Recordings of Meetings

Do you record your board’s meetings? Did you know that the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule for local government agencies does not require you to keep these recordings (whether audio or video) for very long? The disposition for “Audio and Visual Recordings of Meetings” is “destroy in office after approval of official written minutes.” If you record these meetings because it makes it easier to write your minutes, then per the retention schedule, you may delete or record over that meeting as soon as your board accepts the written minutes. As far as the Department of Cultural Resources is concerned, the meeting minutes are the historic and evidential record that the meeting in question took place.

However, if you record these meetings so that citizens may view or listen to them at a later date, we suggest you and your board come up with a policy for how long you want to keep these recordings for the sake of customer/public service.  I would also remind you that if a citizen requests a copy of a meeting recording and the minutes have not been written, you must allow the citizen to inspect this recording. Further, if you charge for copies, you may only charge for the cost of the materials involved. At the State Archives of North Carolina, we charge $1 for a CD or DVD and $1 for postage.