Managing Records: Laws & Regulations

Chapter 758, Laws of 1992, as amended
Archives Partnership Trust Act

[New York State Archives Partnership Trust Act. L.1992, c. 758, s 1 [consisting of ss 1 to 7] and s 2; amended L.1993, c. 57, s 292; L.1993, c. 497, ss 1, 2; L.1995, c. 82, s 75; L.1996, c. 474, s 117, eff. Aug. 8, 1996, retroactive to Apr. 1, 1995; L.1998, c. 399, ss 1 to 9, 11 to 13, eff. July 22, 1998; L.1998, c. 399, s 10, eff. Nov. 19, 1998, deemed eff. Sept. 1, 1996, provided]

Section 1. Legislative findings and purpose. The legislature finds that the archival records of state government are vital and irreplaceable. They protect our rights as citizens, ensure government accountability to the future, and enable us to pass New York's past and present on to our children and our children's children. They are essential for education, scholarship, and public programs. Unfortunately, present conditions threaten the survival and severely limit the use of this basic source for the history of New York State as a government and a people. Therefore, it is the purpose of this act [enacting provisions set out under this note] to insure the survival and availability of the archival records of New York's colonial and state government that were created prior to the opening of the New York State Archives in nineteen hundred seventy-eight and create a partnership among the three branches of state government and the broader community for continuing advice and support on state government records of enduring value to the people of the state, the nation and the world. To accomplish this, a New York State Archives partnership trust is created in order to: create an endowment to help preserve such archival records or the information in them and to make them accessible through research, exhibits and public programs; make possible special projects regarding such archival records and inform the citizens of New York about the status, availability and potential uses of the archives of state government.

Section 2. Short title. This act shall be known as the "New York State Archives partnership trust act".

Section 3. Definitions. As used in this act:

1. 'Trust board' or 'board' means the New York State Archives partnership trust board established pursuant to section four of this act.

2. 'Trust fund' or 'fund' means the New York State Archives partnership trust fund established pursuant to section seven of this act.

Section 4. New York State Archives partnership trust board.

1. There is hereby established the New York State Archives partnership trust board, a body corporate and politic constituting a public benefit corporation. The trust board shall consist of twenty-five members, appointed as follows: thirteen members appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be a member of his or her staff and one of whom shall be a former judge or other individual interested in judicial records; three members appointed by the speaker of the assembly, two of whom shall be private citizens; one member appointed by the minority leader of the assembly who shall be a private citizen; three members appointed by the majority leader of the senate, two of whom shall be private citizens; one member appointed by the minority leader of the senate, who shall be a private citizen; and four members appointed by the board of regents. Members shall be appointed for their interest in the history of New York, especially of its government; their knowledge and experience regarding resources for cultural and educational programs; and their support for the purposes of the archives partnership trust. The first chair shall be designated by the commissioner of education for two years. Thereafter, the trust board shall elect its own chair each two years. Initial appointments shall be for staggered terms; appointments by the governor shall be for three year terms; appointments by the legislative leaders shall be for two year terms; appointments by the board of regents shall be for one year terms. All subsequent terms shall be for three years. Members may be reappointed and may serve two consecutive full terms, in addition to the term of the initial appointments, but not more than eight consecutive years. Each member shall continue in office until such member's successor has been appointed and qualifies. Such continuation in office shall not be counted in determining whether a member has served eight consecutive years. In the event of a vacancy occurring in the office of any member, other than by the expiration of a member's term, such vacancy shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term, if applicable, in the same manner as the original appointment. Members from government shall be replaced if they leave government service; a new appointee shall serve for the unexpired term of the departing member and may be reappointed.

2. Board members shall serve without compensation for their work. Travel and meeting expenses may be compensated for members of the board and for bodies created pursuant to paragraph i of subdivision two of section five of this act.

3. The director of the state archives and records administration shall serve as the executive officer for the trust board.

4. The annual proposed budget and work plan for operation of the board itself, including conduct of the initial development campaign, and to support preservation, access, public programs and other activities shall be prepared by the executive officer in consultation with members of the board or experts as may be necessary and approved by the board.

