Understanding General Records Schedules by alicejenny



Records Management Workshop

         May 26, 2005
• RM Basics

• Review of general and agency schedules

• RM process at UWW
              Legal Sources
•   Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 16.61-16.62
•   Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 19.32-19.39
•   Wisconsin Administrative Code ADM 12
•   44 USC 33
•   36 CFR 12, subchapter B
•   20 USC 1223g
            Wisconsin Laws

• 16.61 - creates a Public Records Board to
  establish policies and standards for the
  management, preservation, and disposition
  of state records; defines public records
• 19.31 – Open Records law
• ADM 12 – governs preservation of
  electronic state records
               Federal Laws
• 44 USC 31 – requires Federal agencies to manage
  their records
• 36 CFR 12 (B) – NARA rules for records
  management by Federal agencies
• 20 USC 1232g – Federal Educational Rights and
  Privacy Act, gives students right to review and
  request corrections of their educational records,
  student must give consent before contents may be
              Open Records
• Open records requests-the law forbids the
  destruction of any requested until the
  request is granted or at least 60 days after
  the date that the request is denied. Court
  orders may extend this time period.
             Open Records
• Pending litigation or audit. If an audit or
  pending litigation involves any records
  listed in a RDA agencies must suspend any
  disposition until such time as the audit or
  litigation is completed.
        Life Cycle of Records
• Basic records management concept
• Creation - Records are created for a purpose
• Use - Records are used for that purpose
• Retention -Records are retained for
  documentation and reference
• Disposition - Records are disposed of, either
  destroyed or transferred to an archives for
  permanent retention
• Appraisal – evaluation of records to determine their value
  and proper disposition
• Office of Origin – office where the record was originally
  created or accumulated, also referred to as the records
• Original / Agency / Working copies – Original copy is the
  record copy as issued by the office of origin, a department
  may keep a copy – Agency copy – in its’ files for
  reference, a Working copy is a copy made for
  convenience; agency and working copies do not have to be
  retained beyond their usefulness to the office
• Active vs. Inactive – active means used at least once a
  month, inactive means used less than once a year

• Administrative - usefulness in the day-to-day work
  of office of origin
• Legal /Evidential – documents an office’s
  authority and operations and provides evidence of
  rights and/or obligations
• Fiscal – information about an office’s financial
• Historical /Informative – information about an
  office’s function, development; information may
  be about people / places / events / issues
Public records means all books, papers, maps,
photographs, films, recordings, electronically
formatted document or other documentary
materials or any copy thereof, regardless of
physical form or characteristics, made or
received by any agency of the state or it’s
officers or employees in connection with the
transaction of public business.
            Record Series
Public records arranged under a manual or
automated filing system, or are kept
together as a unit because they relate to a
particular subject, result from the same
activity or have a particular form.
          Retention Period
The length of time an office must keep
particular records in a series. This is usually
expressed in terms of days, months, years,
and may be contingent upon an event date
or specified date that triggers the “clock”.
           Retention Period
• CR+time Creation plus 1 year
• EVT+time Event plus 8 years. The event
  date must be specific and has to occur to
  start retention clock ticking
• FIS+time FIS+4 years. The current fiscal
  years and 4 back years. Records are kept
  together in “blocks”for a complete fiscal
           Retention Period
• P meaning permanent. Permanent is forever,
  not to be confused with indefinite;
  undefined or “keep as long as needed”.

• Usually records having historic or
  documentary value.
            Retention Period
• Retention is the longest of administrative
  (business need); financial/audit; and legal
• Business need: CR+1
• Financial value: FIS+4
• Legal value: EVT+4
• Required retention: EVT+4
The final state in a record series life cycle
involving either: destruction; transfer to
inactive storage with destruction at a
specified later date or; transfer to either the
state or university archives for permanent
• Disposition-Destroy Confidential or
• Transfer to Archival repository as records
  have historical value
       Retention Schedule

