FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below you will find answers to common questions & requests related to records management. You can use Ctrl + f to search for keywords on this page.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for you can reach us at 407-823-2351 or RMLO@ucf.edu. Our records management team will be glad to help.
Info on Records:
What is a record?
Any written or digital document, form, email, note, or other item that refers to or pertains to university business. According to the Florida Supreme Court, a public record “is any material prepared in connection with official agency business which is intended to perpetuate, communicate, or formalize knowledge of some type.”
Any record you create as a public employee is a public record, and we each are responsible for managing, maintaining, and disposing of those records as required by law. There may be a few things that are not, but most are – and even those that may not be public records are still required to be retained for the specified time period.
For example, a social security number is not a public record, but documents that they appear on may be a public record. Therefore, the SSN could be redacted if the document were requested. There may also be security-protected documents that are not available for public records requests but still must be maintained for the retention period. A sticky note that you write yourself a note on may not be a public record – until you show it to someone else; at that time, it does become a public record.
Why is managing and disposing of records important?
The benefits of effective records management include space savings, reduced expenditures (filing equipment, staff hours, digital back-up charges), reduced risk (related to cyber-attack and legal risks), efficiency of information retrieval, compliance, protection of vital records, and preservation of historical records.
How do I know which records to keep and which to dispose of?
Every paper or electronic record has a specific amount of time that it needs to be kept. This is called a retention period. The State of Florida provides retention schedules, linked on our home page, which give the retention period for each type of record. Once the retention period has ended, you can submit the request for approval to destroy (dispose) of the records.
What is the difference between an active and inactive record?
Active records: Records you use to conduct your university business or services.
Inactive records: Documents that you no longer need access to, but which are required to be kept to meet retention requirements.
What is the difference between a Record of Copy and a Duplicate?
For some items, you may not be holding the university’s Record of Copy (official record). Sometimes at our desks or in our departments we keep copies for convenient reference (duplicates). For those, we don’t have to submit the disposal form when we get rid of them. Examples might include payroll cost center reports, purchase orders, and PCard statements.
There are some items that may seem like convenience copies, like LAPERS, but the department actually holds the Record of Copy and a disposition form would be required. If you aren’t sure, contact RMLO@ucf.edu and we will be glad to help you.
The manner of disposal for duplicates still has to be appropriate. For example, secure shredding for documents with confidential information.
Each employee has the responsibility to ensure that the Record of Copy for any university record is maintained according to the appropriate records schedule and that disposal is documents using the records disposition process.
How do I figure out Volume / Cubic Feet?
Cubic Foot Volume = LxWxH in inches
1 million bytes = One Megabyte (click here for a unit calculator)
Remember that electronic records are recorded using number of bytes.
For more information on records volume conversions, visit the site below
If I scan a document, do I have to go through the disposition process for the paper copy?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Visit the Records Storage section on Retrospective Conversion Projects/Scanned Documents for more information.
How do I secure digital files that I used to keep locked in an office/drawer/filing room?
From UCF’s Information Security Office: All file servers have the capability to assign appropriate security permissions to users for accessing folders. This is an acceptable practice. For additional security, depending on the type of data involved (required for Highly Restricted Data per policy 4-008), users may choose to encrypt files in the file server folders. This may be done at the file level using programs such as MS Word, Excel, PDF, etc.
Info on Record Schedules:
What kind of information can I find in a schedule?
Briefly, the schedule describes the types of materials that are covered, how long they are to be kept, and what happens to them after they are no longer needed in the office.
Why do we have to use schedules?
According to regulations issued by the Division of Library and Information Services for the state of Florida, all educational institutions are required to have schedules for records, regardless of format, including paper, audiovisual materials, publications, word processing documents, e-mail, databases, etc.
How do I know which schedules apply to my records?
Browse through the Approved Schedules and use keyword searches to find the right schedule for your record. Having difficulty finding the right schedule for your record? Contact the Records Management Team at 407-823-2351 or RMLO@ucf.edu
What if an item isn’t listed in the General Records Schedule?
If you can’t find your item in the General Schedules, contact RMLO@ucf.edu. We will help you identify the appropriate schedule. If the item is unique and is not listed, the RMLO will work with the state to assign a retention period for that item, and that retention period will apply to that item type moving forward.
What if there isn’t a schedule for the records I have?
If your records are not listed on a schedule, contact our Records Management Team at 407-823-2351 or RMLO@ucf.edu that may help develop a new schedule for the specific record. Consider any record that isn’t listed on a schedule to be permanent until a schedule has been approved by the Division of Library and Information Services for the state of Florida.
Retention Period explanations
“Fiscal Year” – our fiscal year is July 1 – June 30. You would begin counting the fiscal years at the beginning of the NEXT fiscal year after the terminal inclusive date of your record series. For example, if your record series is Aug 2014 – Aug 2015, you would begin counting on July 1, 2016, so that you are counting full fiscal years.
“Calendar Year” – January 1 – Dec 30. You would begin counting at the beginning of the NEXT calendar year after the terminal inclusive date of your record series. For example, if your record series is March 2014 – April 2018, you would begin counting on Jan 1, 2019.
“Anniversary Year” – The termination of the anniversary year would be one day AFTER the document date on the year that meets the requirement. For example, a document dated 3/14/15 with a 2-year retention period could be disposed on 3/16/17.
“Until Obsolete, Superseded, or Administrative value lost (OSA)” – This is the retention period for most copies (not the Copy of Record) and a very small number of Copies of Record. It means you can request disposal as soon as the record is no longer needed.
