Guidelines for Records Officers
The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) requires the chief administrative officer of each governmental entity to "appoint one or more records officers who will be trained to work with the state archives" (UCA 63A-12-103(2) (2008)).
A Records Officer is "the individual appointed by the chief administrative officer of each governmental entity, or political subdivision to work with state archives in the care, maintenance, scheduling, designation, classification, disposal, and preservation of records" (UCA 63G-2-103(21) (2008)). A Records Officer is someone in the office that is knowledgeable about the office's records and who has been authorized to make decisions concerning them. The responsibilities of a records officer include:
- Developing and providing oversight of records management programs in their agency, including training others in their agency to follow established records management guidelines, policies, and retention schedules.
- Serving as the contact person with the Archives. Records Officers may contact the records analyst team at the Archives at (801) 538-3863. We offer in-office agency training and support for records management questions.
- Inventorying agency records, developing agency retention schedules, and obtaining agency approvals. The latter refers to agency signatures needed before 1) retention schedules may be sent to the State Records Committee for approval, or 2) records stored at the State Records Center can be destroyed.
- Implementing State Records
Committee approved record retention schedules and documenting
authorized destructions of obsolete records.
- Maintaining information
on what record series have been scheduled and conducting periodic
reviews to update information as changes occur. Annual reviews are very helpful.
- Reporting agency's classification
designations on record series that it maintains.
- Maintaining information
on record series that have been transferred to the State Records Center
to allow for their efficient retrieval.
Records Officers should realize that their job is an important one. Their conscientiousness will affect the documented history of the State of Utah. Efficient records management practices also reduce the cost of government. Maintaining records beyond their approved retention often influences both audit and litigation. Off-site storage of inactive records frees expensive office space. Filing records according to retention length makes weeding obsolete records (and transferring them to off-site storage) easier.
New Records Officers with
the question "What should I do first?" will benefit from the following:
- Make sure your duties and
responsibilities as a Records Officer are listed in your performance
plan so you can receive credit for them.
- Call your records analyst
at the State Archives. This individual will provide
you with personal instruction, ideas for prioritizing duties, and a
list of all existing retention schedules.
- Attend training sessions offered by the State Archives.