Records Management – Chapters 6 & 7

Life cycle of a record (5 stages).
1. CREATION (or receipt of record from outside the business)

2. DISTRIBUTION to Internal or External users

3. USE in decision making, for documentation or reference, in answering inquiries, or satisfying legal requirements.

4. MAINTENANCE – store/file, retrieve, protect

5. DISPOSITION transfer, retain, or destroy

Questions to ask before a records transfer takes place (4).
1. What records are to be moved?
2. How are the records to be prepared for transfer?
3. When are the records to be transferred?
4. Where are the transferred records to be stored?
Factors to consider when selecting equipment and supplies (5).
1. Type & volume of records
2. Degree of required protection
3. Efficiency & ease of use of equipment & supplies
4. Space considerations
5. Cost
A device that contains the name of the subject or number assigned to the file folder or section contents.
Rough Sorting
Arranging records in approximately the same order as the filing system in which they will be placed. Placing all the A’s together.
Fine Sorting
Arranging records in exact order of the filing system in which they will be placed.
Perpetual Transfer Method
Records are continually transferred from active to inactive storage areas whenever the records are no longer needed for reference.

Electronic records and nonrecords should be perpetually transferred from storage on a hard drive to storage on microfilm or optical disks.

E-mail messages should be routinely deleted if they are not official records.

Not recommended for business correspondence or records that are referred to often and that must be available quickly.

Periodic Transfer Method
Transferring active records at the end of a stated period of time – usually 1 year – to inactive storage.

Records are moved from current files into inactive storage sites on a schedule basis.

One-Period Transfer Method
A method of transferring records from active storage at the end of one period of time, usually once or twice a year, to inactive storage.
A written request for a record or information from a record.

Even if the borrower orally requests the info. or record, that request is put into writing and referred to as a requisition.

Inactive Records
Records that do not have to be readily available but which must be kept for legal, fiscal or historical purposes.
Tickler File
A date-sequenced file by which matters pending are flagged for attention on the proper date.

May be physical or electronic.

Must be used every day.

In a records management system, tickler files can be used to keep track of due dates for records borrowed or to keep track of records that do not have a release mark.

Individual Folder
A folder used to store the records of an individual correspondent with enough records to warrant a separate folder.
Special Folder
A folder that follows a special guide in an alphabetic arrangement.
Straight-Line Position
A system that aligns folder tabs in one position.

Preferred arrangement because of ease in reading label captions; the eye travels faster in a straight line.

On-Call (Wanted) Form
A written request for a record that is out of the file.

Two copies are made – one goes to the borrower & other is attached to original OUT indicator in storage.

A control procedure to establish the current location of a record when it is not in the records centre or central file – can be a manual or automated system.
Manual Charge-Out Procedure (3)
Supplies need to charge-out records consist of
1. OUT indicators to show records have been removed
2. Carrier folders to transport borrowed records
3. Charge-out log
Automatic Charge-Out Procedure
Records may be charged out using electronic methods
1. Bar Codes OR 2. RFID tags
A system for assuring the timely and proper return of materials charged out from a file
Main types of storage equipment (4)
1. Vertical File Cabinet
2. Lateral File Cabinet
3. Shelf Files
4. Mobile Shelving
Steps of Filing (7)
1. Inspecting
2. Indexing
3. Coding
4. Cross-Referencing
5. Sorting
6. Storing
7. Retrieving
The placement of records, according to a plan, on a shelf or in a file drawer or saving an electronic record.
Storage Method
A systematic way of storing records according to an alphabetic, subject, numeric, geographic, or chronologic plan.
Vertical File Cabinets
Deeper than it is wide, arrangement of folders is from front to back. Conventional method of storage cabinets.
Lateral File Cabinets
Wider than it is deep, arrangement of folders is from front to back or side to side. Well suited to narrow aisle spaces.
Shelf Files
Open-shelving equipment, records are accessed from the side.

May be an open style or have roll-back or roll-down fronts.

May be stationary or have shelves arranged in rotary form.

Mobile Shelving
A series of shelving units that move on tracks attached to the floor.

Suited for areas with limited space.

A rigid divider used to identify a section in a file.

Made of heavy material such as pressboard, manila, or plastic.

