Review Questions. 1. Why is a records retention program useful to an organization?
1. Why is a records retention program useful to an organization?
By developing and implementing policies and procedures that control what records are stored, where they are stored, and how long they are stored, an organization is able to have available all records necessary to conduct their business. It will also be able to comply with laws and regulations that apply to the business and the type of records created within that business. A records retention schedule is used to guide the transfer of documents from active to inactive storage or destruction. Following a records retention schedule can save money because valuable office space is not wasted with the accumulation of old records. Filers can also save time when retrieving active records because fewer records must be searched. When an established and approved records
1. Why is a records retention program useful to an organization? (cont)
retention schedule is used regularly, and records are routinely destroyed in compliance with that schedule, an organization is less likely to have any legal problems associated with records being destroyed too soon or with keeping records too long.
2. List and describe each of the four values of records. Provide a record example for each value.
The four values of records are nonessential, useful, important, vital. Nonessential records are not worth keeping or using valuable storage space, Example include bulk or junk mail and routine telephone, e-mail, and fax messages after action has been taken on them. Usefulrecords may be stored for up to three years. These records may be helpful for conducting business. However, if lost or destroyed, they can usually be replaced at a small cost. Examples include business letters, and memos, reports, and bank statements. Important records need to be retained for 7 – 10 years because they contain important information. These records must be recreated if they are lost before the end of their use life. Examples include financial and sales data and credit histories.
2. List and describe each of the four values of records. Provide a record example for each value. (cont.)
Vital records are essential for the continued existence of an organization and should be stored permanently. Examples include records that prove who owns the company, where its bank accounts are located, information about its customers, especially which ones owe money to the organization.
3. What is a records inventory? Discuss why an inventory is conducted and what is included in the inventory.
A records inventory is a detailed listing, obtained through a survey, of all records owned and stored by an organization. It includes information about the format of the records (paper, electronic, or image), how they are stored (i.e., in alphabetic, subject, numeric, or geographic arrangement), where they are stored (i.e., in cabinets, on shelves, etc.), and the dates of the records. The goal is to learn where and how all records are stored as the first step to preparing a records retention schedule.
4. Describe a records retention schedule and explain why one is prepared and the purpose it serves.
A records retention schedule is a list if records that also includes information about the time records are to be maintained for active use, inactive storage, and permanent storage. The schedule assists records and information managers in making decisions about the type and location of storage equipment and facilities to ensure that records are maintained as long as necessary to be incompliance with laws, regulations, and statutes covering certain business and accounting records as well as archival records. By adhering to the retention periods provided on the schedule, records are destroyed at the end of their usefulness, which frees space for the addition of new records.
5. What is records retrieval? Name at least three ways that requests for stored records may be made.
Retrieval is the process of locating and removing a record or file from storage. Requests for stored records may be made by telephone, face to face, by intercom, by messenger, by memo, on a requisition form, by e-mail, by fax, by letter, etc.
6. Explain the steps in a manual charge-out procedure.
When a record is requested, a requisition form is completed. Then the requested record is found, and an OUT indicator takes the place of the record that is removed from storage. The requisition is attached to the OUT indicator. One copy of the requisition for may be used as an OUT indicator. Information from the requisition form is entered into the charge-out log. When records are returned, the date is entered on the charge-out log, the record is returned to storage, and the OUT indicator is either reused or destroyed. At the end of a specified time, the charge-out log is checked to see whether records have been returned . If not, a message is sent via an agreed upon correspondence, depending on the urgency of the record that needs to be retrieved, to the borrower, requesting return of the borrowed record.
7. Explain how records are charged out in an automated records center.
In an automated system, preparing requisitions is not necessary. Bar codes can be printed onto labels and attached to records that will indicate when a record is checked out, who has the record, and how long they may keep the record. RFID tags may be placed onto records or folders. The filer needs only to pass tagged records near a RFID reader to see information about the record on a computer screen. This information will include the name of the person borrowing the records and how long they can keep the record. Follow up on borrowed records is made through the same methods as for a manual system.
8. What is the purpose of using follow-up procedures for borrowed records?
Follow-up procedures are used to maintain control over records; checking on the return of borrowed records within a reasonable length of time. The longer records are allowed to remain out of storage, the more likely they are to become lost.
9. List six reasons for transferring records.
Records are transferred for many reasons: 1. The lack of storage space 2. The need to save money by using less costly equipment and space 3. the inactivity of records 4. Workloads are lighter, and time is available for transferring records 5. The records pertain to cases or projects that have ended or been completed and, 6. Organizational policy dictates a specific transfer time. Any other reasons??
10. Describe two methods of records transfer.
The most commonly used methods of records transfer are perpetual and periodic. Using the perpetual transfer method, records are continuously transferred from active storage to in active storage areas. As soon as a records is no longer used frequently, it is transferred to inactive storage. Using the periodic transfer method, records are transferred from active to inactive storage at the end of a stated time.
11. An inactive records center usually maintains four control files. Discuss these files.
The four inactive records center control files are: 1. Inactive Records Index 2. Charge-Out and Follow-up File 3. Destruction Date File and 4. Destruction File. An inactive records index is an index of all records in the inactive records storage center. It contains details about the inactive records such as creation dates, a description of the records series, the department that owns the records, a transfer authorization, the location of the records in the records center, the retention period, and the disposition date. A charge-out and follow-up file contains the requisition forms for all borrowed records and information about any follow-up that may be needed. The destruction date file is a tickler file that is checked regularly to be sure that records are destroyed on schedule and by the proper method and that proper authorization for destruction is on file.
11. An inactive records center usually maintains four control files. Discuss these files. (cont.)
A notice is sent to the proper department notifying them that their records will soon be destroyed. If the department manager wants the records to be destroyed as scheduled, destruction will proceed. If not, destruction may be put on hold until a later date. When destruction is completed, the date and type of destruction are entered into the destruction file. The destruction file contains information on the actual destruction of inactive records. Transmittal forms are moved from the destruction date file to the destruction file after records are destroyed. These forms are filed by department names and dates on which destruction was carried out. The type of destruction is also noted on the transmittal form.
12. List five capabilities of typical records center software.
1. Location software, check out software, user activity software, cross-reference or duplicate part software, bar-coding software, managing storage function software, audit trail software, etc.