestic and international, arising in the course of the Department's work through the Office of the Legal Adviser.  Elements relating to the Counselor of the Department have not been addressed in this category.


Military and Defense Affairs covers all aspects of armed forces and defense matters, except arms Control and intelligence matters which are included in the Political Affairs field.


Outreach covers the following subject areas:  Public affairs, public diplomacy, educational and cultural issues, international information programs, and strategic planning and performance capability.


Political Affairs covers internal and external political affairs as well as arms control, intelligence, refugees, and human rights.


Resource Management covers resource requirements, international affairs resource submissions, strategic and performance planning, funds for operations, and financial management matters.


Social Affairs covers cultural affairs, education, disaster relief, environment, narcotics, population, public health and welfare, and society.


Technology and Science covers biological and medical sciences, technology, and the physical sciences.


Here are a few examples of Subject TAGS:


APER = Personnel

AEMR = Emergency Planning and Evacuation

AINF = Information Management


Political Affairs

PGOV = Internal Governmental Affairs

PHUM = Human Rights

PINR = Intelligence


Economic Affairs

ENRG = Energy and Power

EINV = Foreign Investment

EPET = Petroleum and Natural Gas


Technology and Science

TDTA = Data and Analytics

TSPL = Science and Technology Policy


5 FAH-3 H-013  Program TAGS

(CT:TAGS-95;   12-19-2023)

Program (TAGS), commonly referred to as K TAGS, represent specific activities or lines of effort across the Department.  Program TAGS are different from Subject TAGS in that they identify the activities and lines of effort that may be narrower in scope as opposed to much broader subject or topic areas.  All Program TAGS begin with the letter K.

Here are a few examples:

KOLY = Olympic Games Reporting

KPIR = Maritime Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships

KMSG = Marine Security Guard Program

KMCA = Millennium Challenge Account

KTIA = Treaties and International Agreements


Organizational Acronyms

There are over 1400 organizational acronyms that represent internal Department of State organizations and external, non-Department of State organizations. 

Here are a few examples:

EP = European Parliament

FAA = Federal Aviation Administration

UN = United Nations

AMOCO = American Oil Company

ANC = African National Congress

Due to some organization names having the same acronyms, there additional indicators to differentiate between the two.

International Whaling Commission - IWC-1
International Wheat Council - IWC-2
International Rescue Committee - IRC-2
International Red Cross – IRC-3

Acronyms range from two to seven or more characters. Some organization names are used instead of an acronym.

5 FAH-3 H-014  Geopolitical Codes

(CT:TAGS-95;   12-19-2023)

Geo-Political Codes are two-letter codes for countries and world regions.  The country codes are taken from the Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes (GENC) standard which follows the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 3166 country code standard.  Geographic/Region TAGS identify the country or area that is the subject of the archive message. They also specify the country or area in which an event takes place or the country or area taking or participating in an activity.

Here are a few examples of how Geopolitical Codes may be used on cables with other TAGS:

Topic: Presidential election in France

Topic: Arms control agreement negotiations between the United States and Russia


Topic: Telecommunication agreement among the United States, France, and Germany


The “US” Code is used whenever an archive message concerns explicit U.S. involvement in an issue, act, or event. Do not use the “US” TAGS merely to indicate a message being sent from a Foreign Service post to the Department and do not use a country code on a message in the case of any event being reported

by a Foreign Service post in which the host country is not involved.


Reporting from Dublin about a riot in Northern Ireland (Southern Ireland is not involved).


5 FAH-3 H-015  Full List of All TAGS

(CT:TAGS-95;   12-19-2023)

The Records and Archives Management Division in the Bureau of Administration (A/GIS/IPS/RA) manages the TAGS Program.  RA maintains the full listing of all TAGS on its Records Management Knowledge Portal. Visit the Records Management Knowledge Portal to view the full list of all types of TAGS.  The Records Management Knowledge Portal is also accessible via the State Department Intranet homepage under the Employee Services tab.

5 FAH-3 H-016  How TAGS are Used on Cables

(CT:TAGS-95;   12-19-2023)

Every cable must have at least one Subject TAGS to indicate the general subject of that communication, although as many Subject TAGS as may be appropriate should be used.  The sender of the message (cable or record email) assigns as many TAGS that are needed to give the audience clear clues as to the content, and future researchers the capability to easily retrieve the communication.  Adding more TAGS than necessary may make it difficult to identify the topic of the message as well as making searching and retrieving more cumbersome. 

5 FAH-3 H-017  How to Request new tags

(CT:TAGS-95;   12-19-2023)

a. Requests for new TAGS are approved via the “New TAGS Request” ALDAC.  The requesting office or post is responsible for completing the ALDAC template and obtaining all required clearances.  An ALDAC lets the bureaus know that new TAGS are being created.  The “New TAGS ALDAC Template” is located on RA’s Records Management Knowledge Portal. Click here to access it: New TAGS Request ALDAC.  All instructions for completing and clearing the ALDAC are included in the template. It is highly recommended that the requesting office or post contact the Records and Archives Management Division at Records@state.gov to get clearance on the proposed TAGS prior to distributing for wider clearance.

b. A/GIS/IPS has programmatic authority over the TAGS program and the IPS Front Office must clear on the request. IPS will do a quality control check to ensure the proposed TAGS is not duplicative of existing TAGS and that the subject matter or program is not already covered by similar TAGS. If IPS finds existing TAGS that can reasonably be applied to the program or subject matter in the New Request ALDAC, it may decide to not create the proposed TAGS even if it has gone through the entire clearance process.

5 FAH-3 H-018  How to Update or Retire Current TAGS

(CT:TAGS-95;   12-19-2023)

If you need to update or retire existing TAGS, please contact Records@state.gov for assistance.

5 FAH-3 H-019  Emergency Requests

(CT:TAGS-95;   12-19-2023)

In very rare occasions we can expedite emergency TAGS requests.  If you believe there is an immediate need to create a new TAGS or make changes to an existing TAGS, please contact Records@state.gov.