Managing Electronic Records

The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, defines public records as

all books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings, or other documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics, prepared, owned, used, in the possession of or retained by a public body.

Electronic records of state and local governments are subject to the same controls and legal requirements as paper documents and information on other media. Electronic records include all documents, applications, databases, spreadsheets, and other materials made by any personal computer (PC), microcomputer, minicomputer, or mainframe.

If you match the records of a paper series to the documents created or maintained in a PC directory, the retention schedule for the paper record can apply to the documents on the PC. This eliminates the need for a separate schedule for the PC documents.

If you generate records on a PC that will constitute a new records series with no paper equivalent, you need a schedule for them. In addition, your written procedures must cover the maintenance of the documents on the PC, storage disk, or tape, for the duration of their scheduled retention period.

If you are maintaining both paper documents and PC documents, you should establish in writing the correlation between the two. You should give each the same name, or if the name of the paper document is more than eight characters long, modify the name or create a new one for the PC.

Electronic Records Management Guidelines

Trustworthy Information Systems Handbook