Instructions as to the length of time,
location, and form in which record series
are kept and the method of filing record
series. Also called Records
Retention/Disposition (RDA) form.
          Retention Schedule
• No further approval is required to destroy or
  transfer records that are covered under
  either an agency specific or general
  schedule approved by the Public Records
  Board except:
• Scheduling records is required only if:
  records are not being retained permanently;
  or for paper records only.
          General Schedules
• A general record schedule is a grouping of
  related record retention schedules for a
  common function of state government.
  General schedules provide guidance and
  authorization to agencies to either dispose
  or transfer these types of records.
    General Schedules
• General schedules
-provide agencies with uniform
  guidelines for retention and disposition
  of common records;
-ensure that records are maintained for
  the established minimum time periods
  to meet all applicable program
  requirements and statewide legal, fiscal
  and historical requirements;
          General Schedules
• General Schedules cover administrative
  records thereby freeing up resources for
  agencies to focus on their program specific
• General record schedules help identify
  duplication by analysis of the
  interrelationships between like records at
  various levels in government.
    General Schedules
-reduce state exposure to litigation
  involving records that need not be
  retained for business purposes;
-save money by reducing record keeping
  related expenses.
       DoA General Schedules

    Existing General Schedules
• Personnel and Related Records-Third
  Edition July, 1999 (145 series)
• Fiscal and Accounting Related Records-
  Third Edition September 1999 (115 series)
• Purchasing and Procurement Related
  Records-Second Edition-May 2003 (27
    Existing General Schedules

• Payroll and Related Records-2nd Edition
  November 1997 (45 series)
• Worker’s Compensation and Related-
  Second Edition -July 1997 (20 series)
• Data Security and Related Records-July
  2001 (12 series)
   Exsisting General Schedules
• Motor Vehicle Management Records-May
  1999 (14 series)
• Common Records in Wisconsin State
  Agencies and Local Units of Government-
  2nd Edition May 2002 (7 series)
• Budget and Budget Related-March 2002 (41
   Proposed General Schedules
General Schedules In process-Not Yet
• Publication and Reproduction Services (8
• Facilities Operational Records (15 series)
• Building Security Related Records (5
• Health and Safety Related Records (8
          General Schedules
• All approved general schedules are
  available electronically on the DOA Internet
• Main DOA Internet Page:
• Then select Business in DOA; Public
  Records Board and then General
         General Schedules
Larger agencies also use general schedules.
UW-Madison and UW-System general
schedules are available at
http://archives.library.wisc.edu then choose
records management and then general
record schedules.
             UWS Schedules
•   Fiscal and Accounting general schedule
•   Internal Audit general schedule
•   Payroll general schedule
•   Available at UW-Madison ARMS site –
    Agency or Local Schedules
• UWW currently has 70 local schedules in
• Written by the Office of Origin and Records
  Management in conjunction
• Many are approaching the 10-year sunset
  review date
• Academic Affairs and Registrar are in
• Department of Administration fact sheets –
• Guidelines for electronic records
• Guidelines for the permanent retention of
  records by Wisconsin state agencies (PRB,
  November 2001)
   Records Management Process at
• Call or email University Archives, 472-
  5520 or archives@uww.edu to set up an
  RM appointment.

• Archivist will visit and complete a records
   Records Management Process at
• Records series will be identified and assigned to a general
  schedule, or
• Based on the inventory and discussions with the Office, the
  Archivist will prepare a draft PFRB1, the Records
  Retention/Disposition Authorization or RRDA, for a new
  record series
• After the Office of Origin and the Archivist are agreed on
  the RRDA, it is submitted for approval to the Public
  Records Board
• RRDA goes into effect after it receives Board approval
   Records Management at UWW

• Established RRDAs are reviewed every ten years
• When ready to dispose of records, review the
  RRDAs for your office
• Records requiring confidential destruction or
  scheduled as permanent should be sent to the
  University Archives
• Prepare a transmittal form to accompany the
  records – it should include a box number, title of
  the records, inclusive dates, RRDA (if known),
  and retention period.
 Records Management at UWW
• For records scheduled as permanent, a list
  of the files is very helpful and the records
  should be in records cartons. Remove
  rubber bands and binders.
• The Archives does not accept banker’s
  boxes for permanently retained records due
  to safety concerns.
 Records Management at UWW
• On arrival in the Archives, boxes are logged
  in, assigned an accession number, and
  sorted as to retention status
• A box control sheet is prepared and boxes
  transferred to the Archives temp stacks
• As time permits, permanent records are
  fully processed and assigned permanent
  numbers in their appropriate record series

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