Hi Shay-

I can't speak for the list, but likely the reason you didn't get any
responses is because the majority of the responses would have
included a large volume of "it depends" type answers.

Many of these questions would need to be answered at a Corporate
level first (legal requirements, business requirements, "best
practice" policies) and some should be answered by your existing
retention schedule... providing you have one and it has been
researched against federal, state and industry specific requirements
for classes of documents.

As far as the questions related to your vendor, those would be
somewhere in the contract or procurement of services documents drawn
up at the time it was issued.  If you cited a requirement for them to
provide you records in a specific format (or media type) and you
further required that they retain the records for a specific period
of time, then that's what they should be doing. If you requested
copies of their operating procedures or requested that they backup
the payroll records and retain them for a specific period of time,
thew same applies.

Your assertion that "these records have short lives" may need to be
investigated further- depending on the location or industry you're
in, some payroll records have retention periods of 75 years, or life
of employee plus 25 years.

When you consider filming or imaging these records, make sure you
don't have a requirement to maintain the paper records AS WELL. Take
into account the retention period AND the frequency of access- don't
forget that with imaging, there will always be a need to include
costs for future migration of the images to some other format, etc.
And also remember to include the cost of indexing the records,
whatever format you decide to store them in.

As I said, IT DEPENDS....


<We use an outside service for our payroll processing.  Currently, we
receive a CD with all data and all hard copy reports as well.

Is it necessary to keep the paper?

Should a back-up already exist at the payroll service provider?

Is the provider legally responsible to retain these records on our
behalf for any period of time?

If so, would this serve as a back-up?

If not, as these records have short lives, is it feasible to keep our
own off-site CD back-up and destroy the paper?

Would it be at all necessary to film these short-term records?

We are just beginning to investigate our imaging system options.>
Lawrence Medina
Sr. Records Administrator
Lawrence Livermore National Lab
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