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Records and Information Management Program Manual

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Records and Information Management Program Manual Page 1 of 20 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction...3 Authority 4 Objectives.4 Records Management Duties and Responsibilities.5 Ownership of Records....7 What
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Records and Information Management Program Manual Page 1 of 20 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction...3 Authority 4 Objectives.4 Records Management Duties and Responsibilities.5 Ownership of Records....7 What are records?...8 Retention, Storage, Destruction and Security. 12 Electronic Records 14 Records Purge Days...16 Document Standards Managing Active Records 17 Public Records Requests.19 Page 2 of 20 City of Avondale Records and Information Management Program Manual All records received or generated by officials, employees, or representatives of the City of Avondale in the performance of their duties shall be maintained in accordance with the provisions set forth in this manual. Introduction Records maintained by local governments are among the most valuable resource in their care. They are essential for conducting business and are the official documentation of legally binding decisions and actions of the government. State law (A.R.S ) requires every municipality to establish and maintain an active, continuing program for the economical and efficient management of records, and to appoint an individual to manage the program in accordance with all applicable statutes. The designated individual oversees the program to ensure that records retention and disposition schedules are maintained and adhered to, and that all reporting requirements are met. In an effort to comply with state law the City of Avondale has established a citywide records management program. The City Records Administrator, under the authority of the City Clerk, is responsible for the day to day oversight of the City of Avondale Records and Information Management Program to ensure compliance with state law. Through an ongoing Records Management Program, the Records Administrator provides assistance, and support to departments to ensure schedules are followed, destructions are properly documented, reported, and a file inventory exists. The City Records Administrator works closely with the Records Management Officers (RMO) in each department to inventory records and ensure records are maintained in accordance with established procedures and the state approved retention schedule. The Records Administrator also serves as the liaison to the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records (ASLAPR). This manual was prepared by the City Clerk s Office to provide written procedures for complying with state law and the city s records management policies and procedures. This manual contains policies and procedures necessary to ensure the effective organization, maintenance, storage, retrieval, security, and disposal of City of Avondale records. It will provide the City of Avondale with the ability to maintain records in an identifiable and accessible manner in order to fulfill public, legal, vital, and historical requirements of the preservation of public records, as set forth by law. The Records Management Program is applicable to all departments, elected officials, employees, volunteers, and representatives of the City of Avondale. Page 3 of 20 Authority Public Records Management (ARS ) Directs each governing body within the state to establish a records management program, provides a definition for records management, and sets forth the classification and penalty for violating the statute. Definition of Records (ARS ) please turn to page eight this manual, What are Records? for the definition. Destruction of Records without authorization (ARS ) Declares the destruction of public records by a public office without authorization a class 4 felony and by persons other than a public officer, a class 6 felony. Stealing, mutilating, defacing, altering, falsifying, removing, or secreting public records are also felony offenses. Destruction of Records with Authorization (ARS ) Records determined to be of no legal, administrative, historical or other value shall be disposed of by such method as the state library may specify. A report of records destruction that includes a list of all records disposed of shall be filed at least annually with the state library on a form prescribed by the ASLAPR. Preservation of Public Records (ARS ) Declares all records made or received by public officials of the State in the course of their public duties to be the property of the State. Public records are in no sense personal property, nor are they the property of a specific agency or political subdivision. The state also prohibits the destruction or disposition of any public record unless ASLPR has determined that the record has no further administrative, legal, fiscal, research, or other value. Anti-Identification procedures (ARS ) Requires government agencies to ensure that the personal identifying information of individuals or businesses, collected or obtained by the agency, is secure and cannot be accessed or viewed unless authorized by law. Discarding and disposing of records containing personal identifying information; civil penalty; enforcement; definition (ARS ) Requires the city to ensure that records containing personal information, as defined in the statute, are not discarded or disposed of without first redacting the personal information or destroying the records. Objectives of the Records Management Program The primary goal of the Records Management Program is to provide for efficient, economical, and effective control over the creation, distribution, maintenance, use, preservation, and disposition of all City of Avondale records, regardless of physical form or characteristic. Page 4 of 20 To be an effective, functional program, the Records Management Program must meet the following objectives: 1. Develop and maintain a current inventory (file plan) of all existing records, to include all media formats. 2. Evaluate the retention value for each record series, to include all forms or characteristics of that record. (This may be based on statutory, regulatory or audit requirements, and/or practical need or value.) 3. Determine how the record is to be kept, stored or preserved. This may include using paper, microfilm, optical imaging or electronic retention, depending on the nature of the records series. (i.e. high retrieval rate, permanent or archival) 4. Provide periodic reviews of records and their retention periods to ensure proper disposition is in effect. 