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Records Management Program Maintenance

Records management must be an ongoing process.  As the records created and maintained in an agency change, the agency's records retention schedule must be updated.  The purpose of the following sections is to provide a guide for the continued maintenance of the agency's records management program.

Subtopics

  1. Procedure for Annual Records Disposal
  2. Adding Record Series to Retention Schedules
  3. Deleting Record Series from Retention Schedule
  4. Changing Record Series on Retention Schedule
  5. Procedure for One-Time or Early Disposal of Records

1. Procedure for Annual Records Disposal

Your agency must complete an annual disposal of obsolete records in compliance with the retention periods established on the Records Retention Schedule.  ITD Records Management will provide your agency with an annual Records Disposal Report (See Records Disposal Report Sample), specifying exact disposal instructions for each record series retained in your agency. See the Abbreviations Used for Record Retention Schedules.

The Records Disposal Report constitutes approval from ITD Records Management for the disposition of all records for the years indicated in the "Dispose of" column of the report.  Your agency is responsible to comply with the retention schedule on an ongoing basis by disposing of records that have satisfied their retention requirement as specified in the disposal report.

You may dispose of records only in the manner stipulated on the Records Retention Schedule and Records Disposal Report.  All nonconfidential records may be disposed by landfill - in essence, disposed by just throwing the record in the garbage or recycling container.  Confidential records must be shredded.  Records identified as archival must be transferred to the State Archives following the procedures outlined in the Procedure to Transfer Records to the State Archives.

Record series must not be disposed prior to the time approved by ITD Records Management.  If a situation warrants early disposal of a record, the Procedure for One-Time or Early Disposal of Records must be followed.

Records involved in an ongoing audit, litigation, or investigation must not be destroyed until the matter is resolved.  See Destruction Hold Procedure

The agency is responsible to verify the information contained on the Records Disposal Report is still current.  Any discrepancies must be corrected.  New record series may be added and existing record series may be deleted or changed on your Records Retention Schedule by following the procedures outlined in Adding Record Series to Retention Schedule, Deleting Record Series from Retention Schedule, or Changing Record Series on Retention Schedule.

In summary, your agency (a) will receive an annual Records Disposal Report; (b) must dispose of records as listed on the report; (c) must complete the Certification of Records Disposal (SFN 7694); and (d) must return the Records Disposal Report and Certification of Records Disposal to ITD Records Management. 

2. Adding Record Series to Retention Schedules

A record series may need to be added to a Records Retention Schedule because:

  1. A new program or function may be added to the division's responsibilities resulting in a new record series being created.
  2. A function or responsibility may be transferred from one division or agency to another as a result of administrative or legal changes.  The original description completed by the original agency or division may be used by the agency or division taking possession of the record series.
  3. A record series may have been missed during the development of your original Records Retention Schedule.

Steps to add a record series to the existing records retention schedule are stated below.

  1. Complete all parts of the Record Series Description (SFN 2042) with the exception of the record control number, legal value, fiscal value, and historical value.  The Record Series Description can be obtained from the North Dakota eforms website under ITD Internal Forms.
  2. Send the completed Record Series Description to ITD Records Management.  The Records Management Task Force will determine the legal, fiscal, and historical values.
  3. You will receive a typed Records Retention Schedule Approval (see SFN 2043 Sample) for department approval.  The agency head must sign the Department Approval section of the Records Retention Schedule and return it to ITD Records Management.
  4. ITD Records Management will obtain approvals from the Attorney General, State Auditor, and State Archivist. 
  5. Your agency will receive an updated Records Retention Schedule with Descriptions from ITD Records Management once the record series is added.  The new record series will be included on the next Records Disposal Report for your agency.

3. Deleting Record Series from Retention Schedule

A record series will need to be deleted from your Records Retention Schedule when those records are no longer found in your agency.  There are at least three instances when this may occur:

  1. The division/program/function that created the record has been transferred to another division within the agency or has been transferred to another state agency.
  2. The record series is no longer created and all existing records have been destroyed after meeting their approved records retention period.
  3. The record series is no longer created and has been transferred to the State Archives for historical preservation.

Steps to delete a record series from the existing records retention schedule are stated below.

