Updated: November 13, 2020
If you work for a local government and have interacted with us, there’s a good chance you’ve heard us talk about whether or not you’re “in compliance.” We can make it sound more fun and call it the paperwork polka, the due diligence dance, or the Texas 3-step! But regardless of the level of fun that can be had in filling out forms, we simply aim to help you understand what it means to be in compliance and how to get there.
To start, we want to be clear about what you’re supposed to comply with: the Local Government Records Act (LGRA), which we publish as Bulletin D. One of the four purposes of establishing this 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 (TSLAC). The responsibility of accepting compliance documents falls to our = Records Management Assistance unit.
There are some slight distinctions in the law that affect the forms used by elective county offices and non-elected offices, but essentially, every local government has to:
- File a records management policy approved by the governing body,
- Designate a records management officer (RMO), and
- Adopt the local retention schedules published by TSLAC.
Here is the breakdown of the forms and documentation to send to us for filing and updating our database.
Elective county offices
Including County and District Clerks, Tax Assessor-Collector, Sheriff, Justices of the Peace, and more.
- Download and complete form SLR 512 (PDF) – Records Management Policy and Declaration of Compliance By an Elected County Official.
Nonelective county offices
Including the County Auditor, appraisal district, emergency service districts, school districts, water districts, and more.
- File a records management policy with TSLAC. This could also be in the form of an order/ordinance/resolution or the CPC models used by school districts. The policy establishes the local government’s records management program.
- Use our policy template (Word) or create your own. The records management policy will designate the position of the person who will serve as Records Management Officer (RMO) for your government.
- The governing body will approve the policy, and it must be mailed to TSLAC for filing with accompanying documentation, such as meeting minutes or signatures of board members.
- Download and complete form SLR 504 (PDF) – Designation of a Local Government Records Management Officer (RMO).
- Provide contact information for the individual designated in the records management policy and mail to the address at the bottom of the form.
- The law mandates this must be done within 30 days of a personnel change.
- Download and complete form SLR 508 (PDF) – Declaration of Compliance with the Records Scheduling Requirement of the Local Government Records Act.
- Review the 12 local government retention schedules published by TSLAC and select which ones are appropriate to your government.
- The form must be signed by the individual designated as RMO in the policy and mailed to the address at the bottom of the form.
As always, we are here to help you with getting your local government into compliance and to answer all of your records management questions. On our website you can find the analyst assigned to your county.