5. A majority of the whole number of members then in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business or the exercise of any power of the trust board. Except as otherwise specified in this act, for the transaction of any business or the exercise of any power of the trust board, the trust board shall have power to act by a majority of members present at any meeting at which a quorum is in attendance. The trust board may delegate to one or more of its members, or to its officers, agents and employees, or to its executive committee, such powers and duties as the trust board may deem proper.

6. The member appointed by the governor who is a member of the governor's staff may appoint another person from the governor's staff to represent such member at all meetings of the trust board or any committee thereof from which such member may be absent. Any such representative so designated shall have the power to attend and to vote at any such meeting from which the member so designating him or her as a representative is absent with the same force and effect as if the member designating him or her were present and voting. Such designation shall be by written notice filed with the chairman of the trust board by said member. The designation of such person shall continue until revoked at any time by written notice to the chairman by the member making the designation. Such designation shall not be deemed to limit the power of the member making the designation to attend and vote at any such meeting.

7. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this or any other law, general, special or local, no officer or employee of the state, or of any public corporation as defined in the general construction law, shall be deemed to have forfeited or shall forfeit his or her office or employment or any benefits provided under the retirement and social security law or under any public retirement system maintained by the state or any of its subdivisions by reason of his or her acceptance of membership on or chairmanship of the trust board.

8. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, general, special or local, one or more members of the trust board or of any committee or executive committee thereof may participate in a meeting of the trust board, committee or executive committee by means of conference telephone, video teleconferencing system or other type of communications system or equipment allowing all persons participating in the meeting, including members of the public, if any, attending such a meeting to hear and to be heard simultaneously. Participation by such members of the trust board, committee or executive committee by such means shall constitute presence in person at such a meeting. Notwithstanding participation by members of the trust board, committee or executive committee by such means, the meeting shall be deemed to be held only at the time and place of such meeting as designated by such public notice as may be given pursuant to section one hundred and four of the public officers law or other applicable law.

Section 5. Powers and duties of the trust board.

1. The trust board shall:

a. Oversee, and participate actively in, a campaign to secure private and public funds to create an initial endowment.

b. Review and approve a budget request and work plan annually for the operation of the board and for the use of trust funds to support the purposes of the trust fund.

c. Report to the governor and the legislature at least every three years as to the activities of the trust including information pertaining to fund raising, expenditures and projects undertaken and the sufficiency of the principal to generate interest adequate to achieve the purposes of the trust.

2. The trust board shall have the power:

a. To make and adopt official bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs provided that such bylaws may only be made, adopted or amended by a majority of the whole number of the members of the trust board then in office.

b. To sue and be sued.

c. To make and execute contracts and all other instruments necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and functions under this act.

d. To appoint officers, agents and employees, and prescribe their duties and qualifications and fix their compensation.

e. To utilize, to the extent feasible, the staff and facilities of existing state agencies subject to the approval of the director of the budget. Such utilization shall not affect the civil service status, continuity of service, retirement plan status, right to compensation, grade, compensation or other rights or privileges of any employee so utilized.

f. To contract for professional and technical assistance and advice.

g. To contract for and to accept assistance, including but not limited to gifts, donations including donations for specific designated projects, grants, or loans of funds or personal property from the federal government or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or from any agency or instrumentality of the state, or from any other public or private source and to comply, subject to the provisions of this act, with the terms and conditions thereof.

h. To provide in its official bylaws for the holding of an annual meeting, at which annual meeting a majority of the whole number of the members of the trust board then in office may transact any business or exercise any power of the trust board.

i. To invest and reinvest moneys as provided in this act and to enter into agreements with the state comptroller concerning the transfer of moneys among the various accounts.

j. To create committees, including an executive committee composed of not fewer than five members of the trust board including one of the members appointed by the governor, one of the members appointed by the majority leader of the senate, one of the members appointed by the speaker of the assembly and one of the members appointed by the board of regents, and special committees, to carry out its business effectively and may also create task forces, regional campaign committees, and other bodies made up of individuals beyond its own members to assist in the work of the trust board.

k. To exercise and perform such other powers and duties as shall have been or may be from time to time conferred by law.

