News from the State and Local Government RecordsCommissions.
vol. 1 No. 1
July, 1996

Records Commissions Approve New Schedules, Publications

The State and Local Government Records Commissions held their regular quarterly meetings on January 30 and May 8, 1996, in the Milo B. Howard Auditorium of the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH). Under Title 41, Section 13, the Code of Alabama charges the State and Local Government Records Commissions with determining "which government records shall be permanently preserved . . . and which may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of." The commissions approve retention schedules and establish records disposition procedures for agencies of both state and local government. The ADAH Government Records Division serves as the commissions' staff, assisting state and local government officials in managing and preserving public records.

"Government Records News"and Other New ADAH Publications

At their meeting on May 8, the commissions endorsed publication of a periodic newsletter. Government Records News will be distributed quarterly to advise state and local agencies of recently approved records schedules or disposition authorities, new ADAH services and publications, changes in the law, or other issues affecting public records. Earlier, on January 30, the commissions approved three other ADAH publications: two revised versions of "Public Officials: Your Records Responsibilities and the Law," and a new leaflet entitled, "Legal Admissibility of Public Records." For copies of these items, call the Government Records Division at (334)242-4452.

Micrographic and Digital lmaging Certification Programs Suspended

On January 30, the commissions agreed to suspend the certification programs for micrographic laboratories and digital imaging systems. (These programs were outlined in ADAH Technical Leaflets 2 and 3, which are now rescinded.) Until recently, micrographic laboratories operated by state and local governments, or by commercial vendors, were eligible to be "certified" as capable of producing microforms that met quality standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM). The certification program is suspended because ADAH no longer has sufficient staff to administer it effectively.

However, the ADAH Government Records Division will continue to assist state and local governments by issuing a series of technical leaflets on micrographics, by providing model equipment specifications and sample contracts with vendors, and by conducting on-site reviews to ensure that microforms of long-term government records continue to meet ANSI/AI I M standards. A preliminary Microfilm Standards Resolution, adopted by the commissions on May 8, establishes these standards as the quality benchmarks for microforms in Alabama. Staff of the Government Records Division will prepare new micrographic technical leaflets, specifications, and sample contracts for distribution to state and local agencies.

Last year, ADAH issued another publication (Technical Leaflet No. 4) to assist government agencies in fulfilling the commissions' guidelines for implementing digital imaging technologies. Staff of the Government Records Division can also provide on-site assistance with digital imaging questions upon request from state or local agencies.

First Records Disposition Authority Approved

Recently, the ADAH Government Records Division began redefining its methods for establishing agency records disposition guidelines to be recommended to the State Records Commission. Government Records Division staff have hitherto worked with state agencies to submit schedules that contained disposition instructions for individual records series. The new approach will analyze an agency's functions and activities, define records creation and record keeping requirements related to those activities, and establish disposition guidelines for the records. With the support of Government Records Division staff, the agency will submit a Records Disposition Authority to the State Records Commission to provide a framework for its records management program. While traditional schedules generally described records that were maintained in paper or on microfilm, the RDA sets disposition guidelines for records in all storage formats, including electronic information systems.

On May 8, the State Records Commission approved the Government Records Division's first completed records disposition authority, covering records of the State Board of Pharmacy. This RDA may be used as a model by other agencies in developing their own records disposition authorities. For copies or more information, contact the Government Records Division.

Records Schedules Approved by the Commissions

The following new or revised records schedules were approved by the State Records Commission on January 30 or May 8, 1996:

ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION: Educational assistance files for disadvantaged students, teachers, chiropractors, survivors of police officers and firefighters, and the Alabama National Guard (8 schedules).

ALABAMA MEDICAID AGENCY: Program management files and reports for federally-qualified health centers, rural health clinics, and Medicare (3 schedules).


DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: Inmate Request Slips and Daily Post Assignment Sheets (2 schedules).

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Medicare/Medicaid Program Evaluation Files; licensure files, complaint files, and other records of local health care facilities and clinical laboratories (18 schedules).

DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE: Taxation and licensing files for various classes of fuels, tobacco products, hazardous wastes, forest products, mineral resources, and unclaimed property (54 schedules).

JEFFERSON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: Patient records, financial records, vital statistics, and files relating to dairy farm inspection, sewage disposal and pollution control (22 schedules).

SECURITIES COMMISSION: Investigation files, registration and licensing files, opinions, and administrative orders ( 19 schedules).

UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENTS: Arrest and Incident/Offense Reports, Daily Activity Reports and Work Schedules, and several series of traffic tickets and accident reports (7 schedules).

The following new or revised records schedules were approved by the Local Government Records Commission on January 30 or May 8, 1996:

COUNTY COMMISSIONS: Errors, Litigations, and Insolvents Submitted by Revenue Commissioner Tax Collector; Cigarette Tax--Correspondence and Refunds; and ABC Board Liquor Licenses (3 schedules).

LOCAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION: Local Textbook Review and Adoption Files, Annual Physical Examination Forms and Parental Permission Forms for Athletic Participation, Birth Certificates for Students Participating in Athletics (4 schedules).

LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT: Taxi/ Limousine Driver Applicants' Background Investigation Files, Inmate Visitor Identification Cards, Inmate Request Forms, Inmate Court Information Card Files, and Records of Chemical Tests for Intoxication (4 schedules).

MUNICIPALITIES: Emergency Medical Service Patient Collection Records, and Gasoline Usage Accounting Records and Monthly Reports (2 schedules).

For copies of any of these schedules, contact the ADAH Government Records Division at (334) 242-4452.

The next meeting of the State and Local Government Records Commissions will be on Thursday, August 1, 1996, In the Milo B. Howard Auditorium of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, 624 Washington Avenue, Montgomery. Starting times are 10:00 a.m. (state) and 1:30 p.m. (local).

"Government Records News" is published by the Government Records Division of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Box 300 l 00, Montgomery, Alabama 36130-0100 ".
JULY, 1996

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