1. What is a record?
A state record is anything and everything you create or receive on state time that documents the business transactions of your department or UTMB. This includes both electronic and paper documents.
The official definition of a state record per Texas Government Code 441.138 is: any written, photographic, machine-readable, or other recorded information created or received by or on behalf of a state agency or university that documents activities in the conduct of state business or use of public resources. This does not include library or museum material, convenience copies, stocks of publications, or alternative dispute resolution documentation.
2. What is a records retention schedule?
A records retention schedule is a tool for UTMB employees to use when managing records. It lists all official state records that are created or received by a department, and indicates the length of time the department is legally required to keep those records.
3. What is a retention period?
A retention period is the minimum length of time that you are legally required to maintain the associated records.
4. Why does my department need a records retention schedule?
According to Texas Government Code 441.138, the retention schedule gives UTMB departments permission to destroy public records in accordance to the terms and conditions. Departments may only destroy records if they are listed on UTMB's approved records retention schedule, the retention period has expired, and a Disposition Log Form has been submitted and approved by Records Management.
5. What is a RMAN?
RMAN stands for Records Management Assigned Number. This is 4 digit number assigned to every department to identify which section of the retention schedule applies to each department. This number is unique to Records Management and does not relate to any other numbering assignments at UTMB.
6. What is a DRC?
DRC stands for Department Records Coordinator. This is the individual that serves as the department's designated person for the management of their records, and serves as a liaison with Records Management. Each DRC should be knowledgeable about all records received or created by the department.
7. What is a convenience or reference copy?
A convenience or reference copy is usually a duplicate copy that is used primarily for informational purposes. These types of documents do not have ongoing value and should be destroyed after their initial use is completed. They should never be maintained longer than the official record. No documentation is necessary when deleting or destroying duplicate copies, or non-records.
8. I'm out of space in my office, is there somewhere I can store my records?
Yes, the University has a Records Storage Center that will store your records for the duration of the retention period, and is FREE of charge for all UTMB departments. SEE the Records Center section of the website for detailed instructions on how to pack and send boxes to the Records Center.
9. Where can I get records storage boxes?
The boxes can be purchased by calling Materials Management at (409) 772-1161 or ordering online. Boxes are Item # 60471. They come with a box and a lid. These are the only boxes that are accepted for storing at the Records Center.
10. How long will it take for the boxes to be picked up from the department?
When the boxes have been inspected by Records Management and all information has been verified, a request is sent to Materials Management to pickup the boxes. They are usually picked up the same week that the boxes are inspected.
11. How do I retrieve a box from storage?
Submit a Records Circulation Request to Records Management listing the box code number of the box you need. If the request is received by 10am, you should receive your boxes within 24-48 hours. When you are ready to return them, send a Records Circulation Request to Records Management identifying you want to return them "To Storage." If you need to access your records sooner, arrangements can be made for you to come to the Records Center to review them instead.
12. How long do I have to keep emails?
Email records are just like any other type of record, the length of time you are required to keep them is determined by the content and information discussed in the email conversation. Use the records retention schedule to determine how long to keep each email based on the category the content of the conversation falls under. It is generally best to organize your email by records retention schedule categories so you can easily manage the information and know when emails are eligible to be destroyed.
13. We scanned all of our paper records, do we have to keep both copies?
No, in most instances after you have scanned the paper records into an electronic format you can destroy the paper copy because you are identifying that the "official" record copy is now the electronic version and the paper copy is a duplicate convenience copy. Before destroying the paper copies, quality control measures must be taken to ensure all information has scanned properly and thoroughly. Additionally, some records are required by law, rule, policy, or best practice to remain in the original paper format. If this is the case, you may not destroy the paper copy after scanning. Be sure to double check all applicable laws and rules before destroying.
14. When and how do I destroy my records?
If a record has met the retention period listed on the records retention schedule, submit a Disposition Log Form to Records Management for approval. Once approval has been granted, delete electronic files or place paper files in the recycle blue bags to be shredded. If there is confidential information on the documents be sure to lock the blue bags and keep the bags in a locked location until they are picked up.
15. When and how do I transfer my records to the University Archivist?
When the records designated with an "O" or an "I" on the retention schedule are eligible to be destroyed, the department's Disposition Log Form will be forwarded to the University Archivist to notify him that records are ready to be reviewed. Upon the Archivist's review, they will decide if the records will be transferred to the University Archives permanently.
16. How can I get more Records Management Training?
Contact Records Management, and a Records Specialist will come to your department to do one-on-one training, staff meetings, or any other type of event that is requested. Training can be customized to any Records Management topic the department or group requests including, but not limited to: Records Management Basics, Using the Retention Schedule, Filing Systems, The Records Center, Email Management, Records Destruction, Electronic Records Management, or any combination of topics.
Additionally, any time a new Department Records Coordinator (DRC) is identified, the assigned Records Specialist will do a one-on-one training with that individual to go over all of the DRC roles and responsibilities.