Handbook of Business Procedures
October 23, 2012
December 16, 2013
Records Management Services
20.5. DISPOSITION OF RECORDS – GENERAL INFORMATION
Whether an official record is created and maintained within The University of Texas at Austin or by a private contractor to the university, its life-cycle ends with disposition, which takes one of two forms: the record is transferred to archives or the record is destroyed. The university is required to retain one copy of every record created through university business processes, and retention requirements apply to that copy, which is the master record. The university is also required to record the final disposition of every master record in the university disposition log, which is managed by Records Management Services (RMS).
RMS maintains the university records disposition log required by state law using the information provided in a department’s Request to Dispose of Records Form. The disposition process is not complete until the department notifies RMS of the destruction date of the records. Failure to maintain a complete and accurate disposition log exposes the university to serious risk in the case of lawsuits, public information requests, audits, and other claims and disputes.
Each department has a shared responsibility with RMS to systematically control the records of the university from creation to final disposition. In addition, departments must have an entry in the records inventory for each type of master record managed within the department. For more information, refer to 20.4.2. Records Inventory.
When a record meets retention requirements in accordance with The University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS) as outlined in the department’s records management plan, the department must take the following steps:
- Submit a Request to Dispose of Records Form to RMS for authorization to dispose of records.
- When the department receives authorization from RMS, the records must be destroyed or transferred within 90 days.
- Notify RMS within 5 business days of the disposition of records or transfer to archives.
Note: Before any master record is transferred to archives or destroyed, it must meet retention requirements in accordance with the UTRRS as outlined in the records management plan. If any action, such as audit, request for public information, or other claim, involving a record has been initiated, the record must be retained until:
- the completion of the action and the resolution of all issues that arise from it.
- a Request to Dispose of Records Form has been submitted and approved by RMS.
For more information, refer to 20.2.4. Conditions Under Which Records Must Not Be Destroyed.