  1. Complete the following parts of the Record Series Description (SFN 2042) which may be obtained from the North Dakota eforms website under ITD Internal Forms.
    1. Agency and division name and number.
    2. Record series title (description not necessary).
    3. Record control number.
    4. Mark the Delete box under Action Requested and include an explanation under the record description area as to why the record series is being deleted.
    5. Name and telephone number of person completing the Record Series Description.
    6. Date the Record Series Description was completed.
  2. Send the completed Record Series Description to ITD Records Management. 
  3. You will receive a typed Records Retention Schedule Approval (see SFN 2043 Sample) for department approval.  The agency head must sign the Department Approval section of the Records Retention Schedule and return it to ITD Records Management.
  4. Your agency will receive an updated Records Retention Schedule with Descriptions from ITD Records Management once the record is deleted.  The record series will no longer be included on the Records Disposal Report.

4. Changing Record Series on Retention Schedule

ITD Records Management must be notified when any of the following facts about a record series change:

  1. The title or description.
  2. The administrative, legal, fiscal, or historical values.
  3. The record becomes or is no longer confidential.

The following steps must be used to change an existing record series description.

  1. Complete the following areas of the Record Series Description (SFN 2042) which may be obtained from the North Dakota eforms website under ITD Internal Forms.
    1. Agency and division name and number.
    2. Record series title (description is not necessary, unless this is the area to be changed).
    3. Record control number.
    4. Any portion of the form that is to be changed.
    5. Name and telephone number of the person completing the Record Series Description.
    6. Date the Record Series Description was completed.
  2. Send the completed Record Series Description to ITD Records Management. 
  3. You will receive a typed Records Retention Schedule Approval (see SFN 2043 Sample) for department approval.  The agency head must sign the Department Approval section of the Records Retention Schedule and return it to ITD Records Management.
  4. ITD Records Management will obtain the appropriate signatures from the Records Management Task Force.
  5. Your agency will receive an updated Records Retention Schedule with Descriptions from ITD Records Management once the record series is changed.  The record series will also be changed on the next Records Disposal Report for your agency.

5. Procedure for One-Time or Early Disposal of Records

A request for a one-time disposal of records will be necessary when records are not currently covered on a records retention schedule and maintained in the agency but are no longer being created or received as part of a business function.  These records will not be added to the Records Retention Schedule.

Early disposal of records may occur as a result of the early completion of an audit.  If your office has been audited, and the record series in question has been reviewed and released by the auditor, you may request early disposal of that record series. 

A request for a one-time or early disposal may be done by completing the Records Disposal Request (SFN 2044) which may be obtained from ITD Records Management or the North Dakota eforms website under ITD Internal Forms.  The steps to request a one-time or early disposal are listed below.

  1. The agency completes the following areas of the Records Disposal Request and sends it to ITD Records Management:
    1. Agency, division, date, address, city, state, zip code, name, title, and telephone number.
    2. The size and volume of the records to be disposed.  Estimate the linear inches (thickness of the records being disposed) and enter the volume below the size of the records (Letter size, legal size, or other).  If the documents being disposed are a size other than letter or legal size, please indicate the size in inches (3" X 5", 11" X 15").  As an example of a linear inch measurement: one full file drawer contains 25 linear inches of records.
    3. Mark “One-Time Disposal/Transfer” or “Early Disposal/Transfer” for the Type of Disposal.
    4. For an early disposal, enter the record control number from the annual disposal report, the title of the records series being disposed, the inclusive dates of the record series, and the total retention period for the record.  This step must be repeated for each record series.  "Inclusive years" are the earliest date of the records to be disposed through the last date of the records to be disposed (example: 1990-1994).
    5. For a one-time disposal, enter the title of the records series being disposed and the inclusive dates of the record series.  This step must be repeated for each record series.
    6. Explain in the area beneath each record title why you are requesting disposal of that record series.
  2. ITD Records Management will assign a request control number and obtain approval from the Records Management Task Force using the Records Disposal Authorization (see SFN 2045 Sample).
  3. ITD Records Management will return the Records Disposal Request and Authorization to the agency.
  4. The agency will then destroy/transfer the records approved for disposal.  This disposition must be done in an approved manner and must be certified by the person disposing of the documents.  If any records are to be transferred to the State Archives, the Records Disposal Request and the Records Disposal Authorization must accompany the documents being transferred.
  5. When the Certificate of Disposal and Certificate of Transfer sections have been completed (upon disposal or transfer of the records), the agency must detach and file the pink copy from both the Records Disposal Request and the Records Disposal Authorization.
  6. The agency must send the remaining copies of all pages of the Records Disposal Request and Records Disposal Authorization to ITD Records Management.
  7. ITD Records Management will retain a copy of the request and authorization forms in its files.  The State Archivist will also receive a copy of the request and authorization forms.

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