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Definitions Useful in Records Management


Public Records:

All original copies of written papers, letters, documents, photographs, magnetic tapes, microfiche, microfilm, sound recordings, maps, other documentary materials, or information in any recording medium regardless of physical form or characteristics, including computer generated and electronically recorded materials and information, made or received in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency or employee of state government or its political subdivisions. State law prohibits individuals and departments from destroying or otherwise disposing of public records without proper authorization.

Original Copy:

The top copy or document having the actual typed, handwritten, or computer generated print or signature on it. In cases where the original copy has been sent outside of the university, the institutional copy (carbon or photocopy) that resides in the originating office is to be treated as the original copy. The requirement for records retention and disposition schedules relates specifically to original/institutional copies.

Records Series:

A group of records with similar physical characteristics that document a particular function or activity of a department. Examples include correspondence files, purchase requisitions, budget preparation materials, and invoice vouchers.

Administrative Value:

Records or documents that have utility in the operation of a state agency.

Legal Value:

Records that document actions taken in the protection and proving of legal or civil rights and/or the obligations of individuals and agencies. This includes records relating to pending or proposed litigation.

Fiscal Value:

Records that are needed to document and verify financial authorizations, obligations, and transactions. After a specified period of time and audit by the Auditor of Public Accounts such records can normally be disposed of without risk, provided that the necessary retention and disposition schedules have been approved.

Historical Value:

Records that provide an understanding of some aspect of state government, its agencies, and its political subdivisions. Such records typically contain evidence or information on the agency that created them or on the subject the records deal with. Historical value persists long after the agency has any regular need for the records.

Current Records:

Records needed to conduct the daily business of the university. Current records must be maintained in appropriate filing or retrieval equipment for immediate access in a working office.

Semi current Records:

Records not required for immediate access, but retained for information, audit, or legal purposes. When possible, semi current records should be retired from storage in working office space and moved to a designated storage area. Some semi current records, such as certain student and personnel records, are permanent in nature.

Non-current Records:

Records not needed to conduct current business and have no further use to the originating office. If non-current records have historic value, they should be transferred to the special collections of the Carrier Library or to the university records manager, who will arrange for their storage. If disposable, they should be destroyed or disposed of in accordance with an approved records retention and disposition schedule.