[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead 4-1-1997 by L.L. No. 3-1997 (Ch. 78, §§ 78-1 through 78-4, 78-6 and 78-7, of the 1976 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
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 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 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 These records will also document the historical document of government itself, the community and the people of the Town.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 and will be responsible for administering the current and archived 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 records 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 in conjunction with the transaction of official Town business. "Record," as used herein, shall not be deemed to include library materials, extra copies of documents created only for convenience of reference, and stocks of publications.
- 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.
- 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 determined to have historical or other 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 any agency for official use or to the public.
The records management officer shall have all the necessary powers 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 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 their permanent retention; or
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 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 will include but are not limited to:
The development of a comprehensive records management program.
The conduct of an initial survey and analysis of all records.
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 Distribution 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 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 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.