Each year Utah's counties spend thousands of dollars and devote considerable office space and equipment to the creation, organization, use, maintenance, and storage of their records. While counties create new records, the costs of maintaining records no longer needed for county operations continue to escalate. Current studies show that every inch of paper in filing cabinets costs an average of $210 to create and $7 per year to store. Estimates are that one-third of all records maintained by an office are obsolete. These figures clearly show that the maintenance of obsolete records not only costs counties, but decreases office efficiency and wastes valuable staff time and resources. Because records keeping constitutes over 80 percent of the work activity within most county offices, a solution must be found to correct these problems.
The solution to these problems is improved management of the records. This includes the economical and efficient creation, organization, use, maintenance, and disposition of records. A retention schedule is the foundation of any successful records management program.
This manual responds to this need. All schedules have been approved by the State Records Committee since 1991 and reviewed in accordance with all applicable 1995 statutes and regulations. This manual is offered as a tool for Utah counties in establishing cost-effective records management programs.