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Document Code No.: INF 15-4 (AEP)
Department/Issuing Agency: Department of Executive Services / Records and Licensing Services Division / Archives, Records Management and Mail Services Section
Effective Date: July 31, 2014
Approved: /s/ Dow Constantine
Type of Action: New

Signed document (PDF, 2.3MB)



1.0 Subject Title: Management of King County Public Records

1.1        Effective Date: July 31, 2014

1.2        Type of Action: New

1.3        Key Words: Records, Archives, Public Records, Records Management, Records Retention, Disposition, Records Destruction, Public Disclosure, Digital Records, Native Format, Electronic Records, King County Electronic Records Management System, KC ERMS, Preservation, Archival

2.0  Purpose:

This policy provides the framework to ensure that King County’s records are effectively and efficiently managed throughout their lifecycle in accordance with records management law, regulations and best practices.  This policy also establishes responsibilities for fulfillment of these requirements, as well as outlining accountability measures to ensure compliance.

3.0   Organizations Affected:

The audience for this Policy includes all King County offices, departments, officials, employees, boards, commissions, committees, and the members of the boards, commissions or committees, volunteers, or similar entities as well as contractors and grantees, all of whom have legal obligations under the authorities stated in section 4.0, regardless of whether they are also subject to any other records management policy.

4.0   References:

4.1              RCW 40.10 Essential Records

4.2              RCW 40.14 Preservation and Destruction of Public Records

4.3              RCW 40.16 Penal Provisions for the Intentional Destruction of Public Records

4.4              RCW 42.56 Public Records Act

4.5              WAC 434-615 Custody of Public Records

4.6              WAC 434-640 Methods of Records Disposal

4.7              WAC 434-662 Preservation of Electronic Public Records

4.8              WAC 434-663 Imaging Systems (Standards)      

4.9              King County Code 2.12.035

5.0 DEFINITIONS:

5.1              Agency Records Officer:

“Agency Records Officers” are the individuals appointed by the Agency Director to work with the King County Records Management Program to establish and implement records management best practices within their agency. 

5.2              Archival Records:

"Archival Records" are records designated in a records retention schedule and/or appraised by the County Archivist as having enduring historical value and/or a research use beyond the use for which the record was created.

5.3              Electronic Records:

"Electronic Record" means any record that exists on electronic (analog or digital) media. Examples include, but are not limited to: e-mail messages and attachments, audio/video recordings, electronic documents, digital images and databases.

5.4              Inactive Records

A record that is no longer needed to conduct current business but must be retained until the end of its retention period.

5.5              King County Archives:

"King County Archives" is the repository operated by King County where archival records are collected, preserved and made accessible to the public. The King County Archives is designated as the official repository of the County's archival records, (King County Code 2.12.035). Records transferred to the King County Archives become the property of the King County Archives.

5.6              King County Electronic Records Management System (KC ERMS):

“King County Electronic Records Management System (KC ERMS)" is an electronic information system used to manage the inventory of inactive physical records stored at the King County Records Center and a repository in which the County’s inactive electronic records are collected, organized and categorized to facilitate their preservation, retrieval, use and legal disposition.

5.7              King County Records Center:

"King County Records Center" is the official repository of King County’s inactive physical records. It is a facility operated by King County with responsibility for the controlled storage of inactive records and the disposition of records at the end of their retention period. Records stored in the Records Center remain in the legal custody of the agency that created or received them.

5.8              King County Records Management Program:

“King County Records Management Program” is the program responsible for providing tools, resources and education needed to implement records management best practices countywide. The King County Records Management Program serves all offices, departments, boards, commissions, committees or similar entities of the County and records shall be managed and disposed of in accordance with this program. 

5.9              Records Retention Schedules:

“Records Retention Schedules” are legal documents that outline the management, preservation and disposition of public records.

6.0 POLICIES:

6.1              All records created or received in the course of County business are and remain the property of King County.

6.2              Each department shall appoint an Agency Records Officer to implement records management best practices within their agency.  

6.3              Each Agency Records Officer shall develop and provide oversight for the records management program within the agency.

6.4              The Agency Records Officer shall ensure that records management practices adhere to the most current version of the Records Management Manual available from the executive department responsible for archives and records management functions, unless granted an exception by the King County Public Records Committee for legitimate business reasons.  

6.5              Each department shall properly file and organize all records created or received in the course of business regardless of format.

6.6              Compliance with records retention schedules is mandatory on the part of all departments and employees.

6.7              Each department shall properly dispose of inactive physical and electronic records in accordance with approved legal records retention schedules and related County policies and procedures.  

6.8              No records shall be disposed of or removed from County custody without proper authorization. 

6.9              No records shall be destroyed that are necessary for compliance with the Public Records Act, audit, investigation and/or legal action while the subject of any public records request, audit, investigation and/or legal action.

6.10            No record with a disposition designation of Archival or Potentially Archival-Appraisal Required shall be destroyed without prior appraisal and approval by the King County Archivist. 

6.11            The King County Electronic Records Management System (KC ERMS) shall serve as the official repository of King County’s inactive electronic records, unless granted an exception by the King County Public Records Committee for legitimate business reasons.  

6.12            Each department shall use the King County Records Center for storage of inactive physical records, unless granted an exception by the King County Public Records Committee for legitimate business reasons.   

6.13            Each department shall use the King County Archives as the official repository for King County’s Archival Records, unless granted an exception by the King County Public Records Committee upon recommendation of the County Archivist.  

7.0 PROCEDURES:

7.1              Procedures for these policies are detailed in the King County Records Management Manual. For the most current version of the manual, contact the executive department responsible for archives and records management functions.

8.0 RESPONSIBILITIES:

8.1              Implementation: This policy becomes effective for Executive Branch agencies on the date it is signed. Implementation shall be spearheaded by the Public Records Committee and Operations Cabinet.  Separately elected officials shall be encouraged to treat this as a model policy and adopt a similar policy for their own agencies.

8.2              This policy shall be maintained by the executive department responsible for archives and records management functions. Changes to the policy may be proposed by the Archives and Records Management Program in the Records and Licensing Services Division of the Department of Executive Services, the Public Records Committee or Operations Cabinet. 

8.3              This policy shall automatically expire five years from the date on which it becomes effective. A new or revised policy shall be initiated by ARMMS prior to the expiration date.

8.4              The Assistant Deputy County Executive or successor is responsible for holding department directors accountable for records management compliance in their agencies.

8.5              The King County Records Management Program is responsible for reporting department level records management compliance to the Assistant Deputy County Executive and the Operations Cabinet quarterly.  

8.6              The Agency Records Officer shall lead, plan and manage the records management program in his or her department and report at least quarterly to the department director the status of that department’s compliance with records management mandates.

8.7              The King County Records Management Program shall develop records retention schedules for County agencies in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations and best practices. 

8.8              King County employees shall create and maintain records that document the conduct of business in their offices.

9.0 Appendices:
None