A projection for a caption on a folder or guide that extends above the regular height or beyond the regular width of the folder or guide.
Primary Guide
A divider that identifies a main division or section of a file and always precedes all other matieral in a section.
Special (auxiliary) Guide
A divider used to lead the eye quickly to a specific place in a file.
Use Special Guides to…(3)
1. Indicate the location of an individual or a company folder with a high volume of correspondence.

2. Introduce a special section of subjects, such as Applications, Bids, Conferences, Exhibits, Projects, or Speeches.

3. Identify a section reserved for names with the same first indexing unit.

Containers used to hold and protect the records in a file.
Refers to the location of the tab across the top or down one side of a guide or folder
General Folder
A folder for records to and from correspondents with a small volume of records that does not require an individual folder.
Score Marks
Are indented or raised lines or series of marks along the bottom edge of a folder to allow for expansion.
Types of Folders (3)
1. Suspension/Hanging
2. Bellows (expansion)
3. Pocket
Suspension (Hanging) Folder
A folder with built-in hooks on each side that hang from parallel metal rails on each side of a file drawer.

Advantage is their added support for holding records in a neat, upright position.

Follower Block (Compressor)
A device at the back of a file drawer that can be moved to allow contraction or expansion of the drawer contents.

Helps keep files upright in a file drawer.

OUT Indicator
A control device that shows the location of borrowed records
OUT Guide
A special guide used to replace any record that has been removed from storage and to indicate what was taken and by whom

When returned, the filer can quickly find the exact place from which the record was taken.

OUT Folder
A special folder used to replace a complete folder that has been removed from storage.

Has a pocket or slot into which a small card is placed bearing the same information concerning who took the folder, the date it was taken, its contents, and the date it should be returned.

Remains in the file as a temporary storage place for records that will be transferred to the permanent folder when it is returned to storage.

OUT Sheet
A form that is inserted in place of a record removed from a folder.

Often the same size and colour as an OUT guide, but its thickness is that of a sheet of paper.

Container Labels
Labels on drawers, shelf files, or other storage containers.
A device used to arrange records into alphabetic or numeric categories and to hold records temporarily prior to storage.

Placing documents in a sorter prior to storing them makes finding a document easy if the document is called for before it is stored.

Cost Considerations for Selecting Equipment
– cost of personnel needed to work with records
– compatibility of supplies & equip.
– benefits of using right type & quality of storage equip. & supplies
– cost of new storage equip. & supplies that must be purchased
– advisability of using local vendors vs. purchasing from out-of-town vendors
– possibility of discounts for quantity purchases
– feasibility of choosing used rather than new equip.
– volume of records that can be stored within equip.
– credit terms available from vendor
– cost of assembling equip.
– cost of delivery for equip. and supplies
Advantages of Alphabetic Records Management
– does not require an index
– simple to understand
– storage is easy if standard procedures are followed
– misfiles are easily checked
– direct access feature can save time
– related records from one name are grouped together
Disadvantages of Alphabetic Records Management
– misfiling is prevalent if rules are not established & followed
– similar names may cause confusion
– filing under wrong name can result in lost records
– confidential or classified records are not secure
– related records with different correspondent names are filed in more than one place
– must know filing rules
Storing Records -Vital
– irreplaceable (property deeds & wills)
– store in a bank safe deposit box
– keep key in safe place accessible to you & closest family members
– store copies at home in a fireproof box
Storing Records – Important
7 – 10 Years
– replaceable at a high cost (bills & receipts)
– store in a secure location, in a small file cabinet or banker’s box
– consider using a bellows file to store info. used to file your tax return
Storing Records – Useful
Up to 3 Years
– replaceable at a slight cost (manuals, warranties & correspondence)
– store in separate folders, in a safe place that is ready accessible
– periodically review and remove expired warranties & manuals
Direct Access
A method of accessing records by going directly to the file without first referring to an index or a list of names for location in the files.
Selection of an Alphabetic Records Management System…
– total volume of records to be stored
– number of records in each alphabetic section
– expected activity in the files
– length of time records are to be kept
– efficiency of the filing personnel
– time & resources available for training personnel
Colour Coding
Using colour as an identifying aid in a filing system to divide the alphabetic sections in the storage system.
Colour Accenting
The consistent use of different colours for different supplies in the storage system, such as guides, folders, OUT indicators, and labels.
Checking a record to determine whether it is ready to be filed.
Release Mark
An agreed-upon mark, such as initials or a symbol, placed on a record to show that the record is ready for storage.
– name for storage purposes is usually in the letterhead
– if a letterhead has no relationship with the contents of the letter, the writer’s name or business connection is used.
– incoming correspondence on plain paper most likely will be called for the name in the signature line
– when both the company name & the name of the writer seem to be of equal importance, the company name is used unless the letter is personal
– on the file copy of an outgoing letter, the most important name is usually the one contained in the letter address
The filing segment can be coded in any one of several ways. Saves time when refiling is necessary
A separate cross-reference sheet may be prepared for an alternative name, or a photocopy of the original record can be coded for cross-referencing purposes.
Permanent Cross-Reference
A guide with a tab in the same position as the tabs on the individual folders & is placed in a location that is frequently assumed to be the location of that folder.

