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Today’s Online Training: Records Management Essentials and Public Records Requests

June 23, 2017 4 comments

9 AM-12 PM: Records Management Essentialshttp://bit.ly/2sByEUI
This class covers best practices and legal responsibilities of government agencies in managing records, as well as practical steps for implementing a records management program and resources that are available through the State Archives.

1 PM-4 PM: Records Access: Public Records Requestshttp://bit.ly/2tOsvEe
This class focuses on the basics of GRAMA, including records classification, records sharing, handling GRAMA requests, and the appeals process.

To ask a question during the webinar, email your question to recordstraining@utah.gov .

The recording for today’s training will be on our website within a week.

How to retrieve records from the State Records Center

Although government records stored at the State Records Center in Clearfield are no longer actively referenced within your office (meaning they are used less than once a month), you may recall them whenever needed. This happens for a variety of reasons: There may be a GRAMA request for records that are housed in the State Records Center, a student may be requesting a transcript years after they’ve graduated, there may be a case file needing some additions. These requests may be for a single file or multiple files; a whole box or multiple boxes.

If you are recalling files, not boxes, separate retrieval forms need to be submitted for each file, even if they are in the same box. Once the request has been received by the Record Center staff, the records will be sent to the requester within two business days. If the files requested are so large in volume that they fill more than half the box they are stored in, the Record Center staff will send the entire box to maintain record order. If the file cannot be located, the Record Center staff will contact your office.

To locate individual files in a box, it is important that the agency provide Record Center staff with the exact file name as it was filed. As discussed in the last blog post titled “How to send records to the State Records Center”, these records are in the agency’s custody, therefore the files must be organized by the agency before transfer. Keeping an inventory of each box’s contents in the office and in the box will make it easier to retrieve files. You can organize the files by case number, by category or subject, alphabetical by last name, chronological order, or geographical order.

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When you receive the file, there will be a file request form on the front. Do not remove it. Return it with the file so the Record Center staff can refile it correctly. If the file request form is not returned with the records, then the Record Center staff will not have the necessary information to re-file the records. The records will be returned to the agency until the proper organizational information and box details can be determined.

Are there any questions you have about using the Record Center? Let us know!

Spotlight On: Rosanne Ricks, Human Resource Director

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This month we are spotlighting Rosanne Ricks, a Human Resource Director with Utah’s Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).

Rosanne has been a records officer for many years, though her “main” job is as an internal auditor. She is working on two major records projects at the moment: updating all of DHRM’s series-specific retention schedules, and creating a records management guide for DHRM employees. The ultimate goal for these projects is to see less confusion and more consistency across the department in the handling of state records.

Rosanne’s work on these projects requires a massive effort. She currently spends about one-third of her work time updating DHRM’s series, and she collaborates regularly with DHRM management, agency liability attorneys, and State Archives employees. When asked what she wishes she’d known when she started, she replied “a greater awareness of the types of records my own agency generates and maintains.”

We asked Rosanne what she’s learned throughout these projects, and what advice she’d give to other records officers. Here are her replies:

“Take advantage of all the great information and materials posted on the [State Archives] website for records management. They are easy to understand and provide a wealth of information.

Collaboration is the only way to accomplish a project like this. Get everyone’s eyes to look at the project, as employees often have duties related to a task that others are not aware of.”

That’s good advice for everyone!

Thanks for all the hard work you do, Rosanne; we salute you!

Public Service Recognition Week: Meet the Records Analysts!

May 11, 2017 Comments off

As part of Utah’s Public Service Recognition Week, we want to honor the employees of the Utah Division of State Archives and Records Service, Records Analysis section, who assist Utah governmental agencies in the efficient management of their records.

Records analysts provide customer service to records officers and training for government employees—in person, via the phone or email, and through our websites. We supply certification training and guidance regarding records management issues, help records officers update or create retention schedules, and offer free classes, webinars, and conferences centered around records management and GRAMA issues.

