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Document Code No.: INF-15-5-EP
Affected Agencies: All Executive Branch Agencies of King County Government
Sponsoring Agency: Department of Executive Services
Effective Date: April 10, 2017
Expiration Date: April 10, 2022
Approved: /s/ Dow Constantine
Type of Action: New

 Signed document (PDF, 113KB)


  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper management and retention of the County’s records as staff exit the county or transfer from one position to another. 

    Applicability and Audience

    This policy is applicable to the King County Executive Branch: that is the  

    Administrative Offices and Executive Departments supervised by the King County Executive. The audience includes all King County offices, departments, officials, employees, boards, commissions, committees, or similar entities as well as contractors and grantees.

    Definitions

    Agency Records Officer – Per Executive Policy INF 15-4 (AEP), 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.

    KC ERMS – King County Electronic Records Management System. This is a generic term referring to the County’s official system for managing electronic records and storing inactive electronic records per INF 15-4 (AEP). The system is housed and managed by King County’s Archives, Records Management and Mail Services Section of the Records and Licensing Services Division of the Department of Executive Services.

    Retention Schedules – A Records Retention Schedule indicates the length of time that a particular record series is to be retained, and when and if the record should be destroyed or transferred to the Archives.

  2. Policy

    1. Exiting employees (whether leaving the county or transferring from one position to another) must complete an inventory of their records and the Exiting Employee Checklist establishing that their records have been filed into KC ERMS or handed off to any one of the following: their successor, their supervisor, a records custodian, or the Agency Records Officer. This task is best monitored by adhering to, and reviewing with their supervisor, the Exiting Employee Checklist.

    2. In addition to completing the Exiting Employee Checklist with the employee, the supervisor must notify the Department of Information Technology (KCIT) of the employee’s planned exit date. In the event that there is a no-notice departure or the employee fails to complete the checklist, the supervisor will assume the responsibility for completion of the checklist by any means available.

    3. The supervisor of a departing or exiting employee must provide a copy of the approved Exiting Employee Checklist to the Agency Records Officer.

    4. In the event of a no-notice departure, or if circumstances prevent the employee from managing their records according to the Exiting Employee Checklist, KCIT shall within 10 business days of departure, copy the files of a departed/transferred employee, following a KCIT-standardized workflow, which includes a 24-month temporary holding period in a central repository for such files, and will notify the supervisor, Human Resources and the Agency Records Officer that this work has been completed.The notification sent will include a link to the location where the files are kept and a notice that the files will be kept in that temporary KCIT storage location for 24 months.

    5. KCIT must ensure that files are deleted from the temporary storage location after the 24-month holding period has passed.

    6. The supervisor of a departing/transferring employee has the responsibility to ensure that any records not previously managed by the employee, according to the Exiting Employee Checklist, prior to the employee’s departure are managed appropriately in accordance with retention schedules, legal holds, or other legal mandates prior to the end of the 24-month temporary holding period. The supervisor can call upon any necessary resources—including records custodians, the Agency Records Officer, or the King County Records Management Program—to achieve this result.

  3. Implementation Plan

    1. This policy becomes effective for Executive Branch Departments and Administrative Offices on the date that it is signed by the Executive. All Executive Branch Departments and Administrative Offices are responsible for implementation within their departments and offices.

    2. The Operations Cabinet is responsible for communicating this policy to the management structure within their respective agencies and other appropriate parties. The Human Resources and Information Technology organizations within King County (HRD and KCIT respectively) will also need to ensure dissemination, education and implementation within and among their teams.

  4. Maintenance

    1. This policy will be maintained by the Archives, Records Management and Mail Services Section of the Records and Licensing Services Division of the Department of Executive Services, or its successor agency.

    2. This policy will automatically expire five (5) years after its effective date. A new, revised, or renewed policy will be initiated by the Archives, Records Management and Mail Services Section of the Records and Licensing Services Division of the Department of Executive Services, or its successor agency prior to the expiration date.

  5. Consequences for Noncompliance

Any agency failing to properly retain public records in accordance with RCW 40.14 is breaking the law and subjecting the county to unnecessary legal risk, especially in the context of public records requests, litigation discovery efforts, personnel investigations, and tort claims. 

Appendices: 

Exiting Employee Checklist

Exiting Employee Guide

Note: for copies of the above appendices, refer to the Records Management Program's intranet site or contact them at records.management@kingcounty.gov