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Developing a Records Retention Schedule The Basics & A Case Study Debra Robinson, CRM October16, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing a Records Retention Schedule The Basics & A Case Study Debra Robinson, CRM October16, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing a Records Retention Schedule The Basics & A Case Study Debra Robinson, CRM October16, 2003

2 The Basics Why do organizations need a Retention Schedule? – To identify the organizations Official Policy for retention and disposal of information assets – To achieve economic benefits – To achieve legal benefits

3 The Basics - What A retention schedule states the length of time that records must be retained and is based on the idea that all records have a life cycle The Life Cycle is the useful span of time that a records should be retained Remember…the Records Retention Schedule is only one component of an organizations records management program

4 Retention Schedule The Development Process Obtain Management Support Assign Primary Responsibility Include Other Participants Conduct a Records Inventory Classify Records to Records Series

5 Retention Schedule The Development Process, cont. Conduct Legal Research Determine the Retention Values Design and Prepare the Retention Schedule Distribute for Review and Approval Publish, Communicate and Implement Take Steps to Ensure Ongoing Success

6 Management Support Success is dependent on the amount of support received from the top – When the initial push comes from the top, this support already exists and can be harnessed to obtain the resources needed – When initiated by records management, the benefits may need to be sold to those at the top

7 Assign Responsibility The Records Manager Use of Existing Personnel Consultants

8 Include Other Participants Establish a team comprised of representatives from major functions/departments in the organization – Legal, Internal Auditing, Finance, Tax, Human Resources, Regulatory, etc. Team members should be knowledgeable of the records and their operational needs as used by their function

9 The Records Inventory Consider a preliminary file purge Survey the organizations records to obtain a complete and accurate account Survey ALL media types Document the inventory on a form designed specifically to facilitate obtaining and organizing the information needed Interview department contacts

10 Classify Records to Records Series Use the Records Inventory to group related records into Records Series or Classification Subjects for evaluation of retention requirements

11 Legal Research There are over 4,700 federal statutes and tens of thousands of state statutes Some statues are applicable to businesses or governmental agencies in general Most requirements apply to specific classes of records maintained by certain types of business engaged in providing specific types of products or services

12 Legal Research – Planning Consult with your organizations legal council to discuss the scope of research required Statutes applicable to most organizations include ones related to: – Business Incorporation – Labor and employment practices – Tax administration

13 Legal Research – Planning Other areas of research to consider: – Products or services performed that may be subject to recordkeeping requirements – Geographic locations of business activities – What federal, state or other government agencies regulate activities of the organization – Litigation history of the organization and related concerns

14 Legal Research - Issues The following are the types of results that may be found in the legal research process – No recordkeeping requirement is found – A requirement is found requiring a specific retention period – A requirement is found containing a requirement to maintain the record with no specific time period identified

15 Legal Research - Issues – A statute of limitation is found – A limitation of assessment period is found – Case Law Many requirements are vague and difficult to interpret Two or more requirements are found with different retention requirements

16 Legal Research - Sources Researching Federal Requirements – Laws and regulations are contained in the United States Code, United States Code Annotated or United States Code Service, Lawyers Edition – Regulations are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register – Office of the Federal Registers Guide to Retention Requirements

17 Legal Research - Sources Federal Requirements On-line – – – – Some Suggested Search Terms – Records – Recordkeeping – Limitations of Action – Maintain – Keep

18 Legal Research - Sources Researching California Requirements – California Code of Regulations – 29 Codes Covering Various Areas Contact State Agencies for Copies of Rules and Regulations

19 Legal Research - Sources California Requirements On-line – – – California Municipal and County Codes and Ordinances – Use the Same Search Terms as for Federal Research

20 Legal Research - Sources Other Sources for Retention Requirements: – Legal Requirements for Business Records: The Electronic Edition, Edited by Donald S. Skupsky, JD, CRM; Information Requirements Clearinghouse – Retention 6.1, Zasio Enterprises – Guide to Professional Resources – ARMA International

21 Legal Research - Documentation Reproduce the Full Text of all legal requirements Note the applicable statue or regulatory citation(s) for each records series or classification

22 Determine the Retention Values Determine Records Values – Operational/Administrative – Legal – Fiscal/Tax – Historical Records Appraisal – Primary Value – Secondary Value

23 Determine the Retention Values Cost/Benefit Considerations Note: Dont assume that because a person has stated that there is a specific requirement for retention that it must be so. Obtain justification. Make Retention Decisions