Lorianne-Ouderkirk editedLorianne Ouderkirk is coming up on her five-year anniversary of working at the State Archives in July! She is the records analyst for all local governmental agencies, as well as law enforcement (including Highway Patrol), and the Utah Department of Health. Lorianne is a skilled listener and pays a lot of attention to detail. This serves her both in assisting customers and in coordinating and planning training events that draw hundreds of attendees from all over the state.

Her favorite part of the job is “The people that I get to work with across the state. The records officers and chief administrative officers that I work with are all very invested in caring for their agency’s records and mindful of the impact maintaining government records has on their agency and their community. I enjoy working and meeting with records officers to understand their needs, and then connecting them with relevant resources and helping them to achieve their goals.

“I also get to coordinate learning opportunities (conferences, webinars, etc.) to provide training on topics not covered in our standard training classes. I enjoy hearing from records officers about what topics they would like to learn about most, and I use those ideas for planning the next event.”

 

Rebekkah Shaw

Rebekkah Shaw reviews, updates, and creates general retention schedules, which requires gathering input from stakeholders and trying to build consensus. She also serves as the analyst for all education governmental agencies—school districts, charter schools, state education offices, and higher education. Rebekkah has a gift for being able to review and understand vast amounts of data, and has been leading a major Division of Archives initiative to clean up data about record series in our content management system. She has been with the State Archives since 2010 and is a fantastic team player!

When asked what her favorite part of the job was, Rebekkah answered: “I love the relief I hear from records officers when they contact us feeling completely overwhelmed with a task, but feel prepared after talking with us. I love the satisfaction of a retention schedule approved by the State Records Committee after months of work. I suppose my favorite thing, if I must choose one–Picture this–There’s a “problem series.” Something about it doesn’t make sense and needs to be fixed. You know that moment when you’ve figured it out and now you can fix it? Those moments are my favorite.”

 

2015 Electronic Records Conference

Renée Wilson has worked at the State Archives for 3.5 years, most of which was spent developing and administering the Open Records Portal. She currently is the records analyst for most state governmental agencies. She is passionate about putting our customers first and giving them the best possible experience while using our services. Renée excels at exploring new software applications, technology-related problem-solving, designing user-friendly tools, and providing stellar customer service. She has made it possible for us to broadcast our conferences live and post the recordings on our website, thereby reaching records officers unable to make the trip to Salt Lake City.

She says “My favorite part of my job is when I get to run a webinar or update a webpage or test new features of the website, or otherwise be helpful in some technology-related way. I love helping people find information! I like the people with whom I work, both within the Archives and at the agencies.”

 

We are so fortunate to have Lorianne, Rebekkah, and Renée on our team! Please join the State Archives in recognizing them along with other employees in blog posts throughout the week, both here and on our blog, Researching the Utah State Archives.

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Public Service Recognition Week

May 9, 2017 Comments off

As part of Utah’s Public Service Recognition Week, we want to honor the men and women of the Utah State Archives and Records Service who work to ensure the management and preservation of and access to our governmental records.

Three employees whose work helps ensure that records and information are available to the public are Nova Dubovik, Elizabeth Perkes, and Glen Fairclough.

Nova Dubovik3 (2) (1) Nova Dubovik, executive secretary for the State Records Committee, processes the appeals that come to the Committee. She provides information to the Committee, creates minutes of meetings, and ensures that all decisions and orders are appropriately distributed and posted. Nova also develops and presents training about the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), and helps to monitor the Open Records Portal.                                                                                                                     Elizabeth Perkes

Elizabeth Perkes is the Archives in-house technology specialist. She keeps computer systems running and updated. She works with vendors on systems upgrades and development. Elizabeth helps to manage the Archives website, keeping posted information current, relevant, and easy to search.

