City of Linwood, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Linwood 4-23-2008 by Ord. No. 9-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 60-1 Scope.

The Records Management Policy describes the role of the Records Custodian (Municipal Clerk) and long-term records storage. The policy also describes the departmental responsibilities for maintenance and periodic destruction of records. This policy is in compliance with N.J.S.A. 47:3-9 et seq. and includes retention guidelines for paper files, microfilm, imaging and electronic records management.

§ 60-2 Purpose.

The objective of this policy is to make records serve the purpose for which they were created and to comply with all state-mandated laws and regulations for the proper generation, filing, storage and destruction of records in an effort to best utilize space, avoid duplication, preserve historical and vital records and minimize costs.

§ 60-3 Responsibilities.

A. 
Individual offices and department heads are responsible to:
(1) 
Develop and maintain an inventory strategy or plan for the department.
(2) 
Conduct an inventory.
(3) 
Update the inventory annually.
(4) 
Forward inventories per records series to the Records Custodian.
(5) 
Review files and determine records for destruction.
B. 
The Records Custodian is responsible to:
(1) 
Develop records management policy and procedures.
(2) 
Maintain public records.
(3) 
Comply with statutory or regulatory requirements.
(4) 
Develop and maintain a disaster recovery plan.
(5) 
Assist with destruction of records.
C. 
The Departmental Records Coordinator is responsible to:
(1) 
Train on and disseminate departmental retention schedules.
(2) 
Train the department how to properly box records.
(3) 
Be the departmental contact person for any records management questions.
(4) 
Ensure the completion and filing of the proper forms for the destruction of records.
(5) 
Ensure the proper boxing of records to be stored.
D. 
Individual employees are responsible to know what type of record series and the retention period their work creates.

§ 60-4 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.
ELECTRONIC RECORD
Machine-readable information. The information contained in electronic records originates as an electronic signal. This information relies on digital or analog coding. Regardless of the coding scheme being used, electronic records require hardware and software to access them. Devices which create, store and process electronic records are:
A. 
Computers and computer-like devices.
B. 
Scientific and medical instrumentation.
C. 
Communications equipment.
D. 
Video recorders.
E. 
Audio recorders.
RECORD
Data or information received or created during the course of official business. This includes papers, maps, photographs, books, audiovisual tapes and data created through various electronic devices. All records, regardless of the format they were created in, come under the state’s retention schedule for that record series.

§ 60-5 Departmental management of records.

A. 
Department heads must know what type of records series and/or vital records their units produce and know where the records are stored.
B. 
Each record series shall be maintained according to New Jersey state retention schedules.
C. 
Department heads are responsible to maintain a current inventory of all records.
D. 
Department heads shall designate a contact person(s) to serve as the Departmental Records Coordinator by completing and submitting the designation of coordinator(s) form (Attachment A)[1] to the Records Custodian. There may be more than one Departmental Records Coordinator for any department.
(1) 
If the above-mentioned form is not completed, the department head shall assume the role of the Departmental Records Coordinator.
(2) 
If the Departmental Records Coordinator should change, a new designation of coordinator form must be completed and resubmitted.
[1]
Editor's Note: Attachment A is on file in the Clerk's office.
E. 
The Departmental Records Coordinator who is chosen should have a working knowledge of the entire department’s processes and records. If he or she does not know the entire department, more than one coordinator should be assigned.
F. 
The Records Custodian will work with the Departmental Records Coordinators on a continuing basis, keeping them advised of procedural changes, new retention requirements, answering records management questions and providing training.
G. 
The Departmental Records Coordinator(s) shall receive training and departmental retention schedules, which they will be responsible to disseminate to the entire department.

§ 60-6 Retention schedules.

