A Tool for Developing State Agency Records Schedules

When creating a new state agency records retention schedule or updating or amending an existing one, Government Records has a tool to help the state agency inventory the records series (what we denote as Item Numbers) to be covered under the new or updated records retention schedule. The tool is what we call the Public Series Listing Form or simply the 99s form. This inventory tool is a detailed questionnaire designed to identify the essential details of the records series that the state agency is seeking to cover in a records schedule.

The 99s form asks for details such as the title of the records series, the purpose or business function of the records, whether the record is confidential under statute or subject to audit. One of the most important details requested by the 99s form is the format of the records series. Does the series contain only paper (or microfilm or other hardcopy), or is it solely electronic, or a combination of the two? Is the electronic records series an agency database? If the records are electronic we need to know various details about how they are being stored, what operating system and applications are being used to create and maintain the records. All this information will be useful both in drafting the records schedule and in assessing the preservation of electronic records when they are expected to be accessible for more than 10 years or permanently.

And of course the form requests the number of years the state agency needs to keep the records in office and what to do with the record at the end of that period. The form sets out various disposition options such as transferring the records to the State Records Center for temporary storage, transferring the records to the Archives, or destroying the records in office at the end of a term of years.

Questions about completing the retention term or other details of the 99s form that a state agency may have can be answered by contacting the records analyst assigned to your state agency. A later blog will discuss another form used when a state agency is keeping electronic records permanently or for more than 10 years.

The 99s form is accessible online at  http://www.records.ncdcr.gov/forms.htm under State Agency Forms where you can click on both the form (in pdf format) and the instructions for completing the form. Unfortunately the form cannot be saved and forwarded via the web so you will need to fill out the form and print it out in order to provide the completed forms to your records analyst (for example, by scanning the completed forms and send them via email.)

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