If you work for a local government and you’ve attended our trainings or called us with questions, there’s a good chance you’ve heard us talk about whether or not you’re “in compliance.” In this article, we’ll explain what it means to be in compliance and how you can achieve it.
To start, we want to be clear about what exactly you’re supposed to comply with: the Local Government Records Act (LGRA), which we publish as Bulletin D. These laws were passed in 1989, and according to Section 201.002(e), part of the purpose of the law was to establish “uniform standards and procedures for the maintenance…of local government records.” The LGRA requires all local governments to file information about their records management program with the Director and State Librarian, Mark Smith, at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission . The responsibility of accepting compliance documents for filing falls to our unit, Records Management Assistance.
So in a nutshell, here’s what each local government needs to file with us:
The Fast Track to Compliance:
- File a Records Management Policy with TSLAC. Use one of our four policy models as a template or create your own. It must be filed with accompanying documentation (such as meeting minutes or board signatures) showing approval of the policy by your governing body. The records management policy should designate the position of the person who will serve as Records Management Officer for your government. Learn more about filing a records management policy.
- Designate a Records Management Officer (RMO). Provide contact information – using the half-page form SLR 504 – for the individual designated in the records management policy. Per law, this must be done within 30 days of a personnel change. Learn more about designating a records management officer.
- Make a Retention Decision. Review the 12 local government retention schedules published by our agency and select which ones are appropriate to your government. To officially adopt these schedules, submit form SLR 508, which must be signed by the individual designated as RMO in the policy and mailed to the address at the bottom of the form. Learn more about making a retention decision.
As always, contact us to check your compliance status or seek guidance with the process of getting there!