Retention Schedules are available by contacting the Departmental Records Coordinator (s) or the Records Custodian.
A. 
Retention schedules are issued by the State of New Jersey to:
(1) 
Ensure all records (paper and electronic) are maintained for the appropriate periods of time per record series.
(2) 
Ensure compliance with the state’s requirements.
(3) 
Ensure electronic records comply with discovery requests and other judicial orders.
(4) 
Prevent unwarranted accumulation of obsolete records.
(5) 
Prevent the unauthorized destruction of electronic records.
(6) 
Make use of available storage devices effectively.
(7) 
Minimize storage costs by deleting electronic records when they are no longer needed.
(8) 
Release magnetic tapes and disks for reuse.
B. 
The determination of retention periods for records is generally as follows:
(1) 
Records no longer used and having no legal, fiscal or historical significance will normally be granted destruction by the state.
(2) 
Records with a predetermined retention period require completion of the time period before destruction.
(3) 
Records designated permanent may never be destroyed.
(4) 
State retention schedules are available on the State website at www.njarchives.org/index.html; click on “Records Management” then on “Records Retention,” or by asking the Records Custodian.

§ 60-7 Long-term records storage.

A. 
The long-term storage of records in the basement of the Municipal Building is the primary storage area for City documents that are semi-current (seldom used and/or waiting future destruction) or permanent. The Records Custodian will take necessary steps to ensure safety and security of stored documents.
B. 
No public records may be destroyed without first notifying the Records Custodian, who shall ensure all requirements have been met. All documents or records generated, processed and maintained by departments of the City of Linwood are considered “public documents” and are therefore subject to state/federal laws governing their use and disposition.
C. 
When the records stored in the basement have reached their destruction date (month/year), the Departmental Records Coordinator shall begin the disposition process.
D. 
The Departmental Records Coordinator will begin the disposition process, which is reviewing and labeling the records and sending the state’s request and authorization for records disposal forms (Attachment B)[1] to the Records Custodian for approval.
[1]
Editor's Note: Attachment B is on file in the Clerk's office.
E. 
The method of destruction is shredding or burning.
F. 
No City records may be destroyed without a signed and state-approved request and authorization for records disposal form.

§ 60-8 Records Destruction Officer.

The Records Custodian will serve as the Records Destruction Officer on behalf of the City. The Records Destruction Officer shall:
A. 
Ensure compliance with state retention schedules and regulations.
B. 
Verify destruction of documents authorized to be destroyed and certify same on appropriate documentation.
C. 
Maintain a database of files for future reference.
D. 
Coordinate destruction with the Atlantic County Records Manager for burning of records.

§ 60-9 Process for destroying records.

A. 
By law, all government subdivisions in New Jersey must request and receive permission from the state to destroy public documents and records using the state’s request and authorization for records disposal forms.
B. 
The Records Custodian is available to answer any questions as the Departmental Records Coordinators complete the necessary forms and notify the appropriate officials.
C. 
As per the state request form, the destruction of fiscal records requires the department head and the outside auditor’s signatures prior to submission to the state.
D. 
When the request and authorization for records disposal form is complete, the Departmental Records Coordinator shall make a copy for the department’s records and shall send the original to the Records Custodian.
E. 
The Records Custodian shall verify all information and send the form to the auditor first and then to the New Jersey Division of Archives and Records Management.
F. 
When the request and authorization for records disposal form is returned to the Records Custodian with the appropriate approvals to destroy, the Records Custodian shall arrange for destruction.
G. 
After destruction, the Records Custodian shall file and keep the agency copy as a permanent record. The follow-up copy shall be sent to the New Jersey Division of Archives and Records Management.

§ 60-10 Storage of records for permanent retention or awaiting destruction.

Criteria for storage of records for permanent retention or awaiting destruction are as follows:
A. 
Records no longer needed for active use and having more than 12 months before permitted destruction.
B. 
Records required to be stored permanently.

§ 60-11 Transfer of records to Records Room.

The Departmental Records Coordinators are responsible for the proper boxing of records to be stored in the Records Room in the basement as per the instructions for packing the one-cubic-foot storage boxes (Attachment C).[1] Below is a summary of the procedures:
A. 
Each box must contain the same record series with the same retention period. Example: Departmental copies of purchase orders have a retention period of three years, and internal correspondence has a retention period of one year; these records would be separated and placed in different boxes. Records with different retention periods should not be mixed.
B. 
The Departmental Records Coordinator shall complete a records management work request form, keep a copy of the form and send the original to the Records Custodian.
[1]
Editor's Note: Attachment C is on file in the Clerk's office.

§ 60-12 Packing and movement of records.

Only properly packed records will be accepted as per the instructions for packing the one-cubic-foot storage boxes. Packed records must be in the standard storage box (one-cubic-foot box with lid).
A. 
Identify the exact content of the records for future accessibility and eventual retention or disposal.
B. 
Label each box (Attachment D).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Attachment D is on file in the Clerk's office.
C. 
Label.
(1) 
Complete the label legibly in black marker noting the following information:
(a) 
Department.
(b) 
Records series (i.e., accident reports, time sheets, correspondence).
(c) 
From/To area: enter the date range of the documents in the box; and if files are numerical, also enter the number range of the records.
(d) 
Destruction date, per the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule.
(2) 
Each box shall have one completed label.

§ 60-13 Management of electronic mail.

Guidelines for the management of electronic mail per the State of New Jersey:
A. 
E-mail messages.
(1) 
E-mail messages are electronic documents created and sent or received by a computer system. This definition applies equally to the contents of the communication, the transactional information and any attachments associated with such communication. Thus, e-mail messages are similar to other forms of communicated messages, such as correspondence, memoranda and letters.
(2) 
An e-mail message is a document when it is created or received by a public office. The deciding factor as to its status as a record is if the e-mail serves to document organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities. This is true of any communication, whether electronic or paper.
(3) 
All e-mail messages which meet the criteria of the definition of a government record per N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1 must be made available to the public upon request under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) during the required retention period, unless the content of the message falls under one of the exceptions contained in the Act or in any other statute, regulation, Executive Order by the Governor, rule of court, federal law, regulation or order.
(4) 
Employees have an obligation to be aware that e-mail messages, like paper records, must be retained and destroyed according to established records management procedures.
(5) 
Employees are responsible for classifying messages they send or receive according to content.
(6) 
E-mail users should be aware that e-mail messages are often widely distributed to a number of recipients. The individual who sends an e-mail message and the primary recipient (“To” not “cc”) should maintain the record copy of the message. Prompt deletion of duplicate copies of e-mail messages from an e-mail system makes the system easier to manage and reduces disk space.
B. 
Retention and scheduling requirements.
(1) 
The contents, transactional information and any attachments associated with an e-mailed message are considered records if they meet the criteria of a public record in N.J.S.A. 47:3-16.
(2) 
Contents of e-mail messages may vary considerably and, therefore, this content must be evaluated to determine the length of the time the message must be retained.
C. 
Categories for e-mail messages.
(1) 
Non-record e-mail messages.
(a) 
Definition: e-mail messages which do not meet the criteria of the New Jersey statutory definition. These e-mails may be deleted at any time unless they become part of some official record as a result of special circumstances.
[1] 
Personal correspondence is a personal e-mail received or created during business hours.
[2] 
Nongovernmental publications are publications, promotional material from vendors and similar materials, which are publicly available to anyone.
(b) 
Retention. Non-record e-mail messages may be deleted immediately.
(2) 
Transient retention e-mail messages.
(a) 
Definition: e-mail messages which meet the criteria of the New Jersey statutory definition by the following:
[1] 
E-mail messages which have very limited administrative value.
[2] 
These messages do not set policy, establish guidelines or procedures, certify a transaction or become a receipt.
[3] 
These messages might be compared to a communication that could take place in a telephone conversation or conversation in an office hallway.
(b) 
Retention. Transient e-mail messages should be retained until no longer of administrative value; i.e., an e-mail message notifying an employee of an upcoming meeting would only have administrative value until the meeting has been attended or the employee receiving the message has marked the date and time in his or her calendar.
(3) 
Intermediate retention e-mail messages.
(a) 
Definition: e-mail messages which have more significant administrative, legal and/or fiscal value but are not classified as transient or permanent. These messages should be categorized under other appropriate record series, including but not limited to the following:
[1] 
General correspondence includes correspondence from various individuals, companies and organizations requesting information pertaining to agency and legal interpretations and other miscellaneous inquiries. This correspondence is informative and does not attempt to influence agency policy; retention is three years.
[2] 
Internal correspondence includes letters, memos and requests for routine information, monthly and weekly reports and documents advising supervisors of various events, issues and status of ongoing projects; retention is one year.
[3] 
Copies of agency minutes or staff meetings; retention is one year.
(b) 
Retention. Intermediate retention e-mail messages shall follow the appropriate record series for retention and destruction schedules according to the state guidelines.
(4) 
Permanent retention e-mail messages.
(a) 
Definition: e-mail messages which have significant administrative, legal and/or fiscal value. These messages should be categorized under the appropriate record series, including but not limited to the following:
[1] 
Executive correspondence is from the head of the agency dealing with significant aspects of the administration of his or her office. Correspondence includes information concerning agency policies, programs, fiscal and personnel matters.
[2] 
Departmental policies and procedures include reports, unpublished substantive reports and policy studies.
[3] 
Administrative policy, minutes of boards, commissions, etc. are approved minutes of official bodies, attachments and transmittal documents. This does not apply to drafts of minutes or minutes which have not been approved.
(b) 
Retention. Permanent retention e-mail messages must be printed and filed in the appropriate record series. These files shall be archived in accordance with standards and protocols.
D. 
Storage and archiving of e-mail.
(1) 
The storage method of e-mail messages depends on the retention period of the record. Below are the three different storage options:
(a) 
On-line storage is the storage of e-mail messages, metadata and attachments in individual employee e-mail systems. On-line storage maintains the full functionality of the e-mail message and allows users to recall the message at any time for reference or response.
(b) 
Near-line storage is the storage of e-mail messages, metadata and attachments in an electronic recordkeeping system. This type of storage requires the message, metadata and attachments to be removed from the on-line system and stored in another electronic format.
(c) 
Off-line storage is the storage of e-mail messages, metadata and attachments outside of an electronic recordkeeping environment.
(2) 
E-mail messages meeting the requirements for permanent retention eventually need to be printed and removed from the e-mail system and stored off-line.

