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Separating Active from Inactive Records

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Presentation on theme: "Separating Active from Inactive Records"— Presentation transcript:

1 Separating Active from Inactive Records
And what to do with them…

2 Basic Records Management Review
What is a record? Official vs. Unofficial Record Records Retention Schedule Records Group Retention Period Retention Event Records Retention Schedule: A record is any recorded information, regardless of storage media or format, created, received, or maintained as evidence and information in conducting business. A record can be in any format or any media, including paper, microfilm, and electronic. A record provides evidence of university activities. What is an official record? An official record is the complete (final) and most authoritative record that is required to be retained for business or legal reasons. Official records provide evidence of DePaul University’s organization, business activities, decisions, procedures, operations, and internal or external transactions and reflect DePaul’s intent to preserve such information. Examples include: The records maintained in an employee’s file by Human Resources or Academic Affairs. The University Budget created and maintained in the Finance Department. Expense reports maintained by the Accounting Department. Policies and procedures maintained by the Office of the Secretary. Student Transcripts maintained by the Office of Student Records The “official retention period” identified in DePaul’s Records Retention Schedule applies to Official Records. What is an unofficial record? Unofficial records have no legal or business requirements to be retained. These records may include duplicates or “convenience” copies of official records or records used for reference purposes. Unofficial records should be disposed of as soon as they have met their immediate business need. Copies of employee records, department budgets, invoices, and expense reports maintained for reference in a department. Drafts of documents superseded by the final record. Records Group: The category of official records. Retention Period: The minimum retention period for the records group. Retention Event: The retention event is the point in time when the record changes from active status to inactive status At this point in time the retention period is applied.

3 Record Life Cycle

4 Record Life Cycle Disposition Official records vs unofficial records
Permanently Retain Send to University Archives Shred Dispose Once an Official Record has reached the end of it’s retention period, it’s time to dispose of it. The Records Retention Schedule lists the various actions to be taken at the end of the retention period. Remember, only official records need to be kept by their responsible department for the time period listed on the Records Retention Schedule. Any unofficial records should be disposed of once they are no longer needed, typically during the Maintenance phase. Actions to be Taken: Permanently Retain – The Responsible Department as listed on the Records Retention Schedule is in charge of keeping that record permanently. The Responsible Department may chose to store these records in their office or off-site. If the department chooses to digitize them, they should be aware of the future access implications. Send to University Archives – The Responsible Department is in charge of making sure that the record is transferred to the University Archives in accordance with the UA procedures. Shred – The record must be shredded using either an in-office shredder or by utilizing the vendor with whom DePaul has a contract Dispose – The record may be recycled whole or disposed of however your office disposes of waste paper.

5 Active vs. Inactive Records
A record needed to perform current operations, subject to frequent use, and usually located near the user and accessed often Inactive Record A record no longer needed to conduct current business but preserved until it meets the end of its retention period. Rarely accessed.

6 Separating Inactive from Active
Perpetual Transfer Method Periodic Transfer Method There are two main ways to separate active from inactive records. Let’s talk more about them in detail….

7 Perpetual Transfer Method
Files are continually transferred from active to inactive storage areas Examples: Student records post-graduation, closed legal cases, finalized research projects, employee files post-termination The perpetual transfer method works well for records that are stored in file cabinets where not all of the records in that cabinet will be finalized or reach their retention event at the same time. Examples include student records, legal cases, research projects, and employee files

8 Implementing the Perpetual Transfer Method
Set aside an “inactive file” cabinet or shelf Set up an off-site storage account with vendor Move files immediately upon graduation/termination/closure Mark files with end of retention period date Purge “inactive file” area on a regular, pre-determined basis If you decide to store your inactive records off-site with a vendor, you will need to mark the boxes with a destruction date. The vendor should contact you when that date is approaching to get permission to destroy your stored records. However, you should keep a list in your office of what is stored off-site and their destruction dates for your own reference. Review it regularly. Alternately, if you do not have the space to set up an inactive file area or do not want to store your records off-site you can mark each file clearly with a color-coded tag indicating what year it is to be destroyed and then pull those files and destroy them on a regular basis. In terms of marking the files with their end of retention period date, you can put the date on the file itself, create a color-coded system and tag the files with a color that matches the destruction year, or you can mark the entire file cabinet or drawer with the date. If you choose to store files off-site, you will need to put the destruction date on the box that they are stored in. Advantages: Files do not need to be reviewed before destruction Disadvantages: For some file types, it may be difficult to know how much space to set aside for “inactive” files.

9 Periodic Transfer Method
Transfer of active records at the end of a stated period of time Typically done once or twice a year Examples: Financial records, records to be transferred to University Archives The periodic transfer method works best for files that have a permanent retention period and, thus, no retention event or those that need to be kept for a certain period of time from the date of creation. Records that are stored together and that will finalize together benefit from using the period transfer method to separate active from inactive. In other words, all the files in a specific filing cabinet or drawer will become inactive at the same time. Advantage: Easy to do Disadvantage: Some records may be transferred that still need to be accessed.

10 Implementing the Periodic Transfer Method
Mark files with creation date, fiscal year, or calendar year Keep all records from same time period together Decide how often you are going to transfer records (annually, bi-annually, etc) Transfer records at end of time period to inactive storage (within the department or off-site) or to the University Archives as appropriate Mark records transferred to inactive storage with destruction date Review and purge stored records on a regular basis Ways to mark files with their creation date, fiscal year or calendar year can be to mark each file individually, mark the drawer or shelf on which they are stored, or create labeled sections within file drawers. In terms of marking the files with their end of retention period date, you can put the date on the file itself, create a color-coded system and tag the files with a color that matches the destruction year, or you can mark the entire file cabinet or drawer with the date. If you choose to store files off-site, you will need to put the destruction date on the box that they are stored in. One way to review stored records is to create an Excel spreadsheet listing what you have stored and their relative destruction dates. This works well if your inactive files are stored in an inconvenient location. If you use an off-site vendor to store your records, they will most likely have the ability to notify you when your records are approaching the destruction date you indicated when you stored them but it is still a good idea to keep your own list for reference purposes.

11 Implementing Either Method
Set up your filing system to reflect the Record Groups on the Records Retention Schedule Examples: Meeting Minutes, Annual Reports, Student Files, Faculty Applications, Publications If you organize your filing system to reflect the records groups listed on the records retention schedule you should be able to tell at a glance what the retention period will be for the records and what action will need to be taken at the end of that retention period. For example, meeting minutes and annual reports should be transferred to the University Archives. If you use a subject-based filing system you can group all meeting minutes together and all annual reports together. Then you can apply the Periodic Transfer Method to them and transfer them to the University Archives on a regular basis. For records that benefit from using the Perpetual Transfer Method, when you transfer them to inactive storage keep the records groups together so that you can easily tell which records need to be disposed when.

12 Things to Remember Only official university records should be stored or transferred in these manners. Unofficial records should be disposed of once your office no longer needs them to do business Unless records are marked as “Permanently Retain” or “Send to University Archives” on the Records Retention Schedule, any records that have met their retention event should be marked with a destruction date If you are unsure of the destruction date or retention period for your records, contact the Records Management Department before storing or destroying them

13 Helpful Tip! The methods we discussed today can be applied to electronic records too! Instead of physical file folders you have electronic file folders located on the W drive, your U drive or in your . You can arrange those the same way you arrange your physical filing cabinets and you can transfer files to new folders with the destruction date indicated in the file name instead of moving them to an inactive storage area.

14 Director of Records Management
Contact Information Erin Vandenberg Director of Records Management 55 E Jackson, Suite 850

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