24 Determine the Retention Values Optimum Distribution of Retention Periods RETENTION RANGE % OF TOTAL RECORDS Less than 1 year2-5 1 to 3 years to 5 years to 7 years to 10 years to 20 years5-10 Indefinite2-5

25 Design and Prepare the Retention Schedule Determine the Retention Schedule Format – Description of Record – Department Owner – Retention Period Active Period (Maintained within the Department) Inactive Storage Total Retention Period – Media – Vital Records Identification

26 Distribute for Review and Approval Final Draft Reviewed and Approved by the Retention Schedule Development Team Reviewed by the Legal Department Route for Approval to Managers and Executives in Key Positions within the Organization Maintain Records of the Approval

27 Publish, Communicate and Implement Utilize the Organizations Normal Process for Publishing the Retention Schedule as Would Occur for Other Important Policies Develop a Communication Plan to Ensure that Everyone is Made Aware of their Recordkeeping Responsibilities Plan How it will be Implemented throughout the Organization

28 Take Steps to Ensure Ongoing Success Make Sure the Retention Schedule Is Legally Acceptable by Making Sure it is Adhered to Throughout the Organization Promote Recordkeeping Activities Provide Training to the Organization Develop Procedures

29 Case Study The 1998 Process Used In GTE (Eight Months of my Life)

30 Team Established – Legal – Regulatory – Finance – Tax – Human Resources – GTE Directories – GTE Wireless – GTE Supply – GTE Telops – GTE Service Corporation A Cross-Organizational Project Team was Chosen

31 Team Goals Developed Keep it Short and Simple Adhere to Actual Legal and/or Regulatory Requirements Linking Responsibility for Compliance at a High Level in the Organization Policy Development Criteria

32 Legal Research 2,758 Federal and/or State Legal Requirements, Statute of Limitation Periods or Regulatory Requirements were Identified, Documented and Categorized

33 SUBJECT CLASSIFICATIONLEGAL OR REGULATORY CITATION RECORD- KEEPING REQUIREMENT STATUTE OF LIMITATION ACTION - Check Requisitions, InvoicesUS 17 CFR (e) US 49 CFR C4(b) AL NARUC 59f IL 83 ICC (f) NC NCGS NC NCGS SC SCCA Y 3 Y 6 Y 3 Y - Donations - Expense ReportsUS 26 CFR US 48 CFR (c) VA VRR Maintain 4 Y - Accounts Payable LedgersUS 17 CFR Settlement - Property TaxUS 26 CFR T CA CC 1506 KS KSA f TX Rule Maintain Legal Research - Example

34 Skipping a Records Inventory! GTE had 120,000 Employees Local Phone Service in 28 States Wireless Service in 17 States 8 International Operations 8 Retention Schedules

35 Comparison of Existing Retention Schedules Spreadsheet Developed to Compare 8 Existing Retention Schedules Used by Various Operating Units 1,814 Record Titles/Subjects Were Compared

36 Comparison of Existing Retention Schedules - Example SUBJECT CLASSIFICATION L-901DIRECTGOVTHR/PAYSVC CORP SUPPLYTELOP S WIRELESS PROPOSED Accounts Payable Analysis Batch Log Capital Project Interface Detail Report Construction Bills Direct Deposit Records Distribution Drafts Paid Distribution Summaries Intercarrier Payables Listing Royalty Files Wire Transfer Requests CT CT 3 6CY 5 CY 3 3 CY

37 Retention Periods Recommended Consolidation of Record Subjects Consensus on Utilizing the 3-Year Rule Identified the Longest Recordkeeping Requirement Considered Risk Taking Team Consensus on Proposals Development of Cross-Reference Listing

38 Proposed Retention Schedule Routed to SMEs Initial Team Recommendations for the Proposed Retention Schedule were Routed to Subject Matter Experts to Obtain Feedback Feedback Used to Further Adjust Proposed Retention Periods, Add Classifications, etc.

39 Distribute for Review and Approval Task Team Members were Responsible for Disseminating the Proposal to the Proper Individuals within their Organization for Approval Modifications Made and Resubmitted Final Sign-Off was Obtained

40 Published, Communicated and Implemented Corporate Procedures were Utilized to Publish the New Retention Schedule and Records Management Policy Public Affairs was Charged with Communicating Records Management was Charged with Implementation

41 Questions?

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