The mission of Missouri’s Records Management Program is to promote the efficiency and continuity of state government, document the rights of Missouri citizens and preserve the state's heritage by providing state agencies with the necessary instruments to develop effective and efficient information control. Services are provided at no charge to state agencies, though savings to state government more than offset the cost of the program. Organizationally, the Records Management Program consists of three components: Records Analysis and Consultation, the State Records Center and Imaging Services.
Records Analysis and Consultation
Sound records management programs consist of a planned and coordinated set of policies, procedures and activities to manage recorded information. The professional Records Analysis staff members, comprised of records analysts and electronic records archivists, help develop records management policies and guidelines for state agencies, as well as providing the expertise and knowledge to assist the agencies in operating effective and efficient records management programs.
Records Tracking Software
The web-based State of Missouri Agency Records Tracking (SMART) system provides state agency customers with online access to the services of the Records Management program. SMART allows agencies to view and update agency records disposition schedules; create, view, request and transfer boxes or files belonging to their particular agency to or from the State Records Center; and view and request copies of microfilm stored in the microfilm vault.
SMART reduces the turnaround time for updating and creating agency records retention schedules, allows agencies to easily integrate their retention schedule into electronic records management systems and gives agencies easier access to their holdings in the records center. In FY11, SMART system growth included the addition of 336 newly trained agency employees, 373 record series created or updated, 28,512 new boxes, 176,778 new files created and assigned to boxes and 1,131 new rolls of microfilm. Additionally, in FY 11, several state agencies already using the SMART system to track boxes stored at the State Record Center began using the system to internally track files.
Records Retention and Disposition
A key facet of records management is determining how long records should be kept. Records retention is based on the life-cycle concept. Like other resources, the value of information tends to decline over time, meaning records must be kept only as long as they are needed to support administrative, legal and fiscal functions. A few records, typically less than one percent of those created, should be retained permanently because of their historical significance. These records are stored at the State Records Center while required for agency use, but are eventually transferred to the Missouri State Archives for long-term preservation and public access.
The primary tools used in making these determinations are the individual agency Records Disposition Schedules. Staff members work closely with state agency officials to categorize records and to then incorporate them into agency specific Records Disposition Schedules. Once an agency identifies one or more record series, analysts and archivists meet with agency officials to determine how long the records must be kept to fulfill business functions. As part of this process, Records Management staff research statutes, regulatory codes and similar record series in states across the nation. They then work with the agency to prepare draft disposition schedule. These schedules include the record series title, a clear description of the records and how they are used and retention and disposition instructions for after they are no longer needed.
After reaching an agreement with the agency, records analysts take the proposed Agency Records Disposition Schedulebefore the State Records Commission for discussion, necessary revisions and approval. Once approved by the Commission, the schedule serves as the legal authority for the agency to destroy obsolete records or transfer historical records to the Missouri State Archives. The staff currently maintains more than 860 agency records retention and disposition schedules, including the general schedules that apply to all state agencies.
Staff Training and Development
During FY11, the program staff continued developing their knowledge and understanding of records management concepts and new developments, particularly related to electronic records and technology. This includes attending the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) Central Missouri Chapter Meetings and Spring Seminar. In addition, Records Management staff provided training to multiple state agencies and other organizations.
State Records Center
Many records may be retained for years after they are no longer regularly used. The inactive life of a record can range anywhere from two- to 75-years or more after its period of active use. In fact, some historical records must be maintained permanently. Records with an inactive status, according to their Records Disposition Schedule, may be stored within the State Records Center.
The State Records Center saves money by providing offsite storage at a much lower cost per cubic foot than storage in agency office spaces. The storing agency can request records whenever needed and then return them for refiling. Records are stored in a secure facility, protected against unauthorized access, environmental hazards, pests and fire. Records Center staff members also track the retention periods of stored records, ensuring records that no longer have any value are disposed of as soon as they become eligible and are approved by the owning agency.
While the Records Center is the physical custodian, agencies maintain proprietary control over their records while in storage. All state agencies with approvedrecords retention and disposition schedules are eligible to store records in the State Records Center.
The State Records Center began FY11 operating three separate facilities; the Kirkpatrick State Information Center (KSIC); Annex 1, with a capacity of 76,480 cubic feet of records; and Annex 2, with a capacity of 108,024 cubic feet of records. KSIC continues to be the main facility with its climate-controlled environment designed for the protection and preservation of long-term records (those retained more than ten years) and permanent records. The capacity of the KSIC Record Center was reduced from 141,342 to 132,702 cubic feet of records during FY11 to provide additional space for the collections of the Missouri State Archives.
As a result of cooperation between the Secretary of State’s Office, the Office of Administration and the State Legislature, funds were allocated for a new climate controlled, consolidated records center annex. In the second half of FY10 a lease was secured for 85,000 square feet of additional record center space. The new State Records Center Annex (SRCA) is located on Scruggs Station Road in Jefferson City and has 35,800 more square feet of space for records than the other two annex buildings combined. Once the lease agreement was finalized, Records Management staff began working on plans to move, track and place 2,692 shelving units containing approximately 181,000 boxes from the old annex buildings.
After several months of preparing the new space for rows of shelves, the move took place between September 27 and November 8, 2010. Although new boxes were not accepted during the move, access to all records continued throughout the entire process. This required the combined efforts of twelve Records Management staff, four temporary staff, twenty volunteers from other divisions of the Secretary of State’s Office, fifteen contract employees bolting together and seismically bracing the units and between forty and fifty moving company employees. Following quality control checks, the Records Center returned to standard operations on November 17, 2010. The maximum capacity of the three earlier facilities was 325,846 cubic feet of records, while the capacity of the two current facilities is 359,166, with the ability to expand to 409,818.