5. Provide for the periodic review and update of the Records Management Manual. 6. Provide an Annual Audit Report (calendar year) to the City Manager via the City Clerk s Office. 7. Provide the necessary support to ensure an efficient citywide records management program. 8. Develop a process to evaluate, identify, preserve and protect the City s historical and vital documents. Records Management Duties and Responsibilities To ensure a successful Records Management Program, each participant plays a key role in managing their records in an accurate and comprehensive manner. To accomplish this goal, the following areas of responsibilities have been assigned: City Clerk - The City Clerk is the Chief Records Management Officer and Custodian of Records for the City of Avondale and is responsible for administering the City s Records Management Program. City Records Administrator - The City Records Administrator is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the City s Records Management Program and serves as the permanent Chair of the Records Management Team. The City Records Administrator will work closely with the IT Department and the City Attorney s office to develop, approve and apply standards for the records program (electronic and paper). The City Records Administrator Duties: a. Oversees the day-to-day operation of City s Records Management Program to ensure compliance with the law. b. Serves as the Liaison with the Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records (ASLAPR). c. Assists individual departments in establishing an internal records program for active and inactive records. Page 5 of 20 d. Prepares and maintains the City s Records Management Manual. e. Provides training in Records Management fundamentals. f. Keeps Records Management site in the city s ACES intranet current. (Updates, retention schedules, forms and etc.) g. Files destruction reports with the ASLAPR. h. Files requests for document imaging with the ASLAPR and monitors all authorizations to ensure compliance. i. Maintains contract with off-site storage vendor. j. Submits File Inventory to the ASLAPR. k. Assists departments and offices of the City in the identification and preservation of the City s historic and vital records. l. Makes recommendations on budgetary needs for Records Management Program. m. Drafts, revises, and communicates the guidelines and procedures for the management and disposal of departmental records. Department Director (or Designee) Department Director (or designee) is responsible for ensuring that the department records management goals and objectives are met. This includes maintaining the department s records according to Arizona Revised Statutes and the established policies and procedures contained in the City of Avondale s Records Management Manual. Each Department Director shall designate one or more persons to act as a Records Management Officer (RMO) and notify the City Records Administrator of this designation, or any change in their department s RMO designation. The appointee shall have the responsibility and authority to carry out all of the duties of the RMO. Information Technology Director Information Technology Director is responsible for the day to day operation of the electronic systems that store records. The IT Director shall work in conjunction with the Records Administrator to ensure that electronic public records are properly managed, protected and appropriately preserved for as long as they are required for business purposes. Records Management Team The Records Management Team is comprised of at least one representative from every department. Large departments may have more than one. These representatives are responsible for the duties of the Records Management Officer (RMO). The goal of the Records Management Team is to coordinate, uniformly administer, and improve records management throughout the city. City Clerk Assistant II City Clerk Assistant II assists the Records Administrator with the day to day clerical functions associated with the records management program by maintaining data bases for file room, archival storage and etc. The City Clerk Assistant II will also be a permanent member of the Records Management Team. Page 6 of 20 Records Management Officer The Records Management Officer (RMO) is responsible for coordinating the records management responsibilities for their respective department. RMO(s) duties: a. Maintain department or division records in a neat and orderly manner to facilitate the access, maintenance, storage, security, microfilming, optical imaging, and disposal of records in compliance with state law. b. Identify and transfer inactive records to the offsite facility. c. Identify documents meeting destruction requirement guidelines, prepare any required forms or reports regarding the destruction, and ensure their destruction is complete after receiving authorization to do so from the Records Administrator. d. Prepare all records management related forms and reports as necessary e. Work with the Records Administrator to ensure records management compliance by following the records management guidelines to the best of their ability. f. Serve as a member of the Records Management Team and act as a liaison between their department and the City Clerk s Office. g. Train newly assigned RMO s for their department or office should they be re-assigned, transferred, or promoted and relieved of their RCO duties, when possible. City Employees All City employees shall adhere to the City s Records Management Policies and Procedures. Employees are responsible for evaluating their own records to determine whether it is a record or non-record and its retention period. Employees are expected to treat records within their possession with care understanding that some information needs to be retained for many years or even permanently. Ownership of City Records All records created, received, or maintained by the City of Avondale departments, employees in relation to city s mission, goals, objectives, or business operations are the property of the State pursuant to A.R.S No City of Avondale employee has, by virtue of his or her position, any personal or property right to or property interest in such records, even though he or she may be named as the author, recipient, or custodian of them. Employees may be allowed to remove city records temporarily from the office for the sole purpose of performing specific duties for the city. They must return such records promptly when that purpose is fulfilled or earlier when instructed to do so. Employees may not take any city records or copies of such records when they retire, resign, or otherwise terminate employment. Employees who have been authorized to remove city records from the office must return them when they retire, resign or are otherwise terminated. Employees must notify their RMO and copy the City Records Administrator anytime a record will be checked out for more than one month. Page 7 of 20 Records that are confidential or investigative in nature should never be removed from the office and must be stored in a lockable container. What are Records? Records are:.all books, papers, maps, photographs or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, including prints or copies of such items produced or reproduced on film or electronic media pursuant to section , made or received by any governmental agency in pursuance of law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by the agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organizations functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the government; or because of the informational and historical value of data contained therein. (A.R.S ) It is frequently assumed that records are only paper which is not necessarily true. The statute defines records as all forms of media regardless of physical form or characteristics. Records can be paper, book, microfilm, card, magnetic tape, disk, map, or any copy or printout that has been created, received, or used by an organization as evidence of its activities. Records may include computer based records, still photographs, motion pictures, audio and video recordings, charts, maps, drawings, plans, micrographics and more. Electronic Records - Electronic records are a document of writing comprised of any combination of text, graphic representation, data, audio information, or video information that is created, modified, maintained, or transmitted in digital form by a computer or related system. State Statute defines E- records as those records created in electronic computer systems or other electronic media. Those records created in an electronic/digital environment are referred to as born digital and may spend their entire life-cycle in this form. Active Records a record is considered active as long as the reference value of the document remains high. A good rule of thumb is to consider any document that is referred to at least six times per year to be active. Inactive Records A record is considered inactive when there is no longer any activity or immediate interest in the document. Records meeting this criterion should be moved to storage and retained until they have met their retention period. Non-Permanent Records a non-permanent record is any record that has a time-defined period, even if the retention spans a great number of years or even decades. Non-permanent records must be retained and destroyed in accordance with the State-approved Records Retention Schedule. If an individual deems that a non-permanent document to have historic value or should be retained longer than the retention schedule allows, he or she should contact the City Records Administrator to Page 8 of 20 discuss the issue. The City Records Administrator will work with the State to make any corrections to the retention schedule and will notify user of final determination. Some examples of non-permanent records would be: Administrative or Personnel Files Budget and Financial Records Most Contracts Non-records State Statute defines non-records as: Library or museum material made or acquired solely for reference or exhibition purposes, extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference and stocks of publications or documents intended for sale or distribution to interested persons. (A.R.S ). These documents that have no administrative or legal value, such as transmittals, routing slips, publications, reference materials, duplicate/extra copies, superseded copies of published manuals or directives etc. However in the case of transmittals and routing slips if this item is used to document a decision that was made or etc., then this document would attain record status and needs to be treated as such. Non-records should not be mixed with records in the same file or in the same box if being sent to storage. A copy of a record is not automatically a non-record. Copies of a single document may each have records status because each serves a separate program purpose. Multiple copies of a single record, however, generally are not all records. One copy of a document is usually designated as the official record. When an employee is unsure whether a file is a record or non-record, refer to the Is it a Record flowchart at the end of this document for further clarification or contact your Records Administrator. Working documents, drafts, and other transitory documents are not considered records and do not require authorization to be destroyed. These documents should be destroyed as soon as the final official record has been produced. Maintaining working documents beyond this period makes them discoverable for lawsuits and available for public record requests. Permanent Records Permanent/Historical records are not scheduled for destruction, and usually make up 3-5% of the organization s total records. Permanent/Historical records have special storage requirements and are to be maintained on high quality acid free paper, or microfilmed, according to state approved standards. (Please note the state has not recognized digital/electronic images as a permanent media.) Some examples of records that would fall into this category are: council meeting minutes, proclamations, or ordinances. Permanent records that are maintained electronically, including , should be printed for archival purposes. If the contains attachments you must Page 9 of 20 also print and retain them along with the message. Electronic images of those records may be retained in digital format for reference purposes. Historical records document the important issues, places, people and events of the city, and can include letters, reports, photographs, etc.; whether they are in paper or electronic format. The historic value of a document is distinguished by the unique character not because of age. Records that are considered routine today, can later take on historic relevance as the result of a special event or circumstance such as a former councilmember is elected to the Senate, or a municipal judge is appointed to the Supreme Court. As a result, we may not recognize an event as having historic significance until after the event has passed, along with the opportunity to preserve the record documenting the event. Listed below are some types of documents to look for when classifying historic records, however, not all documents with these characteristics would be considered historic. Documents that influenced city leaders to make significant, unique, or controversial decisions (e.g., a letter from the Governor, o
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