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Electronic Mail Management, Retention, and Disposition Utah State Archives and Records Service Records Management Email Management Archive This presentation will focus on how to apply records management procedures to email. Is email overwhelming?

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Electronic Mail Management, Retention, and Disposition

Utah State Archives and Records Service


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Records Management

Email Management

Archive

This presentation will focus on how to apply records management procedures to email.

Is email overwhelming?


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Definitions: Record

  • Record as defined by GRAMA is a “book, letter, document, paper, map, plan, photograph, film, card, tape, recording, electronic data, or other documentary material regardless of physical form or characteristics: that is prepared, owned, received, or retained by a governmental entity or political subdivision; and where all of the information in the original is reproducible by photocopy or other mechanical or electronic means.” UCA § 63G-2-103(22)(a)

  • Documents that are considered non-records include: drafts, personal notes or communications, proprietary software, copyrighted material, junk mail, commercial publications, and personal daily calendars. UCA § 63G-2-103(22)(b)

    [emphasis added]


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Definition: Email

  • An asynchronous message, especially one following the RFC 2822 or MIME standards sent via a computer network held in online accounts to be read or downloaded by the recipients. Email consists of a header, with routing information, and a body, which contains the message, separated by a blank line. Email records include metadata and attachments.


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Definitions: Metadata

  • Metadata is data about data.

  • It is information about who created a document, and when; size; and who changed it, and when. It is a record of events about the particular file.


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Why manage email?

  • State and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure compel civil litigants to preserve and produce electronic evidence on demand in discovery.

    • Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1)(A) amended in 2006 provides that any requesting party may inspect, copy, test, or sample “any designated documents or electronically stored information…stored in any medium” and that “electronically stored information stands on equal footing with discovery of paper documents.”


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Why manage email?

  • By managing email accounts, governmental entities can manage records and dispose of obsolete records and personal information appropriately.


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Email management systems

  • Email records should be placed in some kind of record-keeping system.

    • Centralized Systems are available which can automate email records management.

    • User-managed folders within an email system are a simple electronic recordkeeping system.


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Email management systems

  • Centralized systems:

    • Local Area Network(LAN)

    • Archiving software

    • Electronic Document Managing System for Enterprise Content Management (EDMS/ECM)


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Email management systems

  • Agencies lacking a centralized system will need to rely on user-management.

    • Not identifying or preserving a record appropriately due to a lack of processes or technical capability does not lessen the legal standard for the retention of records.


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Email management

To manage email:

  • Identify and categorize email by record series retention schedules approved by the State Records Committee

  • Set up folders in a record keeping system according to record series for retention management and disposition

  • Follow best practices email management guidelines

  • Adhere to acceptable use standards


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1. Retention management

  • Currently most retention actions are managed manually at the discretion of the employee and specific agency policies within the context of the current email environment.

    • Individual employees will need to manage their email records.


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Identify the record series

  • Identify the record series which will indicate the email’s legal retention schedule/period and its ultimate disposition (i.e., destroy or permanent preservation and access).

    • Administrators and records officers should work together to identify which record series should be used for the agency.

    • Employees need to work with the agency records officer to identify the appropriate, approved records series retention schedules for the agency.


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Records series retention schedules

  • Approved record series retention schedules can be found on the State Archives website.

  • Administrators should use the philosophy of “big buckets,” limiting the number of choices (to a dozen or fewer).

  • The agency should appoint a destruction officer to approve and review destructions.


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Value of records

  • Most agencies will have:

    Transitory Correspondence

    • Routine correspondence, meeting agendas, etc., that have limited and short-lived administrative value only.

      Administrative Records/Program, policy, or decision-making correspondence

    • Business-related messages that provide substantive information about agency functions, policies, procedures, or programs. These emails document the discussions and decisions of the agency and must be saved.


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Purchasing Plan

FOLDERSDISPOSITION

Transitory Correspondence 2 years Destroy

(GS, Item 1-9, Transitory Correspondence)

Solicitations 5 years Destroy

(Series 16591, Solicitation files)

State Cooperative Contracts 6 years Destroy

(Series 16593, Purchasing contracts)

Agency Contracts 6 years Destroy

(Series 16593, Purchasing contracts)

Performance Measures 4 years State Archives (Series 16584, Administrative correspondence)


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2. Email management

  • Folders within the email system can be set up according to function and retention category, or series. When an email worth keeping is sent or received, it is moved to the appropriate folder.


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Disposition

  • Once they have met retention, email records should be disposed of according to the series retention schedule—either destroyed or transferred to the State Archives.

  • Destruction of obsolete records should include all records in active and backup storage. If all records are not authentically destroyed, they are still liable for discovery.

  • Destruction of obsolete records should be reviewed under the approval of the agency’s destruction officer.

http://archives.utah.gov/recordsmanagement/ERM/electronic-records-links.html


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3. Email management guidelines

  • Once folders have been organized, email should be managed according to best practices guidelines.

