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Handbook of Business Procedures

Date published: 
Last revised: 
Issued by: 

October 23, 2012
October 23, 2012
Records Management Services


Part 20. Records Management - Table of Contents


A. Introduction

The University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS) is used by departments to determine the retention code to apply to a record. The information found for each record series is used in the Request to Dispose of Records Form and is also used to develop a records inventory. Refer to 20.4.2. Records Inventory for more information. TX Class DE 450 Records Management – Basic Training includes a demonstration of the use of the UTRRS, which is available in an interactive PDF format. The interactive features of the PDF provide information about fields, codes, department codes, terms, notes, and calculation of retention requirements. The PDF also includes the following helpful features:

  • Each column except the Record Series Title column displays a pop-up information box when the mouse is dragged over the column content, and explanatory information about the column content is displayed. The pop-up information boxes provide keys to codes and prefixes, as well as other information.
  • Keys to archival review codes and retention codes are also displayed at the bottom of each page. When a UT Code corresponds to a state of Texas Records Retention Schedule (RRS) item number, a link is provided for reference purposes only to assist in determining which record series to use when two UT Codes are similar. State Item numbers from the state of Texas Records Retention Schedule (RRS) cannot be used in place of UT Codes to complete a Request to Dispose of Records Form or on the records inventory.
  • Performing a search looks for a term in the entire UTRRS and the state RRS.

For more information or assistance with the UTRRS, contact Records Management Services (RMS).

B. UTRRS Columns

State Item
State item numbers (e.g., 2.1.002 Master Files) are assigned to the state of Texas Records Retention Schedule (RRS) by the State and Local Records Management Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. When a UT Code corresponds with a State Item, the State Item number appears in the State Item column.

UT Code
The UT Code is an alphanumeric code (e.g. AALL025, REG329) assigned by The University of Texas at Austin records management officer (RMO). The UT Code is composed of a UT Code prefix and a set of three numbers to identify the record series. Refer to 20.2.5. UT Codes and Prefixes for more information.

Record Series Title
A description of the type of records for which retention requirements are being set. A broad or general title is chosen to include records with similar functions that have the same retention requirements.

Retention Period
The length of time a record must be retained before destruction or archival preservation. This may be expressed as years, months (MO), or as a retention code plus a number of years (e.g., FE+3). Note: All numbers used with retention periods are expressed in years unless otherwise indicated.

The most common retention periods are listed here:

  • AC = After Closed (event), e.g., termination of employment, graduation, publication of report
  • AV = Administratively Valuable
  • CE = Calendar Year-End (Dec. 31)
  • FE = Fiscal Year-End (Aug. 31)
  • LA = Life of Asset
  • PM = Permanent
  • US = Until Superseded

Records that have historical value may have archival requirements listed in the UTRRS regarding review and transfer to university archives. Record series marked with archival review codes "I" or "O" in the top half of the Archival/Vital column must be transferred or evaluated for archival preservation, and Records Management Services (RMS) must be contacted to begin the appropriate process.

  • I – Transfer
    The records must be transferred to the university archives when the records are no longer needed in the department and the retention period has been met.
  • O – Review
    The university archivist must review records before disposal. Some or all of the records in a record series may be selected for transfer to the archives in lieu of destruction once the retention period has been met or the record is no longer used by the department.

For more information, refer to 20.2.3. Archival Requirements.

Vital records are those that are designated with an X in the lower half of the Archival/Vital column of the UTRRS. Vital records are essential to resume operations and recreate the legal and financial status of the university in the event of an emergency or disaster. Most university records designated as vital are managed in university enterprise systems and not at the department level. A department must identify any vital record series it manages in its records inventory. Vital records are not necessarily permanent records. Records that have vital designation may be disposed when all retention requirements have been met.

The Comments column contains information about the record series that may be critical in making determinations about classifying records. This column cites applicable federal or state laws or regulations and contains other information about retention requirements. The column also contains notes about additional requirements. For more information, refer to C. Notes 1-4, Cited in Comments Column.

C. Notes 1-4, Cited in Comments Column

The following notes are certified as part of the UTRRS.

Note 1 – University of Texas System Component Guidelines: Component institutions of The University of Texas System must insure that all state and federal audit requirements (both state and federal) have been fulfilled prior to final disposition.
Summary: This note refers to the period of time when The University of Texas System approved the retention schedules of its component institutions. If there are audit requirements that extend beyond the retention requirement for a record series, the department must retain the records until the audit is completed.

Note 2 – If a machine-readable record is scheduled for permanent retention, technical documentation must also be retained permanently. Documentation may either be in printed or magnetic form. If magnetic, the files and programs needed to print the documentation must be available. See the Texas State Library’s Electronic Rules.
Summary: For electronic or imaged records, the software and hardware required to read them must be retained for the life of the records, or plans to migrate the electronic files through technology changes must be documented.

Note 3 – Administrative Offices within Financial Affairs maintains most master records for this record series. Departments must maintain any original backup that is required but not submitted to Financial Affairs. If the record is imaged, verify that the imaged record is complete and accurate before destroying departmental copies.
Summary: At The University of Texas at Austin, most master financial records are maintained in the Image Retrieval System (IRS). Each department must verify that the imaged record is complete and accurate in the IRS before destroying the departmental copy. Each department must maintain all original documentation that has not been imaged or has not been verified as complete and accurate in the IRS by the department.

Note 4 - Data may be stored beyond retention requirement if part of an official investigation. For these cases, the Information Security Office, working with the proper authorities, will establish a date on which the data can be deleted.
Summary: Electronic data that is part of an official investigation is kept beyond its retention requirement by Information Technology Services (ITS). In this case, ITS and the instigator of the investigation will establish a date on which the data can be deleted.



Part 20. Records Management - Table of Contents