Frequently Asked Questions
What are Records?
Records are the evidence of what the organization does. They capture its business activities and transactions, such as contract negotiations, business correspondence, personnel files, and financial statements, just to name a few.
State law defines a state government record as "any written, photographic, machine-readable, or other recorded information created or received by or on behalf of a state agency or an elected state official that documents activities in the conduct of state business or use of public resources".
Records come in many formats:
- Physical paper in each employee's files, such as memos, contracts, marketing materials, and reports
- Electronic messages, such as e-mail content and their attachments and instant messages
- Content on the websites, as well as the documents that reside on the PDA's flash drives, desktops, servers, and document management systems
- Information captured in the organization's various databases
* When there's a lawsuit, all of these - including the copies that individuals have retained and any items prematurely deleted or destroyed - may be identified as discoverable. This means they could be used against the organization in a lawsuit.
What are not considered Records?
Examples of Non Records:
- Stocks of publications and printed brochures
- Library materials
- Quasi-official notices, unsolicited announcements, invitations, or other materials that are not filed as evidence of operations
- Preliminary drafts, worksheets, informal notes
- Routing slips that contain no pertinent information or approvals
- Personal property such as employee copies of personal file, certificates, training documentation
- Extra copies of records in addition to the official record
- Blank forms, file and office supplies
Why is Records Management so Important?
Records are information assets and hold value for the organization. Organizations have a duty to all stakeholders to manage them effectively in order to maximize profit, control cost, and ensure the vitality of the organization. Effective records management ensures that the information needed is retrievable, authentic, and accurate.
What is a Records Retention Schedule?
The State of Texas requires each agency to have a certified records retention schedule. All Agencies must keep records according to specified periods designated by the schedule. The schedule lists the record holdings of the agency and defines how long records must be retained.
Where is the Records Retention Schedule?
Who is Responsible for Managing Records and Information?
Everyone is. Each employee has an important role to play in protecting the future of the organization by creating, using, retrieving, and disposing of records in accordance with the organization's established policies and procedures.