    • Preserve the record-copy

    • Preserve the thread

    • Use a meaningful subject line

    • Conduct agency business on agency systems

    • Do not combine business and personal email

    • Do not retain copies


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Identify the “record-copy”

  • The “record-copy” is the official copy for reference and preservation to which the retention schedule applies.

  • Both the received and sent messages will need to be managed.


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Record-copy

  • Primarily, within government, the outgoing (sender’s) copy of an email is the record-copy.


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Record-copy

  • Incoming (the recipient’s) email originating from outside the government is the record-copy.


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Preserve the “thread”

  • Preserve the “thread” of the correspondence. The records series retention schedule applies until a response is made to the initial email, at which point a series of correspondence (thread) is created.


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In such instances, the last email in the thread—the one containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

Preserve the “thread”


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Ensure the authenticity of the record containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

Saving just the conversation and not the thread leaves room for data manipulation.


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Meaningful subject line containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

  • In order to provide accessibility and promote efficient searching mechanisms, all outgoing emails related to government business should have a subject line that clearly reflects the content of the email. Index terms to the metadata may be applied to further promote ease of access.


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Conduct state business on state systems containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

  • Government business conducted via email should use established and approved agency email systems.

  • Work done from personal accounts could be transferred to the state system so records may be managed appropriately.


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Separate business and personal email containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

  • Do not combine messages of business (records) with messages of a personal nature (non-records). If the content of an email contains both personal information and business-related information (record), it must be kept as a record.


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Do not save non-records containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

  • Emails that are personal messages not related to business, “me-too” messages, listservs, [or already captured by someone else] should not be saved. Dispose of all non-record emails to reduce the amount needing to be managed and stored.


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Do not save copies containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

  • Copies do not need to be retained. Email can be broadcast to hundreds of people at once, and each of those duplicates should not be saved. Only those recipients who then respond to the correspondence need save copies.


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Personal copies/copies of records containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

  • Often employees argue the need for keeping copies of records for their personal work use, past the retention period, or copies of non-records. However, these records and information will still be discoverable.


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Personal copies containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

  • Emails that are strictly personal, and not valuable to work, should be transferred to personal accounts and never saved.


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Acceptable use standards containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

  • The state’s acceptable use rule, Rule R895-7. Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources, provides basic policy,

    • No expectation of privacy.

    • The email system is a state product and all data is owned by the state.

    • Email can be broadcast and forwarded by individuals outside the state’s control.


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Review containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

Remember, to manage email records,

  • Identify and categorize email by record series retention schedules approved by the State Records Committee

  • Set up folders in a record keeping system according to record series for retention management and disposition

  • Follow best practices email management guidelines

  • Adhere to acceptable use standards


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Review containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

  • Email management guidelines:

    • Identify the record-copy

    • Preserve the thread

    • Use a meaningful subject line

    • Conduct agency business on agency systems

    • Do not combine business and personal email

    • Do not retain copies


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Review: Retain or Not to Retain? containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

Review: Retain or Not to Retain?

From: “Publisher’s Clearing House” <[email protected]>

To: “Utah- Paul Tonks”<[email protected]>

Date: 11/11/09 11:11 AM

Subject: You Won!!

Congratulations! You have just won Publisher’s Clearing House’s 2009 money give away! Please send us your social security number, checking account number, birth date, and password to your work computer, and we will process your big money prize immediately.

Ed McMahon


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Review: Retain or Not to Retain? containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

From: “Joe Citizen” <[email protected]>

To: “Utah- Paul Tonks”<[email protected]>

Date: 11/11/09 11:11 AM

Subject: I’m complaining!!

I’m mad. I’m mad. I’m mad. I’m mad. I’m mad. I’m mad. I’m mad. I’m mad. So since I am paying your salary, fix it.

Sincerely,

Joe Citizen

P.S. I’m sending a copy of this email to every newspaper in the country because I’m mad.


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For more information containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period.

see Utah’s E-mail Guidelines.


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Rosemary Cundiff (801) 531-3866 containing the entirety of the correspondence between two or more persons—becomes the record-copy and thus the copy with the approved retention period. [email protected]

Counties

Courts

Education

Local Government Law Enforcement

Municipalities (Cities and Towns)

School Districts

Special Districts

Glen Fairclough (801) 531-3841 [email protected]

Auditor's Office 

Criminal and Juvenile Justice

Economic Development

Governor/Lieutenant Governor

Legislature 

Treasurer's Office

National Guard

Technology Services

Veteran’s Affairs

Maren Jeppsen (801) 531-3860 [email protected]

Administrative Services

Agriculture 

Alcoholic Beverage Control

Career Service Review Board

Community and Culture

Corrections

Financial Institutions

Health

Insurance

Labor Commission

Public Safety

Trust Lands

Universities and Colleges

Workforce Services

Susan Mumford (801) 531-3861 [email protected]

Attorney General

Commerce

Environmental Quality 

Human Resource Management

Human Services

Natural Resources

Public Service Commission 

Tax Commission

Transportation

Questions?

For assistance, contact the State Archives, archives.utah.gov


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