Valencia Policy Spotlight: Preservation and Disposal of Records

policy-procedures-groveIn an effort to support supervisors in effectively leading their teams, this column offers additional guidance, information and resources regarding Valencia’s policies. Each month, Leslie Bissinger Golden, assistant general counsel, will showcase one policy and provide an in-depth look at the policy background information, as well as key updates and tips for the practical use and application of the policy.slice

Featured Policy:  6Hx28: 7B-01 Preservation and Disposal of Records

Effective Date: November 18, 1992

Policy History: Originally adopted December 11, 1974, modified in its current form November 18, 1992

Background: This policy reflects the College’s responsibilities under Florida’s Public Records laws. Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, identifies records relating to Valencia’s work as subject to public inspection and disclosure, with many exceptions. Section 257.36, Florida Statutes, establishes a state information management program to assist public institutions, like Valencia, with the maintenance and security of public records.

The policy gives the President the authority to oversee the College’s compliance with these laws. It also establishes methods by which electronic preservation of records, such as PDFs and microfiche, may satisfy the College’s records obligations, if appropriately certified.

Using direct quotes from the policy explain the essence of the policy:

“The President is authorized to establish, maintain, and dispose of public records in accordance with Chapter 119 and Section 257.36, Florida Statutes.”

Example(s) of practical application of the policy: A department is cleaning out its file cabinets to make space for new files and decides that all files older than three years will be destroyed. The supervisor, concerned about compliance with records laws, consults the General Counsel’s office to determine if certain records must be kept regardless of age. The supervisor is referred to the State Record Retention Schedule and options for scanning document to save space, which she then uses to make decisions about which records to keep.

Working with the Policy/Practice Tips: This policy intersects with other College policies related to specific record types, including student records, financial records and human resources records. While these policies may also apply to those types of records, public records laws must be considered for all business records at the College.

There are hundreds of exceptions to Florida’s public records laws, but do not try to determine a record’s status on your own. Contact the Office of the General Counsel immediately if you receive a request for records or if you have questions about a record’s status.

Assume, and train your employees to assume, that all work related emails are public records. Be thoughtful about what is written in emails for this reason.

For a copy of the Record Retention Schedule for Florida Community Colleges, contact Leslie Golden, assistant general counsel, at lgolden@valenciacollege.edu or at extension 3466.

For questions regarding this policy, contact your campus president or executive dean or the Office of the General Counsel. All Valencia polices, legislative updates and information can be found on the Office for Policy and General Counsel Web page.

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