Section 6. Authorized expenditures. The trust board may make expenditures from the trust fund, subject to availability of fund monies, provided they are within a budget approved by the board and are not otherwise restricted by law, for the following purposes:

1. Support for a development campaign to obtain donations from non-state government sources including private citizens, foundations, organizations and the federal government and for expenses for the meetings and operation of the board and the trust.

2. Internships to students in New York who are preparing for careers in preservation, archives and public programs and fellowships to expert practitioners in preservation, archives and public and educational programs under the direction of the director of state archives and records administration.

3. Hiring expert staff in preservation, archives and public and educational programs under the direction of the director of state archives and records administration.

4. Purchase of supplies and services and purchase or lease of equipment needed for activities authorized by this act.

Section 7. New York State Archives partnership trust fund.

1. There is hereby established in the custody of the trust board a special fund to be known as the "New York State Archives partnership trust fund", hereinafter referred to as the trust fund or fund. The trust board shall establish the following three separate and distinct accounts within the New York State Archives partnership trust fund; the endowment account, and the special project account, which shall each be in the custody of the trust board, and the operation and maintenance account, which shall be in the joint custody of the state comptroller and the commissioner of taxation and finance.

2. Moneys in the trust fund shall consist of appropriations therefor and donations which may include any form of equity, fixed income securities, insurance or any other asset convertible into cash, and earnings thereon. Pursuant to agreements made at least annually between the trust board and the state comptroller, the trust board shall transfer sufficient funds from the endowment account to the operation and maintenance account for the timely payment of estimated costs and operating expenses pursuant to budgets adopted by the trust board.

3. Earnings from the endowment account may be used by the trust board for its operation and for the other purposes authorized in this act. The trust board shall give priority in expenditures to preserving and providing access to archival materials created prior to 1978 until such materials have, in the judgment of the trust board, been adequately preserved and made accessible. The determination of accessibility shall be in the discretion of the trust board. Moneys in the endowment account, and earnings thereon, may be invested and reinvested by the trust board consistent with the prudent investor standard of section 11-2.3 of the estates, powers and trust law and pursuant to the provisions of section 2925 of the public authorities law. The trust board shall give due consideration to balancing the long-term growth of the endowment, long-term trends of the economy and the needs of trust operations and the state archives with the goal that the endowment shall provide a permanent, growing and viable source of funds to fulfill the trust purposes. The trust board shall obtain an annual independent audit and audited financial statement of the books and accounts of the trust, by a certified accounting firm.

4. Moneys in the special project account shall be used for carrying out the special projects designated in the donation thereof.

5. The trust is intended to supplement, not replace or reduce, regular state appropriations to the state archives for its work on state archival records. The state may match the first five million dollars donated to the endowment account in any fiscal year following the receipt of moneys.

6. Moneys deposited to the credit of the trust from the local government records management improvement fund in the amount of not less than three hundred thousand dollars each year shall be used for service and expenses related to planning, organizing and establishment of the trust or for deposit in the trust endowment, provided, however, that not less than two hundred sixty thousand dollars ($260,000) of moneys so transferred shall be used to meet the requirements of the challenge grant from the national endowment for the humanities in nineteen hundred ninety-five, and provided further, that not more than two hundred sixty thousand dollars ($260,000) of moneys so transferred shall be used to meet the requirements of the challenge grant from the national endowment for the humanities in nineteen hundred ninety-six.

Section 8. It is hereby found, determined and declared that the creation of the trust and the carrying out of its corporate purposes is in all respects for the benefit of the people of the State of New York and is a public purpose. The trust board will be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this act and the trust shall not be required to pay taxes or assessments upon any of the property acquired by it or under its jurisdiction and control, or upon its activities in the operation and maintenance of such properties or use of any moneys, revenues or other income received by the trust. All contributions made to the trust whether by gift, devise or bequest, shall qualify as deductions in computing the net taxable income of the donor for the purposes of any income tax imposed by the state or any political subdivision thereof. The trust board is authorized to seek exemption for federal tax purposes.

Section 9. This act [enacting this note] shall take effect immediately [July 31, 1992] and the appointments to the New York State Archives partnership trust board shall be made no later than 3 months, following an appropriation made by the legislature for the purposes of this act."

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