Over the last year several meetings have been held with human resource representatives and record officers from school district, city, county and special district offices to clearly define the contents of a personnel file. An attorney, the Government Records Ombudsman, and record analysts have also been included in this creation process. The following schedules are for the retention of the personnel file contents and would replace the current general schedules for the Official Personnel File.
|-1- Staff Acquisition RecordsRecords related to the recruiting and hiring of employees, including candidates not hired. The resume and application of hired individuals are part of the Employee History Records.||SD 14-17, 14-18, 14-22, 14-23, 14-28, 14-29, 14-36
MUN 9-2, 9-4, 9-10, 9-13, 9-14?, 9-20, 9-25, 9-28, 9-30, 9-38CNT 8-4, 8-8, 8-15, 8-16, 8-21, 8-22, 8-25, 8-29
|Retention: 3 years from applicationDisposition: Destroy|
|-2- Employment History RecordsEmployment history documents a person’s employment with a governmental entity, including all records necessary to calculate benefits. Hiring, qualifications, job descriptions and actions taken as a result of disciplinary action or grievances are included in this schedule.||SD 14-7, 14-11CNT 8-34MUN 9-1, 9-12, 9-34||Retention: 65 years or 3 years after retirement or deathDisposition: Destroy|
|-3- Performance Plans & EvaluationsThis information documents an employee’s performance, including awards, performance plans and evaluations.||SD 14-30MUN 9-7, 9-27, 9-39CNT 8-18, 8-33||Retention: 3 years after end of employmentDisposition: Destroy|
|-4- Grievance and Discipline RecordsInitial documentation responding to complaints that result in any type of investigation for possible disciplinary action.||SD 14-27MUN 9-9, 9-11, 9-16, 9-19CNT 8-1, 8-7, 8-14, 8-19||Retention: 3 years after case closedDisposition: Destroy|
|-5- Employee Health and Medical RecordsThese records document an employee’s fitness for duty. Documentation related to health-related leave is included.||SD 8-3, 8-7, 14-5MUN 9-37||Retention: 3 years after end of employmentDisposition: Destroy|
These general retention schedules will be presented to the State Records Committee at their next meeting on August 21st. We welcome your feedback on this update by either commenting to this blog post, calling Rebekkah Shaw at 801-531-3851 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Utah State Archives is hosting a webinar on Friday, July 11th at noon. The topic to be discussed is “Using the New Correspondence Schedules”. All records officers, and their supervisors, will benefit from this training. We will review briefly the process by which the new schedules were created, review the new general schedules and discuss how they apply to email.
The Utah State Archives is in the process of updating all general records retention schedules in order to have meaningful, relevant retention schedules that reflect current practices of governmental entities regardless of agency type. The end goal of the general schedule updates is to have everything under one state-wide general schedule. For this reason, all new schedules are posted under the state general schedule rather than creating duplicates under all four agency type schedules. This means that new general retention schedules apply to state, county, municipal, school district, and special service district entities. To reduce confusion and to assist records officers in finding the new schedules, when new state schedules are created we will add a hyperlink under former municipal, county, and school district schedules to the newly approved schedules.
The webinar on Friday, July 11th will be live using the online join.me screen share. To register for the event, please register on the Archives’ website under Lunch ‘n’ Learn, “Correspondence Retention Schedules”, http://archives.state.ut.us/cgi-bin/traininglist.cgi. A link to the webinar will be sent to registrants one day prior to the event. Only an Internet connection is required to participate, a phone line is not required.
Bring your questions and concerns and we’ll cover as much as we can!
The proposed administrative correspondence general schedule was approved by the State Records Committee June 12th, 2014. Below are all three new correspondence general retention schedules with some explanation and guidance from the Committee as to how the retention schedules are to be applied.
In an age where so much business is conducted over email, the State Records Committee wanted to make clear that an email is not a record simply because it is email. They also expressed that entities may need to transfer email records in order to properly maintain the information. The Utah State Archives can assist agencies in transferring non-permanent email records to an external medium for temporary storage as well as transferring permanent emails to the Archives for permanent storage.
Here are a few tips for managing email. Some of these were discussed by the State Records Committee as they discussed the 7 year retention for administrative records:
- Determine if the email is a record.
o Delete the non-records.
o Forward personal email to a personal account.
o Identify emails that are transitory and delete if administrative need has been met.
o Identify email critical to your entity’s function and mission. These emails should have their own record series and follow an approved retention schedule.
- Implement a hard date.
o Record officers can let everyone know all non-permanent email older than the retention date should be disposed of.
o At this point also transfer permanent email to the Archives for preservation.
- Use features available in email system.
o In Google email labels can be used to apply a series name or number to individual emails.
o In other systems folders can be used to organize email records by series name or number.
o Decide on a process for managing emails that works for you and begin implementing it moving forward.