Total records accessions for FY11 were 25,585 cubic feet. Staff recycled 10,469 cubic feet of records meeting retention requirements, for a net gain of 15,116 cubic feet.
As of June 30, 2011, the State Records Center held 316,317 cubic feet of records. Many of these are long-term, confidential records that may never be transferred to the Missouri State Archives. The holdings belong to approximately 318 business units within various state agencies. The following chart illustrates the volume of records stored by the fifteen most active state agencies.
To illustrate the savings of storing records in the State Records Center, the below table compares the cost associated with storing files in the records center to storing them in agency offices. An assumption is made that all 25,585 boxes received by the Records Center in FY11 are to be retained for five years, when in reality many of the boxes will be retained longer. This is based on the fact that:
- the annual cost of storing one cubic foot of records in an office environment is $13.78;
- the average yearly cost to store a cubic foot box of records in the State Records Center is $1.33; and
- the cost to process and destroy a box of files is $0.26.
Storage in the State Records Center verses Agency Office Space
|Costs||State Records Center||Agency Office Space|
|Total Cost per box||$9.96||$69.16|
|Cost to store 25,585 boxes five years||$254,827||$1,769,459|
|Savings over five years||$1,514,632|
These savings are based solely on the records accessioned in FY11 and do not reflect additional savings associated with the 290,000 boxes accessioned before FY11.
Servicing the Records
Records Center personnel schedule the pick-up and delivery of boxes for state agencies located within Jefferson City, while those outside of Jefferson City are responsible for arranging their own records shipments. Agencies may request individual files, which are returned through inner-agency mail in Jefferson City and through the postal service for those outside Jefferson City. Agencies are responsible for returning the files.
Agencies retain full access to their records in the State Records Center. If a file is needed, a Records Center clerk retrieves it and sends it to the agency. When the file is returned it is refiled in the appropriate box. This process is referred to as a “pull/refile request.” On average, Records Management processes 61,769 state agency pull/refile requests each year. These services are provided at no cost to agencies. In addition, numerous state agencies use their staff to pull and refile their own files
Records Center Growth
The need for economical paper records storage will continue for at least the next 40 years. Far from the “paperless office” once promised by technology, electronic communications and e-business have instead created a proliferation of paper, mostly based on the ease of creation and duplication. As the amount of information contained in electronic systems continues to increase, so too does the amount of paper records generated in relation to that electronic data. The following graph illustrates storage holdings in the State Records Center over the past five years.
State Records Center Holdings:
FY07 through FY11
Records Management staff work diligently to limit the rate of growth in Records Center holdings by promptly destroying eligible records and, when appropriate, reviewing agency disposition schedules to shorten retention periods. Despite these practices, the holdings maintained by Records Management continue to grow. The new SRCA facility will allow accommodation of projected increases for the next eight to ten years.
Microfilm remains an excellent storage medium for the preservation of long-term and/or historically significant records, while digital imaging is a great tool for accessing and quickly disseminating information to multiple users. Both have advantages and disadvantages that must be weighed when deciding how to best care for and manage information resources within an organization.
The Imaging Services Section has operated a full-service microfilm laboratory since 1967. Tasks performed by this section include source document microfilming, microfilm processing and duplication, rigorous quality assurance testing and environmentally controlled storage.
In 2008, Imaging Services began digital imaging for the Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative. In FY11, Imaging staff provided 1,853,545 images for placement on http://www.MissouriDigitalHeritage.com. Projects included Civil War Governor’s Papers, U.S. Land Sales and Missouri’s 1960 Death Certificates, just to name a few of the record series. These images were scanned from both paper documents and rolls of microfilm.
Records Management continues to microfilm records for state agencies wanting to preserve historical documents and provide access to older documents without damaging the originals. This service is also used by agencies lacking funds to purchase and maintain enterprise content management systems and those required to maintain long-term records in offices with limited storage space. During FY11, Imaging Services filmed 1,795 rolls of microfilm, producing 2,732,672 images.
In addition to processing and duplicating film created by the unit, staff also process and duplicate film created by other state agencies. Technicians visually inspect each roll of microfilm, conducting tests for density and resolution. If defects are found, the film is rejected and the project is re-filmed. During FY11, technicians processed 2,920 rolls of microfilm and duplicated 6,945 rolls.
Microfilm stored properly within the Records Management Program’s vault should have a usable life of at least 500 years before duplication is required. The microfilm vault is kept at a constant temperature of 58°F, plus or minus 2°, with a constant humidity level of 35%, plus or minus 2%. Currently, more than 260,179 rolls of microfilm are stored in the vault.
State Records Commission
The seven-member State Records Commission was created by state statute (RSMo 109.250). The Commission determines how long records must be maintained in order to serve the needs of an agency. This body also decides whether records are to be destroyed or transferred to the Missouri State Archives once they meet their agency retention requirements.
When the State Records Commission met on September 8, 2010, 50 record series were added or updated on the General Retention Schedule and 359 record series were added or updated on 54 agency specific schedules. The agency specific schedules approved by the Commission were from Corrections (4); Courts (7); Economic Development (12); Elementary and Secondary Education (1); Ethics Commission (1); Health and Senior Services (5); Higher Education (1); Insurance (4); Labor and Industrial Relations (1); MOSERS (1); Natural Resources (1); Public Safety (1); Revenue (6); Social Services (7); and the State Treasurer’s Office (2).
State Records Commission Members – FY11
|Robin Carnahan, Chair
Secretary of State
|John Dougan, Secretary
Senator Gary Nodler
Representative Dwight Scharnhorst
Doug Porting, Designee for
Joe Dandurand, Designee for
Chris Wilkerson, Designee for
Gary Kremer, Executive Director
Brett Berri, Designee for Commissioner