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)).