Elections and Government Services Administrative Rules of Montana Business Services Notary and Certification Records and Information Management

Active record: A record used on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Administrative record: A record relating to budget, personnel/payroll, purchasing, legal, financial and similar operational functions common to agency offices.

Case file: a file containing standardized contents relating to a specific action, even, person or place, where the documents in case files typically capture the same category(s) of information about each investigation action, even, person or place. For the state of Montana, often referring to medical, legal, investigative, scientific or administrative action. See also Project file and Subject file.

Disposition: The disposal action taken regarding records no longer needed for current government business. Includes transfer to a storage facility, transfer to another department or agency, transfer to permanent archives, or destruction.

Duplicate record: a record that is provided as a courtesy copy; that holds no record value to the holder and can be disposed of without any loss to official or business transaction.

Essential record: Records fundamental to the functioning of an organization. Emergency and operating records immediately necessary to begin recovery of operations after a disaster, and rights and interests records necessary to protect the assets, obligations, and resources of the organization, as well as its employees and customers, or citizens. These records typically document delegation of authority and line of succession, and include legal documents and contracts, financial records, and other rights and interests records.

Inactive file: A record used infrequently, generally less than every three months.

Local government: Any city, town, county, consolidated city-county, or school district, or any subdivision thereof.

Non record: a record that is not included within the scope of official records and is not required to be retained and therefore not appearing on a records schedule.

Non-current record: a record no longer required for the day-to-day conduct of an active business.

Office of record: The office that maintains an “official record” copy of a document, in support of state business, as opposed to a duplicate.

Official Copy: A document possessing public records status, created or received by a state officer or state employee, while conducting state business and serving state government in an official capacity. This document type may be referred to as the primary copy or the matter of record copy and must follow the records management requirements as outlined in Title 2, Chapter 6, MCA and the Montana Operations Manual (MOM) Volume I-0800. Official records may be disposed of expunged only upon approval by the State Records Committee, after the agency has assured the State Records Committee that the official records have met state records retention requirements.

Preservation: Processes and operations involved in ensuring the technical and intellectual survival of authentic records through time. The act of maintaining correct, and independently understandable, information over a long term. To take action to prevent deterioration or loss .

Program record: A record relating to the mission or the unique, substantive functions of an office.

Project file: an assembly of records and other data, that pertains to a set of activities or pursuits designated as a project by the organization which has a specific beginning and end. For the state of Montana, often referring to engineering, construction or technology. See also Case file and Subject file.

Public record: 2-6-202, MCA:

  1. "Public records" includes:
    1. any paper, correspondence, form, book, photograph, microfilm, magnetic tape, computer storage media, map, drawing, or other document, including copies of the record required by law to be kept as part of the official record, regardless of physical form or characteristics, that:
      1. has been made or received by a state agency to document the transaction of official business;
      2. is a public writing of a state agency pursuant to 2-6-101(2)(a); and
      3. is designated by the state records committee for retention pursuant to this part; and
    2. all other records or documents required by law to be filed with or kept by any agency of the state of Montana.
      1. The term includes electronic mail sent or received in connection with the transaction of official business.
      2. The term does not include any paper, correspondence, form, book, photograph, microfilm, magnetic tape, computer storage media, map, drawing, or other type of document that is for reference purposes only, a preliminary draft, a telephone messaging slip, a routing slip, part of a stock of publications or of preprinted forms, or a superseded publication.
  2. "State records committee" or "committee" means the state records committee provided for in 2-6-208.

Reading file: Material such as correspondence and reference materials, filed in chronological order; generally used for reference and convenience.

Record value: the importance or significance that official and secondary records need to be compared to. A record’s 1) administrative, 2) legal, 3) fiscal, 4) historic or 5) essential (vital) business value to the record holder. These values demonstrate the necessary components for records retention and also help determine retention periods.

Records Schedule: Instructions for what to do with public records that are no longer needed for current government business, but have official record value for some period into the future. Also called a records retention and disposition schedule, it provides a minimum period of time that a specific type of record must be retained and preserved and the appropriate disposal method (toss, shred, etc).

Records series: a single record-type or group of related records that as a stand-alone or combined collection of documents represent a business function or process that documents that official business and its transactions.

Rolling Disposal Request (RM6): a disposal request form implemented with the intent to provide an agency with the State Records Committee’s annual revolving approval to dispose of specific records series(‘). Rolling disposal requests may only be used for duplicated (secondary or tertiary) records series, when within that requesting agency, the same records series exists in its primary of official format which services as the state’s official public record.

Secondary record: a record that supports a business function; that is a copy of the official record, however possessing a record value to the holder, based on the fact that it is provided for another business purpose.

Subject file: a file that consists of letters, memorandums, attachments, reports and other related documents. Relates to any topic such as, an action, event, person, place or other subject. Arranged by subject, gathered together to support current or potential business task, function or decision. They are distinguished from case files which relate to a situation affecting or relating to some particular investigation or administrative action, whereas the documents in case files typically capture the same category of information about each investigation or action, the content and format of documents in subject files often are varied. See also Case file and Project File.

Working Copy: a document possessing short-term or transitory value, utilized as related or reference-only information for a business process or function. This document type may be referred to as a reference-only copy and its use does not alter the fact that it is a working copy. Working copies are documents that have no administrative, operational, financial, legal or historic value in relation to public records management requirements. Working document have a slightly elevated records value than do non-records (see General Schedule 9) and a far less record value than official copy documentation. Each agency is responsible for the declaration of working copies, as non-official document, prior to their disposal.