Active records (records you use regularly to conduct your business) should be stored where you can easily access them. These have continuing administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical value that warrants storing them in an easily accessible location (e.g., keeping them in the office).
Inactive records are documents that you no longer need regular access to but which are required to be kept to meet retention requirements. Some documents may be kept beyond retention periods if needed for audit or litigation purposes.
Vital / essential / mission-critical records are necessary to conduct business under than other-than-normal conditions and to resume normal business after the event. There may be cases where otherwise inactive records need to be kept in ready access areas. Please work with your department COOP coordinator to determine and prioritize vital records.
Planning for storage:
- Long-term storage records – retention of 10+ years
- Short-term records – retention of fewer than 10 years
- Archival records – permanent or enduring value
Labels for Stored Files
All physical storage, including file cabinets, file storage boxes, disks/DVDs/Microfilm boxes, and other storage of records should be clearly labeled with the contents (record series title(s)), inclusive dates, and earliest date of destruction if applicable.
Storing Inactive Records
Archival records that have historical value for the university should be provided to University Archives.
If you choose to store your own records, here are some conditions that should be met:
- Records must be stored away from windows
- They must be on anchored, flame-retardant metal shelving with the bottom shelf 3-6 inches from the floor.
- No food, beverages, or potted plants permitted in the room / facility
- No smoking in the room / facility
- Climate control should keep relative humidity between 40 and 50% and temperature between 65 and 70 degrees
- Lighting in the stack area should be a maximum of 19-46 foot candles or 2–500 lux
- The facility should be close enough to your operations to be retrieved efficiently
- It must be a secure area with controlled access for protection of private and confidential documents and information. The UCF Police can conduct a security review of your storage area. Contact 407-823-5555 for more information.
Electronic / Cloud Storage
- Refer to Florida Administrative Code Rule 1B-26.003 for Electronic Record-keeping information.
- Electronic records include Word Documents and other document formats, databases, emails, digital photographs and audio, scanned copies of paper or microfilm documents.
- Have a consistent file naming convention for your electronic storage which is easy to understand, consistent, ensures universal retrieval, and considers the relationship to the paper records.
- The system cannot impair the right of the public to inspect or copy records and must allow compliance with retention schedule sand disposition requirements.
- Security must allow for only authorized users to have access, incorporate integrity checking methods, and include backup and recovery procedures.
- You must have a system of quality assurance that includes annual sample checks for data integrity and loss prevention and a test of ALL records for permanent errors at least once every 10 years (every 5 years is recommended).
- Actively convert records to new hardware/software used by the university as needed. (Do you still have records stored on floppy disks?)
- More information coming soon on storage recommendations at UCF.
Data Security for Digital Storage
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.
Disposing of Records
Disposition (Disposing of) records is the process of shredding or otherwise permanently destroying records which have met their retention period and are not needed for pending or imminent audit or litigation.
There are specific requirements for destruction of public records. These include ensuring safeguarding the interests of the state, institution, and the safety, security, and privacy of individuals. Items that do not contain any identifying or confidential information can simply be recycled. Click here for more on Rule 1B-24, Florida Administrative Code.
- Recommended methods include incineration facility, pulping, pulverizing, shredding, or macerating. Some paper types may require specific methods to ensure destruction.
- Paper documents stored at the Resource Management Records Storage facility will be taken care of for you once the required paperwork has been approved.
- The SPOT at UCF offers secure shred document destruction and disposal services. Contact SPOT@ucf.edu or call 407-823-2500 for more information.
- If you choose to use your own shredder, you must ensure that documents are permanently destroyed.
Media (CDs, discs, film, etc)
- Depending on the material, appropriate methods may include pulverizing, shredding, or chemical decomposition
- The SPOT at UCF can assist with media destruction.
Disposing of electronic records
- Electronic records require physical destruction of the storage media, high-level overwriting that renders the data unrecoverable, or degaussing or demagnetizing.
- Please contact the IT support for your area to make sure you are following required and consistent methods for disposition of electronic records.
Scanning Stored Documents
Records that have been stored in one format that are being transferred to another format require a Scanning or Microfilming Form to document the change. This is called a Retrospective Scanning Project.
This does not mean that you have to fill out a form for all items that you scan. Records scanned during the course of normal business do not need a disposition form.
- A retrospective conversion project is the bulk digitizing of existing back files. This process requires a Records Disposition Form and approval before disposing of the paper copies.
- Documents that you scan during your business processes and as part of your workflow can be scanned and the paper copy disposed of without documentation.
- The digital copy of a record can count as the document of record (the primary document) and the paper copies do not need to be retained.
- Quality checking each scanned document must be part of your scanning processes.
Records with Historical and Archival Value
University Archives manages the preservation and storage of items and documents of historical value to the university. Please contact Mary Rubin to determine if your records should be sent to archives rather than being permanently destroyed.
Vital records are those that you need to have available to you in order to continue your operations and services. If your building were damaged and you had to re-locate, what would you need in order to continue your department’s work? How will you access it? How will you secure it?
If you have questions about creating a plan for your vital records, contact Security and Emergency Management. They coordinate the university’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) and can provide guidance and suggestions.
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DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE
4365 Andromeda Loop N. Orlando, Florida 32816 | 407.823.2351
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