Records Management

The mission of the Records Management Program is to preserve organizational memory for internal and external customers by providing and promoting appropriate records retention, maintenance, and disposition processes according to federal and state statutory requirements.

Every school site and department is faced with problems of storage space, as well as decisions about which records to keep and which to discard. This website is intended to assist school sites, offices and departments with these problems and decisions. It strives to achieve economy and efficiency in the creation, use, maintenance, and disposal of public records. Records management also affords legal protection for the district as well as satisfying federal, state and administrative statutory requirements.

Steps in a Records Retention Program

1. Take An Inventory

Retain in Permanent, Optional or Disposable File or Box

2. Appraise All Records

Transfer to Storage Facility for Housing

3. Classify Records as Class-1,Class-2, or Class-3

4. Develop Retention Schedule

5. Monitor Retention Schedule Annually

Request Disposal of Records

6. Apply Retention Schedules

After personnel costs, records keeping is the largest expenditure of most agencies. Record creation, maintenance, filing, office storage space, filing supplies, and equipment all contribute to the high cost of keeping records. Certain strategies can greatly reduce these costs.

  • Dispose of records as soon as legally possible. Approximately 95 percent of all records are non-permanent; an estimated 85 percent have a retention period of ten years or less.
  • Store records with low reference activity in low-cost, non-office storage space.
  • Use appropriate and efficient filing equipment and systems.

Good records management makes record keeping easier and more productive. Having fewer files in the office filing system makes individual record retrieval and refiling easier and faster, and reduces the number of misfiles or potential added costs. A records management program should be created and maintained by the site or department Records Custodian for both active and inactive files. This will make refiling easier and more accurate by:

  • Saving space by removing from offices records that are not required for daily operations; by removing from storage areas records that no longer have significant value; and by maintaining a regular, controlled flow of records from offices to storage to destruction.
  • Saving money by controlling the purchase of equipment and supplies to file unneeded records; by providing inexpensive storage facilities for less active records; and by releasing surplus filing equipment for re-use or sale.
  • Saving time in locating records by removing inactive material from office files; by installing a system whereby the site or department knows what records it has and where they are kept; and by providing an orderly method of storing inactive records under the supervision of trained records center personnel.

Legal Overview
Records management may assist in litigation by ensuring that legally required documents are available during the legal process of discovery. Establishing and following records retention procedures assures courts, litigants, and auditors that records are being retained and disposed of properly and in a routine manner, and not inadvertently.
Records pertaining to any pending investigation, legal action, administrative proceeding, litigation, audit, or program review, or if any of the preceding is about to be initiated, must not be destroyed. This is so even if the retention period or disposition date specified for the records has already expired. In the event of an investigation, please contact the Office of General Counsel at (619) 725-5630.

Statutory Requirements
Records management is mandated by state law. Several state statutes and administrative rules pertain to public records management of documents in order to be compliant with the statutory and regulatory requirements such as the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 430-438, 16020-16027, and California Education Code Section 49060, which state that each school district is required to maintain all designated permanent records in perpetuity.

Related Administrative Procedures