Legislative Changes for Local Government Records Management Compliance

During the 86th Legislative Session, HB 1962, the Sunset bill of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), passed reauthorizing TSLAC for another 12 years.

Along with the re-authorization of our agency, some changes were made concerning local government records management compliance. These legislative changes took effect on September 1, 2019. This article will explain the most important changes and outline action items some local governments may need to take to ensure compliance.

Local Government Compliance

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Overall, the elements of local government compliance have not changed. The graphic to the right explains the information local governments, including elected county officials, are required to submit to be in compliance.

Repeal of local government control schedules and amendments.

Elected county officials and all other local governments are no longer required to file records control schedules and amendments with TSLAC. Records control schedules and amendments have been officially replaced by the written declaration of compliance. This written declaration of compliance (form SLR 508) is not new. Most local governments have submitted this form to establish a retention schedule and achieve compliance but now it is required for all.

Local governments are still allowed to create records control schedules and amendments for their offices and departments, but these are no longer required to be filed with TSLAC.

Repeal of requirement to request approval for destruction of originals of microfilmed records.

Local governments are now authorized to destroy original records after they have been microfilmed without approval from TSLAC.

Repeal of electronic storage authorization requests.

Any local government record may be stored electronically without approval from TSLAC.

What do I need to do to ensure continued compliance?

For any elected office or other local government that has previously submitted form SLR 508 Declaration of Compliance, no further action is required. The previously submitted Declaration of Compliance serves as the written certification of compliance required by [203.041(a)(2)].

For any elected office or other local government that has previously submitted records control schedules or amendments, most likely on forms SLR 540, SLR 500, and 520, and have not also submitted SLR 508 Declaration of Compliance, your local government will need to submit this form.

View and download the form SLR 508 from our website: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/slrm/forms#local

If you have questions about your compliance status, please find the analyst assigned to your government here: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/slrm/contact.

2 thoughts on “Legislative Changes for Local Government Records Management Compliance

  1. having worked in records management in municipal government, consulting, and higher education, I am wondering how this is going impact the ability to fill public information requests and how it will impact vulnerability to legal action for destruction of significant records. Luckily, most people who request public information do not know what a retention schedule is. Even worse is HB 1784, which will require state agencies to do records management, EXCEPT for higher education, thanks to an amendment from a Dallas politician. Makes no sense and leaves records management folks in higher ed with no State backing and NO administrative incentive to do records management unless someone understands the legal and common sense reasons for it and unless they have budget for it. But budgets reflect priorities, and records management in some institutions will be kicked to the curb because the State will not enforce it.

  2. As usual the tail is waging the dog. Why can’t the state library have focus group
    discussions that include people and companies who are performing the retention
    of their records.

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