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Glen Fairclough is the administrator of the Public Notice Website, which is a central website where governmental entities are required to post agendas for open and public meetings, and where they also post minutes and audio recordings. Anyone who has questions about posting requirements or technical difficulties with posting may call Glen for assistance. (801) 531-3841.

The ongoing service of these individuals is invaluable to the Archives and to the public. Join the State Archives in recognizing them along with other employees in blog posts throughout the week, both here and on our blog, Researching the Utah State Archives.

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A Clearly Unwarranted Invasion of Personal Privacy

May 5, 2017 Comments off

Utah State Archives notes that the American Library Association has created Choose Privacy Week, an “annual, week-long event that promotes the importance of individual privacy rights and celebrates libraries and librarians’’ unique role in protecting privacy in the library and in society as a whole.” Much has been said about the value of government transparency, however, personal privacy is also important. The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) provides for both.

GRAMA provides that “a record is public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute” (Utah Code Subsection 63G-2-201(2)).  Then it includes lists of private records (Utah Code Section 63G-2-302). Other laws and rules identify and protect private information as well. Because all privacy issues cannot specifically be contemplated, GRAMA includes the provision that records are private if releasing them would be “a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” (Utah Code Subsection 63G-2-302(2)(d)). This is an interpretive provision allowing governmental entities to withhold access to information not specifically identified, but which they deem should be restricted to protect an individual’s privacy.

Privacy means different things to different people and because this law is interpretive, it can have broad application. For example, the law has been applied to an individual’s utility usage (such as water or electricity) and to juvenile names and images. State Records Committee decisions upholding a governmental entity’s privacy classification based on this provision provide a flavor for some of the ways it can be applied.

  • In September 2015, the Salt Lake Tribune requested from Utah State University all records involving student disciplinary actions in cases involving violent or sexual crimes in which a student was sanctioned. Specifically, the Tribune requested the student’s name, the nature of the violation, the date it was committed, and the sanction issued. In response, Utah State University provided the requested information but withheld student names. On appeal, the State Records Committee determined that releasing the names of individuals who were disciplined for violation of university codes of conduct would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of their privacy (State Records Committee Case No. 16-05).
  • In the April 2017 case, Andrew Becker v. Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Records Committee determined that the release of an unredacted video image from a police officer’s body camera showing the face of a passenger in a DUI stop would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. After hearing testimony and viewing the records in camera, Committee determined that the Sheriff’s Office had appropriately redacted the video and could recoup the editing costs. (State Records Committee Case No. 17-15).
  • In July 2013, Mr. Leishman, an inmate, requested information about the security clearances of another inmate that related to that inmate’s religious practices as observed by staff in the Wasatch Family History Center offices. UDC provided no records because provision, by implication, would identify the individual. The State Records Committee determined that the information contained in the requested records involved the religious practices of a prison inmate, and their release would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of his personal privacy (State Records Committee Case No. 13-05) .
  • In May 2012, Kurt Danysh requested crime scene photographs and other records relating to the murder of Susan Gall. The State Records Committee was persuaded that all photographs depicting the victim, the inside of the victim’s home, as well as photographs depicting the perpetrator unclothed should be classified as private because release would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (State Records Committee Case No. 12-09).

See additional State Archives post about personal privacy.

Today’s Feature Webinar: Using Google to Manage Electronic Messages

May 4, 2017 2 comments

Thursday, May 4, 2017. Noon-1:00 p.m.
CoronaNgatuvaiUsing Google to Manage Electronic Messages by Corona Ngatuvai, Utah State Department of Technology
Corona will cover functions and features in Gmail that can help you to better manage your electronic correspondence. Corona is the IT Manager over Desktop Services Engineering in the Department of Technology Services. His educational background is in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. Use this link to join the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd876HfdZoA . The webinar will begin today at noon.

To ask a question during the webinar, email your question to recordstraining@utah.gov .

The recording for today’s webinar will be on our website within a week.

Recordings and handouts for all previous RIMM Webinar Series presentations are posted on our website.