2013 - 4th Quarter

UM System – Records Management Policy, Guidelines and Compliance

By Willie Jones, UM Records Management Analyst

UM System – Records Management Policy, Guidelines and Compliance

 1.       Follow UM Policy concerning the management of University records

2.       Records Management is a legal foundation for all UM departments

3.       The University, as any other organization or business must have a systematic way of controlling records and information

 This is referred to in the legal world as a normal course of business.


Collected Rules Chapter 180.10


BMP 900


 Records Retention Authorizations apply to all records in all departments of the University unless a separate Records Retention Authorization has been approved for a department.

University records shall not be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by any University officer, or employee on their own initiative.


Retention: The prescribed period of time that a record must be retained.

                Reference:  BP 904 Storage of Inactive Records

Disposal of Records: The disposal of the actual record, either by physical destruction or transfer to Campus Archives.

                Reference: BP 905 Disposal of University Records

 Why Records Management Is Important:

 ·         Records are University Assets

·         Reduces Operating Costs

·         Improves efficiency and increases productivity

·         Reduces Litigation Risks

·         Ensures Regulatory Compliance

·         Safeguards Vital Information

·         Improves Management Decision Making

·         Preserves Corporate Memory

 What is a Record (Documents)?

The definition of a record includes any correspondence, memorandum, book, plan, map, drawing, diagram, graphic work, photograph, film, microform, sound recording, videotape, machine readable record, and any other documentary material, regardless of physical media format or characteristics.

Records are the corporate memory of an organization, showing: what was done, how, when, why, and by whom . It’s all about the Content!

What is a Vital Records Plan?

A Vital Records Plan is a written guide to follow in the event of an Emergency/Disaster .

 It should include:

       Roles and responsibilities of assigned staff in the event of a disaster

       Location and who can request the records (Hierarchy)

What are Vital Records?

Vital records, sometimes called essential records, necessary (must have) for the continuity of operations during and following a disaster 

These are records needed to maintain one or more of the following vital functions:

       Document the university’s legal authorities, rights, and responsibilities

       Resume or maintain operations in/after a disaster or emergency situation

       Always Include a Vital Records Plan in your Department’s Disaster Preparedness Plan

       Decide which records are vital and assign responsibility to the appropriate staff for their protection, storage, and updating 

 The following actions will help:

        Conduct a “risk assessment” and an “impact analysis” to determine vulnerabilities and a window of time to mitigate or recover from possible disasters

       Identify records recovery experts and vendors to assist with recovery in the event of a disaster involving records

       Check you recovery vendors for location, their own Disaster Plan, and where you are on their recovery list of priorities

       If cost is a major factor in protecting vital records, you may want to consider an off-site back-up location

 The essential functions of your department will determine what, if any, vital records you will have. 

Examples of vital records may include, but not limited to:

       Accounts-receivable records

       Social security records

       Payroll records

       Retirement records

       Insurance records

       Bond records

      Any records relating to contracts, entitlement, leases, or obligations whose loss would pose a significant detriment to the legal and financial rights of the Federal Government or persons affected by its actions

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