Caption on the tab consists of the name by which the cross-reference is filed, the word SEE, and the name by which the correspondence folder may be found.

Can be used when a company changes it’s name.

Arranging records in the sequence in which they are to be filed or stored.
Placing records into storage containers.
Storing – Preparation
1. Remove paper clips.
2. Staple records together in the upper right corner so other records kept in the folder will not be inserted between them by mistake.
3. Mend torn records.
4. Unfold folded records to conserve storage space.
Storing – Placing
1. Glance quickly at the container label to locate the place to begin storage.
2. Scan the guides until the proper file section is located.
3. Pull the guides forward with one hand, while searching for the correct folder.
4. Check for an individual or a special folder for the filing segment. If none of these folders is in the file, locate the general folder.
5. Slightly raise the folder into which the record is to be placed to ensure that record will be inserted into folder & not in front or behind. Avoid pulling folder up by its tab to keep it from separating from folder.
6. Determine the correct placement of the document in the folder.
7. Place each record into the folder with its top to the left.
8. Jog the folder to straighten the records if they are uneven before replacing the folder.
Storing – Tips
– never open more than one drawer in a cabinet at a time
– most recently dated record is always placed at the front of the folder
– records removed from a folder and later refiled must be placed in their correct chronologic sequence, not on top of contents
– records within a general folder are arranged first alphabetically by correspondent’s name and then by date
Misfiled/Lost Records – Causes
– lack of attention to spelling
– careless insertion of records into storage equipment
– distractions
Misfiled/Lost Records – Techniques For Locating
– look in folders immediately in front or behind correct folder
– look between folders & under all folders in drawer/shelf
– look completely through correct folder
– look in general folder
– check for transposition of names or numbers
– look for 2nd, 3rd, or succeeding units of filing segment
– look in year preceding or following one in question
– look in related subject if subject method is used
– look in the sorter
– ask employees who might have record
Records Retention Program
Consists of policies and procedures relating to…
– WHAT documents to keep
– WHERE and in what type of environment the documents are kept
– HOW LONG these documents are to be kept
Records Retention Schedule (RRS)
A comprehensive list of records, indicating the length of time that the records are to be maintained.

Retention policies also allow destruction of records that no longer have value to the organization.

Records Inventory
A detailed listing that could include the types, locations, dates, volumes, equipment, classification systems, and usage data of an organization’s records.

A valuable tool for helping managers decide which filing method (alphabetic, subject, numeric, or geographic) to use.

Some organizations use bar code and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to speed up the process.

Bar Code
Coding system consisting of vertical lines or bars that when read by an optical reader, can be converted into machine-readable language.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
Incorporates the use of radio frequency to identify an item.

Advantage over bar codes is that it doesn’t require direct contact scanning.

Consists of 3 components – antenna, transceiver/reader, transponder (tag or chip).

Uses microchips to transmit encoded information wirelessly through antennae.

Official Record
A significant, vital, or important record of continuing value to be protected, managed, and retained according to established retention schedules.

Also known as RECORD COPY, or the official copy of a record that is retained for legal, operational, or historical purposes.

