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Document Code No.: INF 15-2-1 (AEP)
Department/Issing Agency: DES / Records and Licensing Services Division
Effective Date: May 23, 2011
Approved: /s/ Dow Constantine
Type of Action: Supersedes INF 15-2 (AP), 11/2/1991

Signed document (PDF, 441KB)

 Note: This policy is currently under revision.  The email addresses listed in the body of the policy have been replaced.  The correct email addresses referenced in sections 7.6 and 7.17 is records.center@kingcounty.gov

SUBJECT TITLE : Using the King County Records Center to Store and Retrieve Records

1.1 EFFECTIVE DATE: (10 days after Executive Signature)

1.2 TYPE OF ACTION: Supersedes INF 15-2 (AP), "Using the King County Records Center to Store and Retrieve Records" dated November 2, 1991

1.3 KEY WORDS: ERMS, Electronic Records Management System, Records Center, Records Retention Schedules, Retrievals, Storage

2.0 PURPOSE:

2.1 The purpose of the King County Records Center is to store inactive records created by King County agencies that have not met their legal retention period as determined by approved records retention schedules. This policy establishes procedures for King County agencies wishing to use the King County Records Center to store and retrieve public records.

3.0 ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:

All King County Agencies, Offices and Departments

4.0 REFERENCES:

4.1 R.C.W. 40.14 - Preservation and Destruction of Public Records

4.2 R.C.W. 36.23.065 - Destruction and Reproduction of Court Records

4.3 W.A.C. 434-663 - The Use of Electronic Imaging Systems for Managing Public Records

4.4 King County Code 2.12 - Retention of Records

4.5 LGL 15-1 (AEP) - Legal Hold Procedures for Records and other Documents

5.0 DEFINITIONS:

5.1 "Accession" refers to a group of records being physically transferred to a repository as a unit at a single time; an acquisition.

5.2 "Active Records" are records that are regularly referenced or required for current business needs.

5.3 "Category" describes the type of records produced as a result of one or many business functions of an agency. In the Electronic Records Management System (ERMS), a category is the equivalent of a record series. The rule associated with the category contains the approved disposition authority number and gives the retention period for the record series.

5.4 "Cutoff Date" is the date or event triggering the countdown of the retention period.

5.5 "Disposition Authority" is the liaison between their department and the Archives and Records Management Section. This individual has a strong knowledge of the agency business functions and associated records. The disposition authority appoints alternate disposition authorities and records coordinators for their department, division or section. Final disposition of records is approved by the disposition authorities designated by the agency.

5.6 "Disposition Authority Number (DAN)" is the unique number assigned to each retention schedule by the Washington State Local Records Committee. This number represents approval by the state Local Records Committee to destroy or transfer records to the archives after a specified period of time known as the retention period.

5.7 "Electronic Records Management System (ERMS)" is the system used to securely and effectively manage both electronic and physical records within their retention period in accordance with the county's records management policies.

5.8 "Inactive Records" are records that are no longer used in the day-to-day course of business. These records are typically two years past the date of creation but are still within their retention period.

5.9 "Inclusive Dates" is the span of time between the date of the oldest and the date of the most recent record included in a container or record series.

5.10 "Interfiling" is the process of adding records to their proper place in an established filing sequence.

5.11 "King County Records Center" is a facility operated by King County that is responsible for the controlled storage of inactive records and the destruction of records that are past their retention period. Records stored in the Records Center remain in the legal custody of the agency that created them.

5.12 "Legal Custody" refers to the control of, access to, possession of, or responsibility for electronic and physical records. It denotes ownership of records.

5.13 "Legal Hold" is a request by the Prosecuting Attorney's Office to an agency to preserve all records, including documents and electronically stored information that may relate to a pending or anticipated legal action involving the entity.

5.14 "Matter" is a specific instance of a business activity that acts as an electronic file cabinet within the Electronic Records Management System (ERMS).

5.15 "Physical Custody" refers to the housing and maintenance of records without legal ownership, as authorized by the legal custodian.

5.16 "Record Series" is a group of records, performing a specific function, which is used as a unit, filed as a unit, and may be transferred or destroyed as a unit. A record series may consist of a single type of form or a number of different types of documents that are filed together to document a specific function.

5.17 "Records Coordinator" is the individual designated by the disposition authority to send and retrieve records from the Records Center. This individual works closely with the agency's business records on a daily basis.

