Posts Tagged ‘Government Records’

General Schedules for Your Input

August 6, 2014 1 comment

As part of the General Schedule Update Project, the Utah State Archives is proposing the following changes to the general retention schedules for records management related information as well as construction records. We appreciate your input.

-Information Governance Records-

Records used in establishing and implementing records management practices. Included are inventories, finding aids, records management procedures and related information.

SG 1-11, 1-26, 1-37, 1-38

CNT 1-10, 1-13, 1-38

MUN 1-5, 1-32, 1-38

Until superseded or life of the related records


-Records Destruction Files-

Records which document the destruction of a governmental entity’s records.

SG 1-38 Retention:
7 years after destruction of records.



Records management inventories, plans and procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated. Finding aids are only useful for the life of the related record, giving the first schedule two retentions. Records destruction has been a general schedule since 2006. This updates the description and retention.

-Preliminary Plans and Specifications-

These records are related to the plans and specifications of approved and constructed facilities, roads or bridges. Information may include preliminary designs, specifications, planning, surveys, analysis, renovation, preservation and construction.


SG 6-5, 6-7, 6-10, 6-11

Retention: Retain until rejected or final working/as-built drawing has been produced
Disposition: Destroy


Utah Code 72-6-102 (2014)

Utah Code 72-6-103 (2014)

(The final is now the record and part of the next permanent schedule)

-As-Built Construction Plans and Specifications-

Final plans and specifications for approved and constructed buildings, facilities, roads and bridges. Records documenting construction of new buildings or facilities as well as renovation of owned buildings or rented buildings.

SG 6-2, 6-6
MUN 22-9, 7-14
CNT 27-3, 29-12

Retention: Retain until facility iscompleted.
Disposition: Permanent. May transfer to Archives for preservation


Utah Code 72-6-102 (2014)

Utah Code 72-6-103 (2014)

Construction records are intended to include road and bridges as well as construction or renovation to buildings either owned or rented by governmental entities. The second column are existing schedule numbers that will be obsolete when the new schedule is adopted. Your input on these submissions as well the schedule crossover are greatly appreciated! Please comment below or send your proposed changes to Rebekkah Shaw (, 801-531-3851).

New Personnel General Schedules For Your Input

July 23, 2014 Comments off

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

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

Administrative Correspondence Retention Change

May 20, 2014 2 comments

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:

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

Updated General Retention Schedule for Publications

August 29, 2013 Comments off

An updated version of the retention schedule for publications is going before the State Records Committee in September. The new description is not a description of publications as much as it is a definition. It states simply, “any record, regardless of format, that is issued by a governmental entity for public distribution at the total or partial expense of that governmental entity.” Governmental entities should use this schedule for publications they have produced and distributed, and not for publications they receive or subscribe to.

The statutory definition of a State Publication (UCA 9-7-101) is:

“state publication means a book, compilation, directory, document, contract or grant report, hearing memorandum, journal, law, legislative bill, magazine, map, monograph, order, ordinance, pamphlet, periodical, proceeding, public memorandum, resolution, register, rule, report, statute, audiovisual material, electronic publication, micrographic form and tape or disc recording regardless of format or method of reproduction, issued or published by a state agency or political subdivision for distribution.”

This is a good exhaustive list of many formats from books to online publications. With so much that can be called a publication there are a few ways to determine if your publication should use this schedule.

• Does your publication fit the statute’s description?

• Is it a record according to GRAMA?
o It is a record if your entity prepared, owned, received, or retained it; but,
o It is not a record if access to it is limited by the laws of copyright or patent unless the copyright or patent is owned by the governmental entity in question (see Utah Code Section 63G-2-103(22)(a)(i)(b)(iv)(vii)(viii).

• Is it published?
o Dictionary definition: to prepare and produce material in printed or electronic form for distribution.

• Did your office pay for the publication’s creation and/or distribution?
o Directly, through the cost of publication, or
o Indirectly, through the wages of producers.

The proposed retention for publications is, “Permanent. The creating agency shall transfer one copy to State Archives when published.”

