ALERT BAR

State Laws and Rules

Records Management

Texas Government Code, Chapter 441 establishes the duties and responsibilities of every state agency and university regarding Records Management. These requirements include:

  • Establish and maintain and continuing and active Records Management Program.
  • Create and maintain records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions.
  • Identify and take adequate steps to protect confidential and vital records.
  • Appoint a Records Management Officer to administer the Records Management Program.
  • Disseminate information concerning state laws, administrative rules, and agency policies relating to managing records to employees.
  • Prepare and submit a records retention schedule to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) that lists the records created and received by the agency, the period of time each record shall be maintained, and any other information necessary to help manage the records effectively.
  • TSLAC may, by rule, prescribe a minimum retention period for any state record unless a minimum retention for that record is prescribed by another federal or state law.
  • A state record may be destroyed by a state agency if:
    • The record appears on the approved records retention schedule
    • The record's retention period has expired
    • A disposition log has been submitted by the department to Records Management
  • A state record MAY NOT be destroyed by a state agency if:
    • The records DOES NOT appear on the approved records retention schedule.
    • The record's retention period HAS NOT expired.
    • Any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, open records request, administrative rule, or other action involving the record is initiated before the retention period has been met.
  • Instead of transferring archival state records to TSLAC, university systems and institutions of higher education will retain and preserve the archival records of their institutions.

Electronic Records

Title 13, Section 6.91 - 6.98 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) states that each state agency and university is required to manage their electronic records as follows:

  • Manage electronic records according to the records management program and certified records retention schedule, regardless of the format or system.
  • Maintain ownership and responsibility for the state records regardless of where the record originates or resides, include cloud computing services and social media sites.
  • Ensure electronic records are readily retrievable and readable for as long as they are required to be maintained. This can be accomplished by:
    • migration
    • maintaining any software, hardware, or required documentation to retrieve the records
  • Develop and maintain up-to-date documentation about electronic records systems.
  • Maintain descriptive and technical metadata required for records to be fully understandable, including metadata necessary to support record authenticity, integrity, reliability, and usability.
  • Require all third-party custodians of records to provide the agency or university with descriptions of their business continuity and disaster recovery plans as regards to the protection of the agency's records.

Public Information Act

Texas Government Code, Chapter 552 ensures public access to any open state record. Certain information has been identified within the text of the the Government Code as being exempt from public inspection. Sometimes an entire document or parts of the document may be redacted, or removed from the original record, if this exempted information is present. 

For in depth information regarding the Public Information Act and the procedures to follow for UTMB Information Requests, please refer to the UTMB Open Records Statement and the UTMB Institutional Policy Handbook.