For emails and other correspondence that are records, the following general schedules have been approved and are available for use by governmental entities.
|-Executive Correspondence-Incoming and outgoing business-related correspondence, regardless of format or mode of transmission, that provides unique information relating to the functions, policies, procedures or programs of an agency. These records document executive decisions made regarding agency interests. Executive decision makers may include the Director, Chief Administrative Officer, Public Information Officer or other internal administrators as identified by the executive office.||Permanent. May be transferred to the State Archives.||Utah Code 9-7-101(8)(b)(2010)Utah Code 63G-2-301 (3)(h)(2013)
Executive Correspondence was approved in May 2014. These records document the governmental entity’s history and executive decisions made regarding agency interests. Included in the description is a list of who some of those decision makers may be. The Archives is equipped to permanently preserve the emails that follow this schedule; emails may be transferred to the Archives at any time.
|-Administrative Correspondence-Incoming and outgoing business-related correspondence, regardless of format or mode of transmission, created in the course of administering agency functions and programs. Administrative correspondence documents work accomplished, transactions made, or actions taken. This correspondence documents the implementation of agency functions rather than the creation of functions or policies. Business-related correspondence that is related to a core function with an associated retention schedule should follow the associated schedule.||7 years and then destroy.||Utah Code 63G-2-301 (3)(h)(2013)|
This schedule is for correspondence documenting the carrying out of the agency’s functions that does not have an associated retention schedule. If the correspondence is related to a core function with an associated retention schedule, the correspondence should follow the associated retention schedule. The Archives is equipped to help entities in harvesting and transferring email to a temporary medium where record officers can implement the 7 year retention.
|-Transitory Correspondence-Incoming and outgoing correspondence, regardless of format or mode of transmission, related to matters of short term interest. Transmittal correspondence between individuals, departments or external parties containing no final contractual, financial or policy information. This correspondence does not impact agency functions. When resolved, there is no further use or purpose.||Until administrative need ends and then destroy.||Utah Code 63G-2-301(3)(h)(2013)|
The information in transitory correspondence is short term and should be destroyed as soon as the matter is addressed. A lot of in office correspondence such as “meeting today”, or “please review this draft” would fall under this schedule.
There will be a lunch and learn webinar scheduled to explain these schedules in greater detail and answer questions. The date will be posted later and you can register on the Archives website.
Questions regarding the application of these schedules can be directed to:
We’ve updated our website to make it easier for records officers to request a link to the re-certification test. If you need to re-certify, you may now request to take the test from our Records Officer Certification page:
Clicking on the link that says “Re-certify as a records officer” will open a pre-written email requesting a link to the certification test. Records officers should complete the online training and certification test on a yearly basis (Utah Code §63G-2-108).
The certification page still has a link for new records officers to sign up, too.
If you’re not seeing the re-certification link when you visit the site, try refreshing the page (F5 or CTRL+R for PC, or ⌘+R for Mac).
Have feedback on our new page? Leave us a comment! We’d love to hear from you.
With the recent attention on the proposed Administrative Correspondence general retention schedule, and approval of several new schedules, we thought it a good opportunity to share with our readers what general retention schedules are and their role in records management.
The Utah General Retention Schedules are policies created and maintained by the Utah State Archives that describe a group of like records based on function and appraisal that stipulate retention and disposition. Retention is the required period of time records are to be accessible. Disposition is the final action after retention is met, either destroy or maintain permanently.
To create a retention schedule group of like records are identified and described based on functions. For example, meeting minutes are required by law to be created for all open meetings (Utah Code 52-4-203). Many governmental entities have open meetings subject to this law and therefore have created meeting minutes. The general retention schedule Minutes describes these records and specifies the retention and disposition based on their appraisal (State Agency Schedule 1-51).
Appraisal is the process of determining the value and thus the disposition of records based on their value. There are four appraisal values which may be assigned:
Administrative Value — records used in the conduct of current and/or future administrative business.
Fiscal Value — records required until a financial audit is completed or financial obligations are fulfilled.
Legal Value — records containing evidence of legally enforceable rights or obligations. Also refers to retentions specified by statute, rule, or regulation.
Historical Value — records of enduring historical or other value that warrant continued preservation of records beyond the period required to transact the business of their originating agency or its successor in function.
More than one appraisal value may be assigned. Records determined to have historical value are designated in the general retention schedules as permanent. Records determined to have administrative, fiscal, or legal value have varying retention periods.
In reference to the previous example of meeting minutes, these records have an immediate administrative value because they are used in the conduct of administrative business. Meeting minutes also have historical value because they document decisions made and actions taken by a legislative body. The appraisal of historical value determines the permanent disposition of these records (State Agency Schedule 1-51).
All general retention schedules go through an established creation process which includes researching state and federal laws, soliciting input from identified stakeholders, and an internal review. Once a proposed general retention schedule is approved by the stakeholders and internally, it is submitted to the State Records Committee (SRC) for consideration and posted for public review on the State Archives’ website, the State Records Committee’s page on the public notice website and the State Archives’ records analysts’ blog. Proposed retention schedules are submitted to the SRC and are available for public comment at least two weeks prior to the next State Records Committee meeting. Upon approval from the State Records Committee, general retention schedules are published on the Utah State Archives’ website for governmental entities to use.
All governmental entities are required by state law to retain and destroy records according to an approved retention schedule (Utah Code 63A-12-150). Political subdivisions have the right to create and approve records retention schedules internally (Utah Code 63A-12-105(3)(a)(i)). If an internal retention schedule is not properly adopted then the Utah General Retention Schedules becomes the model retention schedule (Utah Code 63A-12-105(3)(a)(ii)). State governmental entities are required to use a State Records Committee approved retention schedule.
For those governmental entities who adopt the Utah State General Retention Schedule as the model retention schedule, the retention schedules are to be applied as published (Utah Code 63A-12-105(1)&(2)(a)).
On May 8, 2014 the Utah State Records Committee (SRC) again reviewed the proposed correspondence general retention schedules for approval. The correspondence general retention schedules were originally presented to the SRC on April 10th, but were not approved. Instead the SRC provided some clarity to the proposed description and moved to have the schedules posted for another 30 days. The April 10th revised schedules were posted for public comment on the Utah State Archives’ website as well as in a blog post from the same day.
Public comments received by the Utah State Archives focused on the proposed three year retention period for Administrative Correspondence. The following are excerpts from feedback sent to the Archives during the additional 30 days review regarding the Administrative Correspondence schedule:
The Attorney General’s Office had concerns about records being destroyed prematurely:
“We recommend that the retention period for the proposed “Administrative Correspondence” be enlarged from three years to seven years. The reason for this is legal need – to make sure that documents necessary to protect Utah’s interests in future lawsuits are not destroyed prematurely, and to provide greater protection to the state from liability based upon the doctrine of spoliation. That doctrine says that a court can impose adverse consequences (even dismissing a case or a defense) if a party destroys evidence after it becomes aware of the likelihood of litigation. A state agency can become aware of the likelihood of litigation long before attorneys from the Attorney General’s Office see a filed lawsuit. There is a “safe harbor” for normal document destruction done in accordance with standard retention procedures before legal counsel implements a “litigation hold” that suspends all destruction of potentially relevant documents. However, that safe harbor only applies if the document retention policy is reasonable. We feel the new “Administrative Correspondence” category will likely contain documents that are relevant to lawsuits, and that the safest thing to do is to choose a destruction date that is after the expiration of the statute of limitations in most cases. The vast majority of cases in Utah have statutes of limitation of three, four, or six years. We recommend seven years to allow time for a lawsuit to be filed and served on the state, and for legal counsel to impose a litigation hold on the relevant agencies.”
Cedar Hill Citizens for Responsible Government was concerned about government records being destroyed:
“[B]etter still is not destroying any records at all. The public records serves many purposes, including protecting the public servant/official from himself. When the public servant knows the records won’t be destroyed and his tracks won’t be erased—the temptations tend to disappear. If we really care about those we’ve put into public office, then we’ll create and install measures most likely calculated to take into account human nature.
Conversely, it could be argued that a truly transparent government should WANT to keep all records in order to be able to prove at any given moment that they are always open, honest and accountable.
In conclusion, the public record retention timeframe is a direct reflection of how long we value government integrity—12 months worth? —or a more permanent trust? The good news is that the minimal cost and power of today’s technology makes that decision much easier.”
Yvonne Christensen, a record officer from Davis County, expressed concerns regarding the time involved in email management under the Administrative Correspondence schedule:
“It would take at least an hour a day per individual to organize and preserve their emails. I don’t know how our IT department could possibly have the space for all of these emails. We already get notices our mailboxes are full. …
I would like to see general guidelines, but if these are serious expectations from the State Archives, it is so burdensome and odious it would completely cripple records specialists who are already buried.”
|-Administrative Correspondence-Incoming and outgoing business-related correspondence, regardless of format or mode of transmission, created in the course of administering agency functions and programs. Administrative correspondence documents work accomplished, transactions made, or actions taken. This correspondence documents the implementation of agency functions rather than the creation of functions or policies. Business-related correspondence that is related to a core function with an associated retention schedule should follow the associated schedule.||7 years and then destroy.||Utah Code 63G-2-301 (3)(h)(2013)- PUBLIC|
After again reviewing the correspondence general retention schedules and taking public comment into consideration, the Utah State Records Committee moved to change the Administrative Correspondence schedule from three to seven years and to post the Administrative Correspondence schedule for public review and comment for another 30 days.
On the subject of the Executive Correspondence and the Transitory Correspondence retention schedules, the Utah State Records Committee moved to approve the schedules as presented. The approved schedules are available for use by governmental entities and are posted on the Utah State Archives’ website here: http://archives.utah.gov/recordsmanagement/grs/stgrs-1.html#28477.
The Administrative Correspondence retention schedule will be re-presented at the June 12, 2014 Utah State Records Committee meeting. We welcome your feedback on the revised Administrative Correspondence general retention schedule by either commenting to this blog post or emailing email@example.com