[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Dover 11-11-1992 by L.L. No. 5-1992; amended in its entirety 10-24-2012 by L.L. No. 5-2012. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Public access to records — See Ch. 23.
Records are essential to the administration of local government. They contain the information that keeps government programs functioning. It is the intent of this chapter that a records management program is established which will assist officials in making decisions, administering programs and providing administrative continuity with past operations. The program is intended to document the delivery of services, show the legal responsibilities of government and protect the legal rights of citizens. It will contain information on taxation and on the management and expenditure of funds. These records will also document the historical development of government itself, the community and the people of the Town.
There shall be a records management program established under the aegis of the Town Clerk and headed by a Records Management Officer. The Town Clerk is designated as the Records Management Officer (RMO) and will be responsible for administering the current and archival public records in storage areas for the Town in accordance with local state and federal laws and guidelines.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Those official records which have been determined by the Officer and Advisory Committee to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant the continued preservation by the Town.
- Official files, minutes and documents, books, papers, photographs, sound recordings, microforms or any other materials whether in print, electronic and digital forms, including but not limited to records scanned into an electronic content document management system versions, made or received pursuant to law or in conjunction with transaction of official Town business.
- RECORDS CENTER
- A central storage area maintained by the Records Management Officer for the storage, servicing, security, and processing of records which must be preserved by varying periods of time.
- RECORDS DISPOSITION
- The removal by the Town of Dover, in accordance with approved records control schedules, of the records no longer necessary for the conduct of business by such agency through removal methods, which may include the disposition of temporary records by destruction (i.e., secure shredding), degaussing or overwriting or donation or transfer of records to central storage facility for records by scheduled retention periods or permanent storage of records determined to have historical or sufficient value warranting continued preservation or the transfer of records from one Town agency to another Town agency.
- RECORDS MANAGEMENT
- The planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promotion and other managerial activities involved in records creation, records maintenance and use and records disposition, including records preservation, records disposal and the records center or other storage facilities.
- Making information in records available to agency for official use or to the public.
The Records Management Officer shall have all the necessary power to carry out the efficient administration, determination of value, use, preservation, storage and disposition of the public records kept, filed or received by the officers and departments of the Town.
The Records Management Officer shall continually survey and examine public records to recommend their classification so as to determine the most suitable method to be used for maintaining, storing and servicing them under the following guidelines:
Disposition. Records deemed obsolete and unnecessary according to the New York State Retention and Disposition Schedule are subject to disposition.
Archival retention. Information containing administrative, legal, fiscal, research, historical or educational value which warrants their permanent retention.
Active retention. Records not yet subject to disposition according to state law.
The Records Management Officer and the IT Department shall establish guidelines for proper records security and management of user active directory applications as well as for records stored in an ECDMS of the Town government.
The Records Management Officer shall report annually to the governing body on the powers and duties herein mentioned, including but not limited to the development and progress of programs to date and planning activities for subsequent years.
The Records Management Officer shall operate a central records management storage facility for storage, processing and servicing of all Town records for all Town departments and agencies.
Additional requirements of the Records Management Officer include but are not limited to:
The development of a comprehensive records management program. Software applications used by Town departments must have concurrent policies and procedures established for the creation, use and management of records prepared using these programs.
The conduct of an initial survey and analysis of all records, to be followed up annually with a report of records stored.
The encouragement and coordination of the continuous legal destruction of obsolete records through the adoption and use of the State Archive Record Retention and Disposition Schedules.
The development of suitable retention periods for records not covered by the State Records Retention and Disposition Schedules. (Subsequently, the RMO must secure approval of such retention periods from the New York State Commissioner of Education and gain adoption from the Town Board of any proposed change before the retention period takes effect.)
The assistance to each department for the establishment of a records management system to support the overall Town Records Management Program. Encourage the continued efficient management of records within respective departments.
The setting up and overseeing of a center for the storage area.
Maintaining archival materials which are not official Town records but which have historical value to the community or a close relationship to the existing archival collection. This shall be subject to archive space, staff and cost limitations and to the potential endangerment of such materials if they are not collected by the archives.
The coordinating and carrying out or participating in the planning for development of advanced records management systems and equipment.
The preparation of special and annual reports for the Town Board on records management program progress, cost savings and cost avoidance problems and additional issues.
To provide Town staff with ongoing training, updates and technical assistance on comprehensive records management policies and procedures.
Oversee all requests for records storage equipment, microfilm equipment, etc., and coordinate and participate in the planning for the expansion of micrographic and automated data systems.
There shall be a Records Advisory Board designated to work closely with and provide advice to the Records Management Officer. The Board shall consist of five members, suggested but not limited to the following areas: Town Historian, a department head, a Council person, a library representative, a member of the IT Department and a member of the community. Appointments shall be made by the Supervisor. The Board shall meet periodically and have the following duties based on the following:
May provide advice to the Records Management Officer on the development of the records management program.
May review the performance of the program on an ongoing basis and propose changes and improvements.
Must review any changes in retention periods proposed by the Records Management Officer for records not covered by the state archive schedules.
May provide advice on the appraisal of records for archival value and to be the final sign-off entity as to what is or is not archival.
The Records Advisory Board will convene in the event of the following:
Breach of records management policy or law.
Replacement of the electronic content document management system with a different records management application.
Changes to records management policy and revisions or changes to the State Archives MU-1 Schedule.
Disaster affecting the creation, maintenance and disposition of Town records.
Active records. The originating department has full custody (legal and physical) over records still in active use. All electronic records, e-mail, records stored in an active directory user account, software databases and electronic content document systems have shared custody between the user and the IT Department.
Inactive records. The originating department is the legal custodian of its inactive records until such time as they submit a records transfer or records destruction form to the RMO for transfer or disposition or are relocated to the records storage facility for archiving as per the MU-1 Schedule. Once moved from the originating department, the RMO will have physical custody of inactive records and will determine the method and design of storage. The RMO and IT Department will jointly determine the disposition of inactive electronic records. Inactive electronic user accounts will be disabled and/or deleted per the Town of Dover security policy.
Archival records. Records transferred to or acquired by the archives shall be under the full custody (legal and physical) of the archives, as directed by the RMO, rather than the department which created or held them immediately prior to being transferred to the archives. Electronic archival records shall be under the full custody of the IT Department.
Records shall be transferred to the archives upon the recommendation of the RMO, with the approval of the head of the department which had custody of the records and the approval of the Records Advisory Board.
Records may be removed (temporarily or permanently) from the archives at the request of the RMO or the head of the department which had custody of the records immediately prior to the transfer of those records to the archives.
Disposition of records. No records shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by a department of the Town until it has met the time limit on the State Records Retention and Disposition Schedule or unless approved by the Records Management Officer. No records shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the Records Management Officer without the express written consent of the department head having authority. Records will not be destroyed if they are required for any pending audit, litigation or locked due to e-discovery investigation.
Following required consents and prior to actual destruction, the RMO will allow the Town Historian to review and/or remove any single document or sampling of nonsecure documents that are of historic value to the community.
Replevin. The Counsel to the Town may take steps to recover local government records which have been alienated from proper custody and may, when necessary, institute actions of replevin. Replevin shall be the recovery by a person of goods claimed to be his, on his promise to test the matter in court and give the goods up again if defeated.