Executive Order No. 12: Amending the State E-Mail Retention and Archiving Policy

On May 21st, Governor McCrory signed into effect Executive Order No. 12 which amended the state’s existing e-mail retention and archiving policy as shown in former Governor Beverly Perdue’s Executive Order 18.

With the new executive order, Governor McCrory has not changed the basic framing of E.O. 18 – that being e-mail’s existence as a public record and the importance of preserving it as such, be it short term retention for the majority of state e-mails or the permanent retention of e-mails of a historical nature as outlined in certain records schedules.

Governor McCrory has, however, changed the amount of years that e-mail, of any nature, must be preserved – from the previous ten to the amended five.  The reasons for doing so, as indicated in the order, are to “achieve significant cost savings by reducing the number of years e-mails that must be maintained in the ITS archiving system…” as a result of changing over to a “new enterprise e-mail archiving system.”

Additionally, we have revised the language for our state agency retention schedule signature pages to reflect the changes carried out by E.O. 12.

I will also stress that this order only applies to “Executive Branch Agencies”:  the office of the Governor as well as the departments of Administration, Commerce, Cultural Resources, Environmental and Natural Resources, Health and Human Services, Public Safety, Revenue, and Transportation.  Also, e-mail that is scheduled to be retained longer than the required 5 years will still need to be retained for that period of time as specified in their respective retention schedules.  This includes permanent retention.

The Department of Cultural Resources is also tasked with auditing state agencies concerning e-mail and will soon be contacting agencies with that purpose in mind.

If you have any questions concerning this new order, please contact your agency’s records analyst, a listing of which can be found here: http://www.records.ncdcr.gov/analysts.htm

Below is a link to E.O. 12: