FAQ: What is a Countywide RMO?

If you work in a county government, you might have heard us use the phrase countywide RMO. Today’s topic is about who the countywide records management officer (RMO) is and what they do.

The commissioners court designates an individual to serve as the countywide RMO. That person then serves as the RMO for all the county’s non-elective offices. The non-elective offices include probation, parks and recreation, auditor, fire marshal, and public works.

What does the countywide RMO do for these offices? The RMO’s duties are written in the law but basically they run the records management program. The RMO files the county’s records management compliance paperwork. He or she establishes policies and procedures and takes other steps to make sure the county handles and disposes of records appropriately.

If that were it, we wouldn’t write a FAQ post about it! The law also allows the countywide RMO to serve as the RMO for any elected officers of that county if the officer chooses it.

There are 254 counties in the state of Texas.

Map of Texas Counties.

By default, each elected county officer is the RMO of their elective office. If an officer wants the countywide RMO to be responsible for his or her records, the officer must submit a records management policy to TSLAC designating the countywide RMO.

Before TSLAC can accept that designation, we will verify the countywide RMO’s office is in compliance. Compliance means the countywide RMO has filed a records management policy with TSLAC, has a current SLR 504 designation form on file, and filed either a records control schedule or a declaration of compliance. TSLAC will not accept the elected county officer’s designation of an out of compliance countywide RMO.

The elected county officer or the countywide RMO should provide some evidence that the countywide RMO acknowledges and consents to being designated. In some counties, the records management policy enacted by the commissioners court lists elective offices included in the county’s program. In other cases, the countywide RMO sends TSLAC a letter indicating they consent. However, an act as simple as the current countywide RMO filing a records control schedule or declaration of compliance for the elective office signals their consent to the designation.

So if you call from a county office and your analyst tells you to talk to the countywide RMO, this is who we mean. They’re the person the commissioners court has put in charge of county records. If you need assistance, be sure to contact your analyst. We’re here to help.