A year by any other name

Your office may have several 12-month periods to track in the course of your normal business. Those of us in state government keep track of annual periods that begin:

  • January 1: The common calendar
  • May 1: Performance evaluations
  • July 1: State’s fiscal year
  • July 1: K-12 academic year
  • August 1: Unemployment wage reports
  • October 1: Federal fiscal year
  • Variable: License or certification renewal periods (by board)

Add to that the budgetary biennium, which runs from July 1 of an even year all the way through June 30 of the next even-numbered year.

So if the disposition instructions for an item in your office read:

Transfer to the State Records Center after 1 year. Records will be held for agency in the State Records Center 5 additional years and then destroyed.

Here’s how transfers work for some of the different kinds of schedules:

  • The common calendar – January 1
    • Records dated 2012 become eligible to transfer on 1/1/2014 (after being in the office for all of 2013)
    • They become eligible for destruction on 1/1/2019 (after the years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018)
  • Fiscal year – July 1
    • Records for the 2012/2013 fiscal year become eligible to transfer on 7/1/2014 (after being held for one year beginning July 1, 2013)
    • They become eligible for destruction on 7/1/2019
  • Federal fiscal year – October 1
    • Records for the 2012/2013 fiscal year become eligible to transfer on 10/1/2014
    • They become eligible for destruction on 10/1/2019

So, as we look ahead to 2013, what records will be accepted at the SRC? Here are some sample disposition instructions, and how they would play out:

  • Transfer after 1 year: Records dated 2011 or earlier
  • Transfer 5 years after termination: Terminations dated 2007 or earlier
  • Transfer after 10 years, if no litigation, claim, audit or other official action has been initiated…
    •  Records dated 2002 or earlier are eligible for transfer IF there are no currently active legal or official activities that have need of the records.

Say you have examined your filing cabinets, and determined that you have records for one series dated 2006 to present. The above disposition instructions for 1 year in office plus 5 years in the SRC apply. In January 2013, the best way to transfer those records is:

  1. Destroy the 2006 records. Their 1 year in office was 2007. The 5 years they were intended to be in the SRC were 2008 through 2012. Now that 2012 is over, the records are eligible for destruction (barring legal reasons to extend their retention).
  2. Separate each year’s records. Box 2007 separately from 2008 (and so forth). This will enable us to destroy each set of records as it ages out of its retention period.
  3. Arrange for the transfer of the boxes for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
  4. Maintain the 2012 records in your office until January of 2014.

You are not obligated to do all of your transfers right on the first eligible day. Pick a time of year that’s reasonable for you to devote the necessary time to this important task..

Just call us at (919) 807-7370, and we’ll get you started with supplies.

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