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RECORDS management -- an introduction

It is the policy of Del Mar College District to establish, promote, and support the effective, efficient and economical control of all Del Mar College records. (See Del Mar College Manual of Policy and Procedures, Chapter 3, Section B3.19). Records Management policies and procedures are approved by the Board of Regents by legal mandate, as per the Texas Local Government Records Act (Local Government Code, Title 6, Subtitle C), hereafter referred to as the "Act."

The Records Management function reports to the Executive Director of HR and Administration of Del Mar College and his or her desigee(s). The Records Management Program designee(s), with the advice and consent of the Executive Director of HR and Administration, is authorized and directed to implement the rules, procedures and regulations necessary to bring the program into compliance with the Act, as well as the responsibility to modify and amend the program as needed (with the advice and consent of the Executive Director of HR and Administration), thereby ensuring continued compliance with the State, its officers and its agencies.

All records are the property of Del Mar College and are protected by the regulations of the Del Mar College Records Management Department. Any records stored or able to be transferred physically and/or electronically, or kept in designated offices, records warehouses or on electronic devices, may contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Any information contained in these records may be read or used only by the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of any record content, it may contain privileged or confidential information. If you receive confidential information in error, please notify the sender by returning it and any attachments or copies to the sender. Be advised that if you receive this property in error, any use, dissemination, printing, copying, or forwarding may make you subject to civil liability for any privileged, proprietary and/or confidential information contained therein.

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glossary

Record: Any record bearing item (documents, papers, letters, books, maps, photographs, sound or video recording, microfilm, magnetic tape, electronic media) created or received by a local government or any of its officers or employees in the process of operating its business.

Convenience Copy: A copy created for employee ease of use, also called a working or reference copy; this is not an official records copy. Convenience copies should be disposed of as soon as they are of no further value. When official records copies are disposed of and convenience copies continue to exist, they become a records copy and may be used for official purposes.

Legal Value: The usefulness of records to comply with legal requirements for the maintenance of information and/or to provide proof of government/college authority and business transactions.

Life Cycle of Records: see below "The Records Life-Cycle". The stage of a record in the life-cycle is governed by the records control schedule.

Records Management: The systematic management of all records over the life-cycles (creation, distribution, maintenance, retrieval, final disposition). NOTE: Final disposition is not always destruction of a record; some vital records may be archived permanently.

Records Control Schedule or Records Retention Schedule: The Records Control Schedule, most often referred to herein as the Records Retention Schedule (RRS) is a document or series of documents that identifies the records under the control of Del Mar College. Using the record series from the control schedule(s), records retention periods, records disposition information, and other information necessary to manage the records life cycles is able to be referenced.

Shredding: The destruction of records, making them illegible and/or unrecoverable.

 

THE RECORDS LIFE-CYCLE

Here is the records life-cycle in a nutshell:

  1. Create or Receive a record (see definition, paragraph 1).
  2. Active Records
    • Are stored in the department.
    • Are maintained and frequently accessed.
    • Have a high current value
  3. Inactive Records

Have an inactive storage period.

Are rarely accessed.

Are retained for reference, legal, or financial value.

     4. Final Disposition

Non-permanent records are physically destroyed by shredding.

Permanent records are retained as College archival materials.

 

DISPOSITION of Records

Additionally, expired records MAY NOT BE DESTROYED IF:

          • There is an open records request pending on the record.
          • The subject matter of the record is pertinent to a pending lawsuit.
          • The department head has requested in writing to the Records Management Officer requesting that the record be retained for an additional time.

If you shred expired records yourself, you still MUST request and receive authorization for destruction of them. The shredder you use in your department must meet certain security level standards (Level 3 cross-cut to Level 4 micro cross-cut, depending on the sensitivity of the record content).

If you prefer to out-source destruction to Records Management, follow the procedures (see Procedures page) to have them relocated (with the proper documentation) to the Central Receiving Warehouse to wait for the next shredding.

Another item to consider in preparing your records for destruction is if your office is the originator of the record. If so, you have the record copy of the document. Any documents that are copies of documents from other areas are convenience copies. It is not mandatory for convenience copies to be maintained for the life-cycle of the record, but they must be destroyed on or before the date of the record copy. Failure to destroy records ready for destruction can result in having to produce them in an open records request or in a litigation proceeding in the future.