What is records management?

Records management is the “application of management techniques to the creation, use, maintenance, retention, preservation, and destruction of state records for the purpose of improving the efficiency of record keeping, insuring access to information.

Why is records management important?

Good records management increases efficiency, protects confidential records, and helps preserve institutional history.

Who determines how long records should be kept?

Retention periods are based on state, and private requirements. These requirements are identified and approved by the State Records Committee.

If a record is no longer being created, do I have to keep the old files?

Yes, we have responsibility for keeping records for their full retention period regardless of whether they are still being created or used. You are always welcome to send the records to our Records Centers for storage. At the end of the retention period, with your approval we will take responsibility for destroying them.

Is all of the paper I have in my office record material?

No. In most programs, probably a quarter of the paper volume is actually record material that needs to be retained for any length of time. Much of what is in most offices is either reference material which can be destroyed when no longer needed. Even working papers are records, although they generally need to be maintained for a shorter period of time.

What should I treat as a record in my office?

From a records management perspective, a document is a record in your office if:

  • Your office created it.
  • Your office acted on it.
  • Your office received it for action.
  • Your office is designated as the custodian because of oversight duties or for other reasons.
  • Your office needs it to document its activities or decisions.

How do I benefit from professional records management?

You benefit several ways.

  • Free up office space for other purposes.
  • Allow quicker retrieval of documents.
  • Save money on space, equipment, and staff time.
  • Comply with legal requirements.