Retention and Disposition of Records
Records should be maintained only for the minimum periods required to serve the basic official functions of the office involved. At the end of those periods, records should follow the NMSU Disposition and Destruction Process.
Regardless of whether something is a record or a non-record it can be Confidential or Non-Confidential. This affects how they must be destroyed. How do you identify if something is Confidential? Confidential Records contain information that is exempt from release under state or federal laws (NMAC 220.127.116.11). For example, Confidential information is protected by laws such as FERPA and HIPPA.
A. To simplify the inventory, filter out Non-Records in your office.
|Blank Forms & Templates||Publications (brochures, books/textbooks, catalogs, flyers, handbooks, journals, magazines, newsletters, periodicals, teaching aids, technical reports/studies)|
|Budget Reconciliation files||Reports (that can be reproduced/printed from database)|
|Correspondence (Announcements, cc’d to you (no action required of you)||Sample Forms/Letters|
|Financial files sent to designated central office for final processing UNLESS THEY ARE RELATED TO A GRANT||Time Sheets|
|Handouts (for confrences/trainings attended)||Transitory/temporary notes used to complete a task|
B. About Non-records
- Non-records come in different formats and media (paper, electronic, etc.).
- Non-records do not require prior approval from the state to destroy non-records and do not follow the NMSU FSA-RMR Destruction process.
- Non-records can be destroyed when no longer needed for reference.
- Destruction of non-records can be performed by department staff or by a vendor for a cost.
- If they are confidential, please shred.
- If they are non-confidential, shred or place in the blue recycling bins.
Note: Aggie Recycling offers pick-up of high volumes of non-confidential non-records, contact (575) 646-8159 or firstname.lastname@example.org for scheduling and costs.
- If you are unsure whether something is a record or not, place it on the records inventory in the next step.
C. After filtering out the Non-Records, start your records inventory.
- Use our Document Inventory Worksheet. (For an example, see a Completed Worksheet.) If you prefer, you may create your own list or spreadsheet.
- Complete the first six columns of the inventory worksheet (File Type, Location, Primary/Copy, Confidentiality, Medium, and Record (Y/N)) as you are reviewing files.
- If the records are no longer active, you may wish to put them in labelled boxes or move them to another location.
- Inventory the active records in cabinets, desk drawers, etc. looking at each file as a whole.
- If you are unable to determine a record type or need a visit from the RMR Office , please ask RMR or send an email to email@example.com.
A. When a record has met its retention requirement, it is eligible for disposition.
B. Check the resources below to determine the retention requirements for your records:
- Common retention schedules are on the right of this page. Note: Schedules are categorized as departmental, academic, etc. These are only a representative set of typical university files and are not intended to be a comprehensive list.
- The New Mexico Functional Records Retention and Disposition Schedules by clicking on FRRDS or contact the RMR Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on Ask RMR button on the right for assistance.
- If the retention period is listed as “from year audit report released” you may use the table below or look on the website of the Office of the State Auditor.
Audit Report Release Dates
|Fiscal Year||Audit Report Release Date||Date Eligible for Disposition (if retention is 6 years)||Fiscal Year||Audit Report Release Date||Date Eligible for Disposition
(if retention is 6 years)
C. Keeping records longer than the retention requirement puts the University at risk.
The department must have a valid business or operational need to retain records past the retention requirement in order to obtain approval through the FSA-RMR office.
A. Complete a Request for Disposition form
Watch this video for guidance on how to complete the form and read the instructions on page 1 of the form.
If your records are for a central office, verify the Custodian here and then obtain that person’s signature.
B. Enter the retention schedules
C. Box Paper records
Note: If paper records are smaller than 8.5 X 11 inches, such as add/drop slips, place a rubber-band around a batch to keep them together, and place them flat in the box. Continue placing a second and third layer if needed and avoid overfilling.
D. If applicable, count electronic files
- Enter the e-files (e-records) locations on the “Remarks” section of the form. (e.g. Enterprise System/Server Name)
- Depending on the e-records location, an IT Ticket may need to be submitted to obtain the records count.
E. Submit completed Request for Disposition form
- Email the form to the RMR Office at email@example.com.
- RMR Office will review the form.
- For requests of confidential paper records, the RMR Office will contact you to schedule a Condition Assessment (CA) and then work with you to schedule a time for you to deliver the boxes to the staging area, the F.A.T.E. Warehouse.
- If you require assistance to deliver the boxes, schedule an appointment at least 48 hours in advance with Facilities & Services, through the AiM system, to have the movers pick-up and deliver the boxes on date of delivery. There is no charge for moving the boxes.
- After the paper records are delivered, the RMR Office will ask you to sign the Transfer of Custody. The RMR Office will handle approval and destruction on your behalf.
- For requests of non-confidential paper records, the RMR Office will request permission from the state to destroy records and notify you once approved.
- You may then shred the records using department staff or a vendor (at a cost to your department)
- After destroying the records, you complete the Certificate of Destruction (CoD) and email it to the RMR Office.
- For electronic records, destruction scheduling is dependent on the confidentiality and location of the records. The RMR Office will advise.
The timeframe for the Disposition & Destruction process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months depending on destruction scheduling. Unforeseen events and litigation issues can cause freezes of disposition and destruction.