Micrographics: Duplicating Microfilm and Microfilm Storage

August 5, 2013 Comments off

Utah State Archives Micrographic Services

Duplicating Microfilm and Microfilm Storage

Part 3 of 3

The micrographics department at the Utah State Archives is a full service microfilm department, meaning micrographics can develop, duplicate, and store both 16mm and 35mm films. Micrographics can also capture digital images to microfilm as well as produce digital images from microfilm and microfiche. The following post is the final installment of a 3 part series on the services available by the micrographics department.

Duplicating Microfilm

In addition to filming and developing microfilm Micrographics can also make duplicates. Diazo duplicates are the user copy, or the roll of film that would be used on a microfilm reader. Having diazo duplicates is important because master microfilm rolls should not be used on a reader, because of the risk of being damaged. Since July of 2012 micrographics has made over 1,000 diazo duplicated.

More durable than the diazo film is the microfilm silver copy. Silver copies cost more than diazo duplicates and can be produced as either a negative or a positive copy. The advantage of a silver copy is the durability and it can be a great backup copy to the master microfilm.

Diazo Duplicator Machine

Diazo Duplicator Machine

Storing Microfilm

The Utah State Archives’ collection currently holds over 117,000 rolls of microfilm. If the microfilm is stored properly, as shown, the film will last up to 500 years. The Utah State Archives meets or exceeds national standards because we store our film collection at sixty degrees and forty percent humidity.

Microfilm Cabinets

Microfilm Cabinets

Register for Training

January 30, 2013 2 comments

Utah State Archives Training
The Utah State Archives training schedule is up-to-date and available for registration. Training sessions are designed to educate and support records officers in fulfilling their responsibilities as stewards of government records. This year we are offering:
• Basic Records Management
• Records Inventory
• Records Access I: Public Records Requests
• Records Access I: Public Records Requests for Law Enforcement Records
• Records Access II: Appeals

Basic Records Management
Basic Records Management will consider the importance of records, legal responsibilities for keeping records, definition of a record, identifying vital records, COOP planning, and email management. This session is presented by Lorianne Ouderkirk, Records Analyst.

Records Inventory
Records Inventory introduces participants to the planning and implementation of a records inventory. Participants will learn how to conduct a successful records inventory and appraise records in preparation for creating and/or updating records retention schedules as part of your records management plan. We will discuss what a records inventory is, steps for completing the inventory process, and strategies for appraising office records. This session is presented by Lorianne Ouderkirk, Records Analyst.

Records Access I: Public Records Requests
Records Access I: Public Records Requests will consider records classification, records sharing, handling GRAMA requests, and the appeals process. This training is very similar to the online training required for appointed records officers. The certification exam will not be administered during the in-person training. This session is presented by Rosemary Cundiff, Government Records Ombudsman.

Records Access I: Public Records Requests for Law Enforcement Records
Records Access I: Public Records Requests for Law Enforcement Records will dig deeper into access and classification issues with emphasis on common law enforcement records and subpoenas. In addition to records protected by GRAMA, discussion will include common exempt records such as accident records and expunged records. This session is presented by Rosemary Cundiff, Government Records Ombudsman.

Records Access II: Appeals
Records Access II: Appeals will go over the basics of providing access, including handling GRAMA requests and describing the appeals process. Recent changes to GRAMA will be reviewed. This session is presented by Rosemary Cundiff, Government Records Ombudsman.

The online form to register for any of the above training sessions can be found at the following link:

Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board Training

Basics of Archives
The Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board is sponsoring a Basics of Archives training session. One session will be held on Friday, February 22, at the Utah State Archives located at 346 S Rio Grande in Salt Lake City. Another session will be held on Thursday, February 28, at the Southern Utah University Library. Both sessions will begin at 9 a.m. and will conclude by 12:30 p.m. Topics such as care and preservation of records will be discussed. Please RSVP by February 15 to Janell Tuttle at Space is limited.

Online Records Officer Certification Training is Now Available

January 2, 2013 Comments off

Effective January 1, 2013, all records officers for the state of Utah are required to take annual Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) training. This training is to be completed online. The Utah State Archives has posted the required training to our website.