“One semester after…” – If the retention period calls for a semester AFTER a specific event, then the first disposal date would be the day after the last day of the semester following that event. For example, if the event occurred in Fall semester, the first disposal date would be the day after the last day of exams for Spring semester.
Semester (Summer) – for records management purposes at UCF, summer semester will be the first day of the first classes of the first summer session through the last day of the last classes in the final summer session.
Consequences of Non-Compliance:
Are there any penalties for violating the Public Records Law?
Yes, there are penalties for both parties that intentionally fail to comply with the public records Law.
- For the University: Attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party if a lawsuit is filed
- For University Employees: Potential criminal conviction, including up to $1,000 fine and serving up to 1 year in jail
What happens when a requesting party fails to respond to inquiries?
For non-responsive requesters asking for clarification, cost estimates, or any other communication from the Office of the General Counsel for 30 days, the request will be closed and a non-responsive request may be resubmitted and processed as a new request.
Roles of Records Management at UCF
Records Management at UCF is a collaborative, integrated process.
YOU are an important part of that process. Each university employee is responsible for the records we create as part of our role here. We ensure that records we create are accessible when we need them, maintained in a secure and appropriate manner, retained according to the correct retention schedule, and disposed of appropriately and with documentation.
Support and resources are available to help you.
The records management team serves our records custodians (all employees) and records custodian liaisons (responsible for departmental records management programs). The team consists of two members of the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance who are committed to a quality records management program that serves all of our stakeholders.
The Records Management Advisory Board provides guidance in the development of resources supporting the Records Management Process, such as data management, training, web resources, communications, and more. The group is comprised of records stakeholders on campus who can provide guidance and assistance to the RMLO.
The Office of the General Counsel is the university’s custodian of public records. All public records requests should go through them.
What is the difference between Records Management and Public Records Requests?
Records Management is managing public records. A public records request is a request from outside of the university for those records.
Records Management means the planning, organizing, directing, controlling, and other activities needed to effectively create, maintain, access, and use an agency’s records. It also means ensuring that we are in compliance with records retention requirements including storage and documentation of destruction.
Clery Act Documents
Records of Copy related to student conduct are held by the office of Student Conduct. The retention period of these documents is 7 years, as The Department of Education requires for Clery Act documents. Clery-related documents include the following:
- Copies of Crime Reports
- Daily Crime Log
- Arrest and Referrals for Disciplinary Action
- Timely Warning Reports
- Letters to/from Campus Security Authorities
- Clery Act Correspondence with the Department of Education
- Annual Security Report (ASR) Availability Notices to Students and Employees
For more information check out the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting on the U.S. Department of Education website.
Human Resource Documents: Time sheets, Hiring Documents, and Personnel Actions
The Record of Copy (original) for LAPERS/timesheets is with the originating department. You must do a disposition request before destroying those. For most other documents, such as hiring documents and other personnel actions, HR maintains the record copy and a disposition form is not needed if a department purges their copies kept for reference.
See HR Retention Guide: Records Retention Schedule
HR Contact: email@example.com or 407-823-2771
Finance and Accounting Documents: Invoices and PCard Documents
The records of copy (primary record that is subject to retention) for university invoices, travel, and PCard documents are held by Finance and Accounting. Departments may keep copies for their reference, but may dispose of their copies without going through the disposition process.
Official Digital Transcripts – Faculty and Post-Doctoral Associates
The Record of Copy (primary record for the purposes of retention) for faculty and post-doctoral associate transcripts are held by the colleges as part of the complete employee record. Hard copies, provided the complete record is retained electronically, may be disposed through the records disposition process. Such transcripts that have been stored in bulk as hard copy may be scanned to a digital file and then disposed through the scanning/microfilming process. Before such scanning can occur, the hard copy transcript must be certified, stamped official and signed by the UCF employee designated by the department chair to certify official transcripts (usually the Records Custodian Liaison for the department).
The Office of Academic Program Quality in the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs retains electronic copies of faculty and PDA transcripts; however, these do not replace the college’s Record of Copy. Copies, regardless of format, are subject to disposition requirements. The record of copy must be maintained for the entire minimum retention period.
Note that a disposition form is required if you are disposing of hard copies that have been maintained; however, disposition of hard copies in the normal course of business does not require a form. If you have questions please contact RMLO@ucf.edu or 407-823-2351.
For sponsored research and grant documents: Financial records related to grants and contracts must be retained for five anniversary years from the last day of the sponsored award period. The federal retention requirement is three years, but the state of Florida requires 5 years.
- GS1 #422 Grant files related to the activities and administration of grant funded programs. 5 fiscal years after completion of grant cycle or project.
- GS1 #349 Grant files: unfunded applications. 1 anniversary year after receipt of denial notification.
- GS1 #137 Project files related to federal projects.5 fiscal years after completion or termination of project.
- GS5 #15 Institutional Research Reports – providing information about the university and its students. 10 fiscal years
- GS1 #324 and #325 relate to HIPAA Records – Note that HIPAA authorizations and other records related to HIPAA must be retained for 6 years.
- UCF IRB Investigator Manual references the 5-year retention period as well as the 6 anniversary yearretention for HIPAA related documents.
- Federal policy (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Subtitle A, Subchapter A, Part 46 – Protection of Human Subjects, effective 11/30/2018) requires a 3 year retention. Read More. Florida policy is 5 years; we hold it the longer of the two periods.
UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE
4365 Andromeda Loop N. Orlando, Florida 32816 | 407.823.2351
Web: admfin.ucf.edu | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
© University of Central Florida