Office of Record
An office designated to maintain the RECORD or OFFICIAL COPY of a particular record in an organization.
An item that is not usually included within the scope of official records such as a day file, reference materials, and drafts.
Records Series
A group of related records filed and used together as a unit and evaluated as a unit for retention purposes.
Retention Period
The time that records must be kept according to operational, legal, regulatory, and fiscal requirements.
E-mail Records
Depending on content, may be considered records or nonrecords.
Records Centre
A low-cost centralized area for housing and servicing inactive records whose reference rate does not warrant their retention in a prime office area.
Considerations for Developing a RSS
1. How long will the records by used?
2. In what form should the records be kept? How accessible should the records be?
3. When should the records be determined inactive? Which records should be transferred off-site and when? How will such records be accessed? Will transferred records maintain their integrity and security?
4. What are the applicable federal, state, and local laws?
5. What are the comparative costs for keeping the records or not keeping the records?
6. When and how will the records be disposed of?
The process of locating and removing a record or file from storage (manually or mechanically) or accessing information from stored data on a computer system (electronically).
Steps for Retrieving a Record
1. Receive request (oral, written, in person)
2. Check index for location
3. Search
4. Retrieve/locate
5. Remove from storage
6. Charge out to requester.
Insert OUT indicator & complete charge-out log.
7. Send to requester
8. Follow up
9. Receive for re-storage
10. Store again.
Remove OUT indicator & update charge-out log.
Pick List
A list containing specific records needed for a given program or project. The same list can be used to return the records to the proper files/locations.
Confidential Records Request
Confidential, Classified, Secret, Vital, or Personal records are so valuable that they are stamped.

Do not release these types of records from storage without proper authorization following established procedures and best practices.

If copy of confidential record is sent electronically, it might be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.

Follow-Up Procedures
A system for assuring the timely & proper return of materials charged out from a file.

The length of time records may be borrowed depends on
1. type of business
2. number of requests received for the records
3. use of a copying machine
4. value of records

Extra copies should be destroyed when no longer needed.

Follow-Up for Confidential Records
Must be returned to storage each night.

A special reminder is often used to assure these records are returned. Use same charge-out procedure with an additional reminder to obtain record before the end of the day.

Charge-Out Log
A written or electronic form used for recording the following info as records are removed from storage:

1. What record was taken
2. When record was taken
3. Who took the record
4. Date due for returning the record
5. Date returned
6. Date overdue notice was sent
7. Extended due date

Records Transfer
The act of changing the physical custody of records with or without change of legal title, or moving them from one storage area to another.
Records Disposition
The final destination of records after they have reached the end of their retention period.
Records that are preserved because of their historical or continuing value; also the building or area where archival materials are stored.
In the Disposition Phase, records may be…
1. Destroyed
2. Retained permanently
3. Transferred to inactive storage
Three Groups of Record Activity
1. Active
2. Inactive
3. Archive
Active Records
Frequently used records needed to perform current operations.

Stored in very accessible equipment in active storage area or online.

Inactive Records
Records that do not have to be readily available but which must be kept for legal, fiscal, or historical purposes.

Stored in less expensive storage area.

Archive Records
Records that have continuing or historical value and are preserved permanently by an organization.

Stored in less expensive storage area, often off-site.

Reasons for Transferring Records
– dates
– no more active records storage space is available
– costs of more storage equipment & extra office space
– stored records are no longer being requested
– workloads are lighter
– case or project records have reached a closing or ending time
– policy requires every dept to transfer records at a stated time
Advantages of Transferring Inactive Records
1. Reduce equipment costs because inactive records may be stored in less expensive cardboard containers.
2. Provides additional space for new active files.
3. Files no longer crowded which improves efficiency of storage and retrieval of active files.
Records Center Box
A box designed to hold approximately one cubic foot of records, either legal or letter size.

Using uniform box sizes facilitates stacking, uses space most economically, and looks neater.

A systematic guide that allows access to specific items contained within a larger body of information.
Inactive Records Index
An index of all records in the inactive records storage centre.
Charge-Out and Follow-Up File
A tickler file that contains requisition forms filed by dates that records are due back in the inactive records centre.
Destruction Date File
A tickler file containing copies of forms completed when records are received in a records centre, filed by destruction date.

Destruction dates for each records series are determined when a records retention schedule is created, and these dates are recorded on records transmittal forms.

Records Destruction
The disposal of records of no further value by:
– incinerating
– macerating (soaking in chemical solution, then bailing it)
– pulping (shredding & mixing with water, then bailing)
– shredding
Destruction Notice
A notification of the scheduled destruction of records.
Destruction Suspension (Records Hold)
A hold placed on the scheduled destruction of records that may be relevant to foreseeable or pending litigation, governmental investigation, audit, or special organizational requirements.
Destruction File
Contains information on the actual destruction of inactive records.

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