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Dwight Wallis -

For what it is worth I disagree with your approach to keeping records longer
(see part of your posting below)*.  Disregarding the retention period
prescribed by the State Archives because you are sued a lot is not
necessarily a valid reason to go outside their guidance.  The State Archives
has apparently set forth the retention schedule which outlines that such
records do not need to be retained after X years and your locality has
elected to serve them up on a platter to any potential litigants - "what's
up with that?"  If you have a valid mitigating circumstance that makes your
records unique then most state records / archives programs that oversee the
record-keeping of localities are usually empowered to develop special
retention schedules for a given office.  Otherwise the entire enterprise
keeps records in a similar fashion, whether the records are "inactive
personnel files", "timesheets", "voting ballots", etc.

[Dwight Wallis wrote:"Again, we need to distinguish between minimum
guidelines issued by a central
authority, and the need for local flexibility. For example, Multnomah County
exceeds state archives guidelines for the retention of records relating to
the incarceration of prisoners. That's because we operate the largest system
of county prisons in the state, and our prisoners like to sue us an awful
lot. They will sue us, for example, over whether we gave them the right
brand of toothpaste when they were in the prison 3 years ago. On the advice
of our County Attorney, we developed a schedule that exceeds state minimums.
This may not be necessary in a smaller county."]

*If it's any consolation I visited your area last year and loved that part
of the country.

By the way our General Schedules for state agencies and localities can be
found at: http://www.lva.lib.va.us/state/records/index.htm
We create agency-specific schedules for state agencies (and rarely for
localities) for unique records.

C. Preston Huff, CRM, CA,
State Records Administrator
The Library of Virginia
(804) 692-3607
http://www.lva.lib.va.us/index.htm

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