Are emails considered records?
Email is a method of communication that is no different than a paper record.
How long should emails be kept?
All WSC employees should follow their regular retention procedures for all records, including emails. In other words, continue to treat an email in accordance with the record series associated with its content.
What are the records management duties of copyholders?
Copy holders are individuals who are in possession of copies of records but are not the Office of Record Retention. They will dispose of their copies any time prior to the expiration of their retention period, in the method specified in the Records Retention Schedule, and with no need to include them in their annual Records Disposal Reports.
When and how is a copyholder supposed to dispose of a convenience copy whose original is to be retained permanently?
The retention period for some record series is "PERM - Permanent," and, naturally, there is no disposal method specified. In that case, copyholders may dispose of their convenience copies at any time. Regarding the disposal method, they should err on the side of caution and use shredding - the most secure method possible.
Who is responsible for managing records and information?
Everyone employed at WSC.
How often do I need to review my records for disposal?
- Annually review your records inventory.
- Properly dispose of records in accordance with the disposal guidelines in the Records Retention Schedules used at WSC.
Can I keep records longer than the published retention period?
No. Records must be managed in accordance with North Dakota state law.
How do I report disposal of records that I have in both electronic and paper form?
Once a record has been imaged electronically, the electronic version becomes the official record and should be tested for electronic integrity three months after imaging. At that time, the paper version becomes a convenience copy and is to be managed as such.
If a particular email constitutes a record and has been saved as a .pdf or .txt document, is it still considered an email if we receive an open records request for "email documents"?
Yes, an email record that is saved in another format is still considered an email record.
What is the process for transferring records to the archives?
Contact the WSC Unit Records Coordinator who will coordinate the transfer of paper and electronic records to Archives as per established procedure.
How do I manage and dispose of my email records?
- Determine record status (based on content)
- Email system itself is not a record
- Take appropriate action to organize - touch once:
- Delete non-record emails or duplication
- i.e. jokes, notices that go to all employees, no business value (lunch invites)
- Manage the messages that are records:
- File and store (move to separate location, i.e. network, document management system, or print/file in traditional paper system)
- Dispose of according to retention schedule
- Email retention not a blanket statement (i.e. keep 1 year)
How do we manage notes of informal staff meetings?
Notes and agendas of informal staff meetings, such as check-ins, updates, discussions of workloads, etc., where no voting or departmental decisions are made, are not considered official minutes or agendas. Rather, they are informal notes - not records - and may be shredded when they are no longer needed.