Why do we have a records retention program?
- To save time, money, storage space, and increase efficiency.
- It is estimated that 49% of filing equipment space is used to store duplicate copies and records that have passed their legal retention.
- On Average, staff NEVER refer to 88% of their records and 95% of references are made to records UNDER THREE YEARS OLD.
What is a Record?
- A record is recorded information, in any form, including data in computer systems, created or received and maintained by an organization or person [at or near the time of] the transaction of business or the conduct of affairs and kept as evidence of such activity.
- A record can exist in a number of formats, including various sizes of paper (original or photocopy), microfilm or any microform, electronic media, optical disk media, CD, mylar, sepia, blueline, photograph, audio and video tape, punched cards, books, and maps.
What is a Public Record?
- A Public record includes, but is not limited to, any writing containing information relating to the conduct and administration of the public's business prepared, owned, used or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics. (Idaho Code, 9-337.12)
- "Writing" includes, but is not limited to, handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostatting, photographing and every means of recording, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums or other documents. (Idaho Code, 9-337.14)
Are the files on my computer records?
- This is a broad, but common question. Computer-based records, or electronic records, are the fastest growing type of record today.
- To answer this question reliably requires knowledge of the content and purpose of a given file.
- Knowing what the file contains, or what it is about, determines its classification as a record, not whether or not it is on a hard drive, a server, a CD-ROM, or other storage device.
What is the difference between a historic record, an archival record, and a permanent record?
- These are closely related concepts. Historic records are those that institutions have determined have significance due to their ability to document the history of the organization. An archival record is material determined to have permanent value, due to standards of practice (transcripts) or significance (building floor plans), or legal requirements (lawsuits).
- A permanent record is one with a life span in excess of 50 or more years, due to the preservation and management requirements associated with maintaining them. In some states, records with a retention over 25 years are considered permanent, although they have an eventual destruction.
Will someone try to destroy my records?
- Definitely not, records management programs are initiated to aid in identifying records that should be archived at a state facility, to organize records and put on a retention schedule, and to increase efficiency in retrieving and storing records. Each department chooses whether they will have records terminated, not the records coordinator.
Will my privacy will be invaded?
- Privacy is #1 in starting a records management program. If a department/employee has certain records that they are not comfortable in sharing, please let the records coordinator know. All privacy will be respected.
Is the process is too time intensive and cumbersome?
- The records manager (RM) works in conjunction with the department in inventorying the records to speed and simplify the process. IH can be assigned to do the inventorying with the RM to ease workloads.