63G-2-108.   Certification of records officer.
Each records officer of a governmental entity or political subdivision shall, on an annual basis, successfully complete online training and obtain certification from state archives in accordance with Section 63A-12-110. (emphasis added)

Records Officers are invited to review the certification manual and complete the exam at their convenience, but not later than December 31, 2013.

Records officers will be receiving an email from the Archives this week with a link to the exam.


Frequently Asked Questions


Who is required to take this exam?

All records officers employed by a state agency, local government, special service district, school district, and/or any other publicly funded entity.

What is a records officer?

Records officers are government employees that have been appointed by their entity’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

The chief administrative officer of each governmental entity shall:

(2) appoint one or more records officers who will be trained to work with the state archives in the care, maintenance, scheduling, disposal, classification, designation, access, and preservation of records;

(emphasis added)

What is a CAO?

A CAO is a government employee, such as an Executive Director, County Commissioner, City Manager or Mayor, etc, whose job is to oversee the proper and effective management of, and access to, government records.

  The chief administrative officer of each governmental entity shall:
(1) establish and maintain an active, continuing program for the economical and efficient management of the governmental entity’s records as provided by this chapter and Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act;
(2) appoint one or more records officers who will be trained to work with the state archives in the care, maintenance, scheduling, disposal, classification, designation, access, and preservation of records;
(3) ensure that officers and employees of the governmental entity that receive or process records requests receive required training on the procedures and requirements of this chapter and Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act;
(4) make and maintain adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the governmental entity designed to furnish information to protect the legal and financial rights of persons directly affected by the entity’s activities;
(5) submit to the state archivist proposed schedules of records for final approval by the records committee;
(6) cooperate with the state archivist in conducting surveys made by the state archivist;
(7) comply with rules issued by the Department of Administrative Services as provided by Section 63A-12-104;
(8) report to the state archives the designation of record series that it maintains;
(9) report to the state archives the classification of each record series that is classified; and

(10) establish and report to the state archives retention schedules for objects that the governmental entity determines are not defined as a record under Section 63G-2-103, but that have historical or evidentiary value.

When do I need to certify as a records officer?

Each records officer is required to take the training annually (Utah Code 63G-2-108). It is available now.

How often do I need to certify?

Records officers are required by law to certify annually. Records officers who pass the exam on January 3, 2013 will need to plan on taking the exam again on, or before, January 3, 2014. Records officers will receive a reminder email 30 days prior to the expiration of their certification.

Where can I find the Records Officer Certification Manual and Exam?

All of the required certification materials can be found on the Archives website:

1. Navigate to

2. Select “Records Management” from the main page.

3. Select “Training”

4. Click on the link “Online Records Officer Certification”

Can I complete the certification exam even if I am not the appointed records officer for my agency?

Yes, all State of Utah employees are invited to complete the certification exam process. Employees who are not the appointed records officer for their entity must select the following option when completing the registration form:

“I am an employee of a governmental entity, but not an official records officer.

I didn’t receive an email from the Archives with a link to the exam. How can I register for the exam?

1. Navigate to

2. Select “Records Management” from the main page.

3. Select “Training”

4. Click on the link “Online Records Officer Certification”

5. Click on the link “Register as a new records officer

6. Complete all of the fields on the form and submit the form for review.

7. You will receive a confirmation email with a link to the exam once your registration has been approved.

Is there a cost to take the certification exam?

No, the certification exam is free.

What happens if I don’t pass the exam?

Records officers who do not score a 75 percent or higher on the exam can retake the exam as many times as needed to receive a passing score.  To retake the exam, simply click on the link in your confirmation email. If you accidentally delete the confirmation email, please call the Archives and we will resend your link.

I started the exam but can’t finish it today, will I need to start the exam over?

No. The exam includes four parts. Each time you complete one part of the exam, your submissions are saved to our database. You can exit the exam after any one of the four parts. To reenter the exam, simply click on the link in your confirmation email.

***NOTE*** If you have completed only half of the questions for part two of the exam and need to exit, your answers for part two will not be saved.