This edition addresses the establishment of a regular routine for processing and moving newly inactive records to the RRC that insures consistency, thoroughness, and accuracy.
In our first 4 articles, we’ve covered 1) making sure that you have the appropriate information on file with TSLAC, 2) identifying, assigning, and documenting Records Management responsibility among District Staff, 3) establishing a centralized Records Retention Center (RRC), and 4) identifying the policy for determining when things move to your RRC.
This edition addresses the establishment of a regular routine for processing and moving newly inactive records to the RRC that insures consistency, thoroughness, and accuracy. Here are some steps to consider including in your District’s process:
- Make It a Routine. Establish a basis, usually annually, to process and physically move impacted records to the RRC.
- Group Records by Type. When departments are pulling records to move to the RRC, have them group them by record type when possible so that common documents are kept together.
- Bring All Records to a Central Location for Processing. Move the boxes of grouped records to the RRC and implement your processing procedure.
- Assign Series Numbers. With the records physically in your RRC, begin to assign the appropriate TSLAC Record Series Number to each group of files.
- Determine the “Inactive” Date. Identify the year that the records went “inactive”.
- Determine the Retention Period. Based on the type of record and the date the records went “inactive”, you can determine the appropriate retention period. Based on the appropriate retention period, identify the year that the records can be destroyed.
- Box Records by Destruction Date. Once you know the date when the records can be destroyed, box them up together by destruction date.
- Detail the Contents in Each Box. To facilitate locating inactive records that may need to be retrieved in the future—or to document the records that have been destroyed—make a detailed inventory of the records that are in each box.
- Integrate the Boxes into the RRC. With records processed and sorted by document type and destruction date—and a detailed inventory of each box—move the physical boxes into the RRC and the meta data about the contents of the boxes into the inventory of records held at the RRC.
Carefully processing inactive records, boxing them by destruction date, and capturing and recording detail about the contents of each box will help make for a smooth migration of records into the RRC. As importantly, this structured process will make finding and retrieving an inactive record, if required, much easier in the future. Having records boxed by Destruction Date will facilitate disposition of the records when they become obsolete. This consistent and thorough process will make integration of records into your RRC more accurate and efficient.
In the next edition, we’ll discuss Records training for your District Staff.
More Records Management compliance and best practices will be covered in the Virtual TASBO Records Management Academy taking place online over three days, April 22-24, 2020.