Policy Number: 3349-03-175
Effective Date: 08/06/2019
Responsible Department: Office of the General Counsel
The purpose of this Policy is to establish economical and efficient methods related to the creation, utilization, maintenance, retention, preservation, and disposition of Records and to document the methods necessary to comply with the NEOMED Records Retention Schedule.
This Policy applies to all individuals involved in creating, receiving, accessing, using, or maintaining Records.
- “Departmental Archive” refers to the physical and/or digital space designated by each University department and office for the appropriate preservation of Permanent Records.
- “Departmental Records Manager” refers to the University Employee from each department or office of Record origin designated to assist with the University’s compliance with regulatory records management requirements and facilitates the appropriate retention and disposition of Records.
- “Disposal Method” refers to the appropriate means of destruction based upon the University Data within a Record and the medium (i.e. electronic, paper) in which it exists. These Disposal Methods include, but are not limited to, shredding, recycling, electronic deletion or destruction, wastebasket disposal, and transfer to the respective Departmental Archive.
- “Disposition” refers to what is finally done with a Record, whether it be ultimate destruction or transfer.
- “Document Imaging” refers to the conversion of paper-based Records to digital, imaged Electronic Records.
- “Electronic Record” refers to any Record created, generated, sent, communicated, received or stored by electronic means. (e.g., electronic mail (“email”), databases, document images, word processing documents and spreadsheets and material secured through blockchain technology).
- “Legal or Litigation Hold” refers to a restriction on a Record that exists as a result of current or anticipated litigation, audit, government investigation, or other such matter that suspends the normal Disposition or processing of Records.
- “Records Retention Schedule” refers to an institutional resource that provides guidance to the University community on the appropriate retention and Disposition of Records.
- “Non-Record” refers to any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including an Electronic Record that does not meet the “Record” definition (e.g., personal notes to assist in recalling events, copies of records, or library materials kept for reference).
- “Permanent Record” or “Archival Record,” refers to a Record that is retained permanently by the University within a Departmental Archive for its significant administrative, legal, fiscal or historical value.
- “Public Record” refers to Records that are subject to release under the Ohio Public Records Law.
- “Record” refers to any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including an Electronic Record, that is created, received by, or comes under the purview of the University, which serves to document the organization, its functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the University (e.g., financial records such as requisitions, purchase orders, and invoices; administrative records such as annual reports, University bylaws, and policies; and publications and other items issued by the University.
- “Record Category” refers to a group of Record Series having common characteristics and Retention Periods and is listed within the NEOMED Records Retention Schedule.
- “Record Series” refers to a group of related Records evaluated as a group for retention and Disposition purposes.
- “Retention Period” refers to the minimum period that Records should be kept in a certain location or format based on its administrative, legal, fiscal, or historical value.
- “Transient Record” or “Transitory Record” refers to a Record which is not of long-term value and is not needed to preserve the actions of the University, but exist for short-term usage and/or convenience. (e.g., drafts that are not superseded or updated by other Records; phone slips or voicemail; and meeting notices).
- “University Data” as used and defined within the University’s Information Security Policy.
D. Policy Statement
- Records Management Program
- NEOMED has established a Records Management Program to comply with laws regarding the use of efficient and economical management methods for the creation, utilization, maintenance, retention, preservation, and disposition of Records and to document the methods necessary to comply with the NEOMED Records Retention Schedule.
- NEOMED’s Records Management Program shall be coordinated by the Office of Compliance and Risk Management, along with University departments, to ensure compliance with applicable laws and University policies.
- Records are the property of NEOMED and the state of Ohio and shall not be permanently removed or destroyed except in accordance with the NEOMED Records Retention Schedule and its associated procedures.
- Public Records maintained by the University must be made available for public inspection pursuant to the Ohio Public Records Law.
- Each University Employee is responsible for ensuring that Records (including Electronic Records) within their area(s) are maintained in such a way that they can be identified and retrieved efficiently.
- All University Employees are required to comply with this Policy regarding Records management.
- Record Retention
- Records must be managed and retained if there is a legal, financial, administrative, or historical requirement to do so, as set forth in the Records Retention Schedule.
- The amount of time that the University must retain Records depends upon the legal, fiscal, administrative, and/or historical informational value of the Record.
- Transient Records are not subject to retention beyond the purpose for which they are created and can be disposed at that time; however, if retained, Transient Records are subject to Ohio Public Records Act.
- All University Employees must familiarize themselves with the NEOMED Records Retention Schedule and understand what Records they create and/or receive and are required to manage.
- University departments and offices shall conduct a periodic inventory of their Records and align them to the NEOMED Records Retention Schedule.
- If an Employee identifies Records for which there is no established retention period, the Employee should contact their Departmental Records Manager. Each Departmental Records Manager will consult with the Office of Compliance and Risk Management to determine the appropriate Retention Periods and Disposal Method for a given Records Series.
- Record Disposition
- Disposition of Records shall be done in a timely manner and in accordance with the NEOMED Records Retention Schedule.
- Prior to Disposition, a department or office needs to confirm that the minimum Retention Period of the Records has expired and that there is no Legal or Litigation Hold on the Records.
- Records that have been placed under a Legal or Litigation Hold by the Office of the General Counsel must not be disposed of or modified in any manner until the action is adequately resolved or the University General Counsel has directed otherwise.
- Upon Record Disposition, each Departmental Records Manager shall sign and maintain appropriate Certificate of Records documentation, which includes appropriate cataloging information regarding the Records being disposed.
- The two broad types of Disposition available to University departments and offices are:
- Record Destruction
- The appropriate method of destruction is determined based upon the University Data within a Record and the medium (i.e. electronic, paper) in which it exists. These methods include, but are not limited to, shredding, recycling, electronic deletion, and wastebasket disposal.
- If Restricted or Private Data, as defined in the University’s Classification of University Data and Systems Policy, is evident, Records should be destroyed by shredding or secure electronic destruction.
- A department or office’s Departmental Records Manager should complete and forward a Certificate of Records Destruction (“CRD”) to the Office of Compliance and Risk Management for review and signature before any Records are destroyed. Transient Records do not require a CRD.
- The Office of Compliance and Risk Management will conditionally authorize the destruction of Records (via the CRD) to ensure that no Records are disposed of prematurely or in violation of existing laws or statutes.
- University departments and offices are strongly encouraged to conduct a Records retention review and corresponding Records destruction annually.
- Record Transfer
- Records of outgoing Employees shall be transferred to their successors (or designee, if no successor) and maintained in accordance with the NEOMED Records Retention Schedule.
- Records with historical value may be transferred to the respective Departmental Archive upon the completion and approval of the Certificate of Records Transfer (“CRT”) by the respective Departmental Records Manager.
- If an Employee has determined that Records should be transferred to a Departmental Archive, they should consult with their Departmental Records Manager for the appropriate procedures.
- Records that are transferred to the appropriate Departmental Archive become the administrative responsibility of that Departmental Archive and shall reside permanently in that Departmental Archive unless otherwise agreed upon.
- In order to help guarantee the preservation, integrity, and security of Permanent Records, access to and inspection of such Records housed in Departmental Archives, whether by the general public or by University Employees, shall be conducted on-premise only.
- Record Destruction
- Document Imaging and Scanned Documents
- Paper-based Records may be converted to an imaged Electronic Record through Document Imaging (referred to as a “Scanned Document”) after consulting with the Information Technology Department.
- As an Electronic Record, Scanned Documents are to be managed in the same manner as Records in other formats (i.e. paper, audiotape) and in accordance with the NEOMED Records Retention Schedule.