The proposed administrative correspondence general schedule was approved by the State Records Committee June 12th, 2014. Below are all three new correspondence general retention schedules with some explanation and guidance from the Committee as to how the retention schedules are to be applied.
In an age where so much business is conducted over email, the State Records Committee wanted to make clear that an email is not a record simply because it is email. They also expressed that entities may need to transfer email records in order to properly maintain the information. The Utah State Archives can assist agencies in transferring non-permanent email records to an external medium for temporary storage as well as transferring permanent emails to the Archives for permanent storage.
Here are a few tips for managing email. Some of these were discussed by the State Records Committee as they discussed the 7 year retention for administrative records:
- Determine if the email is a record.
o Delete the non-records.
o Forward personal email to a personal account.
o Identify emails that are transitory and delete if administrative need has been met.
o Identify email critical to your entity’s function and mission. These emails should have their own record series and follow an approved retention schedule.
- Implement a hard date.
o Record officers can let everyone know all non-permanent email older than the retention date should be disposed of.
o At this point also transfer permanent email to the Archives for preservation.
- Use features available in email system.
o In Google email labels can be used to apply a series name or number to individual emails.
o In other systems folders can be used to organize email records by series name or number.
o Decide on a process for managing emails that works for you and begin implementing it moving forward.
For emails and other correspondence that are records, the following general schedules have been approved and are available for use by governmental entities.
|-Executive Correspondence-Incoming and outgoing business-related correspondence, regardless of format or mode of transmission, that provides unique information relating to the functions, policies, procedures or programs of an agency. These records document executive decisions made regarding agency interests. Executive decision makers may include the Director, Chief Administrative Officer, Public Information Officer or other internal administrators as identified by the executive office.||Permanent. May be transferred to the State Archives.||Utah Code 9-7-101(8)(b)(2010)Utah Code 63G-2-301 (3)(h)(2013)
Executive Correspondence was approved in May 2014. These records document the governmental entity’s history and executive decisions made regarding agency interests. Included in the description is a list of who some of those decision makers may be. The Archives is equipped to permanently preserve the emails that follow this schedule; emails may be transferred to the Archives at any time.
|-Administrative Correspondence-Incoming and outgoing business-related correspondence, regardless of format or mode of transmission, created in the course of administering agency functions and programs. Administrative correspondence documents work accomplished, transactions made, or actions taken. This correspondence documents the implementation of agency functions rather than the creation of functions or policies. Business-related correspondence that is related to a core function with an associated retention schedule should follow the associated schedule.||7 years and then destroy.||Utah Code 63G-2-301 (3)(h)(2013)|
This schedule is for correspondence documenting the carrying out of the agency’s functions that does not have an associated retention schedule. If the correspondence is related to a core function with an associated retention schedule, the correspondence should follow the associated retention schedule. The Archives is equipped to help entities in harvesting and transferring email to a temporary medium where record officers can implement the 7 year retention.
|-Transitory Correspondence-Incoming and outgoing correspondence, regardless of format or mode of transmission, related to matters of short term interest. Transmittal correspondence between individuals, departments or external parties containing no final contractual, financial or policy information. This correspondence does not impact agency functions. When resolved, there is no further use or purpose.||Until administrative need ends and then destroy.||Utah Code 63G-2-301(3)(h)(2013)|
The information in transitory correspondence is short term and should be destroyed as soon as the matter is addressed. A lot of in office correspondence such as “meeting today”, or “please review this draft” would fall under this schedule.
There will be a lunch and learn webinar scheduled to explain these schedules in greater detail and answer questions. The date will be posted later and you can register on the Archives website.
Questions regarding the application of these schedules can be directed to: