[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Somers 1-16-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Public access to records — See Ch. 54.
Records are essential to the administration of local government. They contain the information that keeps government programs functioning. It is our intent that a records management program be established which will assist officials in making decisions, administering programs and providing administrative continuity with past operations. The program would be intended to document 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 of Somers.
The Town Clerk is designated as the Records Management Officer and will be responsible for administering the current and archival public records in storage areas for the Town of Somers 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 Record Management 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, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in conjunction with the transaction of official town business.
- RECORDS CENTER
- An establishment maintained by the Records Management Officer for the storage, servicing, security and processing of records which must be preserved for varying periods of time and need not be retained in office equipment or space.
- RECORDS DISPOSITION
- The removal by the town in accordance with approved records control schedules of 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 or donation, or the transfer of records to a central storage facility for temporary or permanent storage of records determined to have historical or other sufficient value warranting continued preservation, and 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 any agency for official use or to the public.
The Records Management Officer shall have all the necessary powers deemed appropriate 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 of Somers.
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 the maintaining, storing and servicing of the following:
Obsolete and unnecessary records, according to the New York State retention and disposition schedules, thereby subject to disposition.
Information containing administrative, legal, fiscal, research, historical or educational value which warrants its permanent retention.
Records not subject to disposition according to state law.
The Records Management Officer shall establish guidelines for proper records management in any department of the town government in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
The Records Management Officer shall report annually to the Town Board on the powers and duties herein mentioned, including but not limited to the development and progress of programs to date and planned activities for subsequent years.
The Records Management Officer shall operate a central records management storage facility for the 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.
An annual 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 distribution schedules.
The development and a suitable retention period for records not covered by the state records retention and disposition schedules.
The assistance to each department for the establishment of a records management system to support the overall town records management program.
The setting up and overseeing of a center for the storage of inactive records.
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.
There shall be a Records Advisory Board designated to work closely with and provide advice to the Records Management Officer. The Board shall meet periodically and have the following duties:
To provide advice to the Records Management Officer on the development of the records management program.
To review the performance of the program on an ongoing basis and propose changes and improvements.
To review retention periods proposed by the Records Management Officer for records not covered by the state archive schedules.
To 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 Management Officer shall maintain physical custody and the official responsibility for all records. Department heads shall retain constructive control and authority over all department records.
No records shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by a department of the Town of Somers unless approval has been obtained from 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.