§ 60-14 Document microfilming.

A. 
Microfilming is accepted as a legal substitute for original paper documentation, and most categories of paper records can be destroyed after microfilming in accordance with required procedures.
B. 
The legal acceptance of a microfilm record depends upon adherence to the statewide microfilm standards published and monitored by the State Division of Archives and Records Management.
C. 
For departments and/or offices equipped to microfilm records, use the attached microfilming procedures (Attachment E).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Attachment E is on file in the Clerk's office.

§ 60-15 Document imaging.

A. 
The New Jersey State Division of Archives and Records Management, Bureau of Records Management, is responsible for developing and promoting image processing rules and standards for the imaging of public records.
B. 
Departments must contact the Records Custodian before contacting the state when considering the use of image processing to ensure system compliance with the following sections of the New Jersey Administrative Code 15:3:
(1) 
N.J.A.C. 15:3, Subchapter 2: Records Retention.
(2) 
N.J.A.C. 15:3, Subchapter 3: Standards for Microfilming of Public Records.
(3) 
N.J.A.C. 15:3, Subchapter 4: Image Processing of Public Records.
(4) 
N.J.A.C. 15:3, Subchapter 5: Certification of Imaging Processing Systems.
(5) 
N.J.A.C. 15:3, Subchapter 6: Records Storage.
C. 
For departments and/or offices interested in imaging records, use the attached guidelines for imaging systems (Attachment F)[1] to determine if your department is capable and your departmental needs. Departments must work with the Records Custodian when setting up an imaging system.
[1]
Editor's Note: Attachment F is on file in the Clerk's office.
D. 
Departments and/or offices equipped to image documents will use the individual imaging procedures that were customized for their offices.