5.18 "Records Retention Schedules" are approved by the Washington State Local Records Committee. They list the common types of records created by local government agencies and indicate the minimum length of time the record is to be retained. The schedules also designate records as essential and/or archival. The information in the categories is derived from these approved records retention schedules. Retention schedules for King County agencies can be found on the Archives and Records Management intranet site.

5.19 "Retention Period" is the length of time during which records must be maintained by an agency after the cutoff date is reached.

5.20 "Washington State Local Records Committee" is the committee that has the authority to review and approve the disposition of all local government records in accordance with RCW 40.14.070 and WAC 434-630.

6.0 POLICIES:

6.1 Records sent to the King County Records Center must be classified as public records in accordance with RCW 40.14 and must be covered by an existing record retention schedule approved by the Washington State Local Records Committee.

6.2 The records must meet the definition of "Inactive Records" (see 5.8 above).

6.3 The records must have at least one (1) year remaining in their retention period.

6.4 Agency records that are past their approved retention period will not be stored in the King County Records Center. The only exception to this policy is when records are required to be retained due to audit and/or legal hold.

6.5 The originating agency retains legal custody of and responsibility for records stored at the King County Records Center.

6.6 Paper records that have been converted to digital images and for which there is a state approved system in place will not be stored at the King County Records Center.

6.7 All records in a box must be part of the same record series and have the same cutoff date and retention period for ease of disposition. Boxes containing mixed record series with different retention periods are not eligible for storage in the King County Records Center.

6.8 Records to be stored at the King County Records Center must be entered into the ERMS by the agency's disposition authorities and/or records coordinators.

6.9 All records stored at the King County Records Center must be placed in standard 12"x10"x15" boxes with double-walled construction. Exceptions for oversized materials will be granted only by the King County Records Center Supervisor or the Archives and Records Management Section Manager.

6.10 Boxes must be labeled with a standard King County Records Center label placed on one end of the box under the handle opening. Labels are available through the King County Print Shop or printed directly from the ERMS.

6.11 Boxes weighing more than thirty (30) pounds will not be accepted for storage at the King County Records Center. Boxes should have at least two inches of free space and must be at least half full. Items laid flat in a box should not be higher than the bottom of the handle openings.

6.12 Boxes containing binders or hanging file folders will not be accepted.

6.13 In order to maintain the integrity of agency filing systems, only box level records retrieval requests will be processed. For unusual circumstances, the King County Records Center Supervisor will consider requests for individual files on a case by case basis.

6.14 All records retrieval requests and access to records must be made by individuals who are specifically designated by their respective agencies as disposition authorities or records coordinators.

6.15 Records retrieved from the King County Records Center that are not returned to storage within six months will be permanently transferred back to the originating agency. These records may be returned to the King County Records Center only as part of a new accession.

6.16 If it is necessary to add new records to a box after it has been sent to the King County Records Center, it is the originating agency's responsibility to interfile the new material.

7.0 PROCEDURES:

PREPARING RECORDS FOR TRANSFER:

Action By: Agency

Action:

7.1 Obtains the appropriate boxes from a vendor of choice (see 6.9 for box specifications) and pre-printed box labels from the King County Print Shop or box labels printed from ERMS.

7.2 Finds the appropriate categories (record series) for the records being transferred in the approved records retention schedules. Current retention schedules can be found on the Archives and Records Management intranet site and in the ERMS. If an appropriate retention schedule cannot be located, contacts Records Management.

7.3 Boxes records (in accordance with specifications outlined in section 6.0) so that each box contains records in the same records series with the same cutoff date and retention period and are therefore due for destruction in the same year. For example, payroll records from 2000 with six-year retention should not be boxed with payroll records from 2001.

7.4 Enters information about each box into the physical records module of ERMS.

7.5 Prepares one label for each box (order from Print Shop or print directly from ERMS).

7.5.1 Includes the following information on the blank Print Shop label:

(A) ERMS Box Number: e.g., 526481, 526482 (this number is generated after the box has been input into the ERMS).

(B) Department/Division: Self explanatory.

(C) Category (Record Series) Title/Description: Titles must match the category titles on the record retention schedules and in the ERMS. Description lists contents of box.

(D) Inclusive Dates: Beginning and ending dates of records in the box.

(E) Leaves other sections blank for Records Center use.

7.5.2 Places the label on one end of the box under the handle opening.

7.6 Notifies Records Management that boxes are ready to be picked up by e-mailing records.help@kingcounty.gov.

7.6.1 Includes the following information in the e-mail:

(A) Department, Division, Section (DDS).

(B) Category Title: Titles must match the category titles on the records retention schedules and in the ERMS.

(C) Matter Name(s).

(D) The total number of boxes ready to be picked up.

TRANSFERRING RECORDS TO THE KING COUNTY RECORDS CENTER:

Action By: Records Management

Action:

7.7 Reviews the new boxes in the ERMS for accuracy and completeness.

7.7.1 If acceptable, King County Records Center contacts the agency to schedule a pick up. The department retains the responsibility for the security of the records until they are picked-up by the King County Records Center staff.

7.7.2 If not acceptable, contacts the agency to explain the problems with the boxes and works with them to remedy the situation.

Action By: Agency

Action:

7.8 If necessary, contacts the Facilities Management Division work order desk to arrange the transfer of records to the Chinook, Administration or Courthouse loading docks. For King Street Center and Regional Justice Center, boxes will be staged at the respective loading docks for pick up by the King County Records Center staff.

7.9 Arranges for appropriate security measures for boxes once at the appropriate loading dock. The agency retains the responsibility for the security of the records until they are picked up by the King County Records Center staff.

7.10 For locations other than mentioned above, notifies the King County Records Center staff of pick up locations.

Action By: King County Records Center

Action:

7.11 King County Records Center contacts customer to schedule a pickup date.

7.12 Picks up boxes and delivers them to the King County Records Center.

7.13 Attaches the barcodes to their corresponding boxes. The number on the barcode label will match the ERMS Box Number on the box label.

7.14 Places the boxes on the shelves and scans the box barcode into the appropriate space.

RETRIEVING RECORDS FROM THE KING COUNTY RECORDS CENTER:

Action by: Agency

Action:

7.15 A disposition authority or records coordinator locates and requests the records through the ERMS. Records can only be requested by the originating agency's approved disposition authority or records coordinators.

7.16 The records will be delivered to the disposition authority or records coordinator at his or her King County mail stop.

7.17 If the records are to be examined at the King County Records Center, requests for on-site examinations can be sent to records.requests@kingcounty.gov.

Action by: King County Records Center

Action:

7.18 Pulls requested box, scans it out to the disposition authority or records coordinator, and either delivers the box to requesting agencies or sends the box using King County Mail Services. Records requested for retrieval before 10:00 a.m. will be pulled and mailed and/or delivered on the same day.

7.19 Makes deliveries on a daily basis to destinations in the downtown core area. Ships records requests destined for King County offices in outlying sites using King County Mail Services. Personnel approved both by the originating agency and by Records Management may pick up records at the King County Records Center. Whenever possible, priority requests will receive same day delivery.

7.20 For requests to view records in the King County Records Center, schedules staff to be available and arranges the date and time with the agency

RETURNING RECORDS TO THE KING COUNTY RECORDS CENTER:

Action by: Agency

Action:

7. 21 Contacts the King County Records Center to arrange pick up, drops the boxes off at their delivery/pick up locations, or agency couriers return boxes directly to the King County Records Center.

Action by: King County Records Center

Action:

7. 22 Picks up boxes and returns them to the King County Records Center.

7. 23 Re-shelves the records and scans the barcodes into the appropriate spaces.

8.0 RESPONSIBILITIES:

8.1 Agencies are responsible for designating one or more employees as the disposition authorities for that agency. The disposition authority is responsible for designating the records coordinators for the agency and notifying the King County Records Center when that person changes. They are also responsible for approving disposition of records. Disposition authorities and records coordinators are responsible for correctly boxing records for storage at the King County Records Center, managing the records sent to storage in the ERMS, and providing the correct information when requesting records from the King County Records Center.

8.2 The King County Records Center and Records Management staff are responsible for reviewing new boxes in the ERMS to ensure compliance with this policy, transporting boxes to the King County Records Center, and retrieving and delivering requested records to the agencies.

8.3 The King County Records Center Supervisor is responsible for authorizing storage of nonstandard sized material and authorizing, on a case by case basis, retrieval of individual files.

8.4 Agencies are responsible for the security of their boxes from the time they are placed at the loading dock to the time Records Center staff pickup the boxes.

9.0 APPENDICES:

None