AgendaandMeetingPackets

Agendas and Meeting Packets

Municipal and county clerks frequently ask about the retention of agendas and meeting packets that they prepare for meetings of their governing boards. Are agendas and meeting packets to be retained permanently, as are the minutes of those meetings? The answer is “No, but …” There is a great deal of flexibility in how long…

Retention of Computer Network and Systems Traffic Logs

Information technology (IT) departments maintain logs of traffic on networks and systems. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Guide to Computer Security Log Management, “[l]ogs are composed of log entries; each entry contains information related to a specific event that has occurred within a system or network.” The size of these network and systems traffic…

DHHS Grants 2

Using Multiple Retention Schedules: Local Governments and DHHS

Have you encountered language like this in your local records retention schedule? County Health Departments, County Social Service Departments, County Health and Human Services Departments, Local Management Entities, and Local Management Entity Providers all work with federal funds distributed by North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS).  Records supporting the expenditure of…

Social

The Records Liaison Network

A new records manager quickly establishes a network of records liaisons in their municipality, county, or state agency, one for each functional unit. A records liaison is an employee with detailed knowledge of the operations and records of that unit. A records liaison can: Advise the records manager on the unit’s records Coordinate with the records manager on…

Writing a Public Records Management Manual

If you are responsible for the management of public records in a North Carolina unit of government, you may want to consider writing a manual as a means of educating your colleagues on public records management. A records management manual for North Carolina public records could include: A copy of North Carolina’s public records law (N.C.G.S.…

Sunshine Day 2015 at the Durham Convention Center

Mark Holland, Rashida Felder, and I attended Elon University’s and the N.C. Open Government Coalition’s excellent Sunshine Day 2015 forum at the Durham Convention Center on Monday, March 16, part of Sunshine Week. We listened as Sarah Healy, public records administrator for the City of Greensboro, described Greensboro’s Public Information Request Tracking System, otherwise known…

Historical Value

The correspondence of Benjamin Franklin, the journals of Lewis and Clark, and the Manhattan Project notebook are all examples of records with historical value.  They’re the stuff that history textbooks are filled with, and without question, these records significantly inform our understanding of U.S. history. How do we determine if records are historical, though, when…

Deep Freeze Warning

Happy New Year everyone! And with the New Year, many of us are about to experience a prolonged deep freeze. During last year’s coldest weather, a number of government offices in the mountain counties experienced plumbing issues. Before the frigid temps move in, double-check to make sure that you don’t have records stored in locations…

File Folders in Wire Organizers

The List of Document Types in Records Descriptions

When analysts write records retention and disposition schedules for North Carolina state and local governments, we write records series descriptions to help you categorize your records and apply the right disposition instructions. Records series descriptions include the records’ business function and, often, a list of document types found in the records series. With most records…