Managing Records:

Proposed Schedule Revisions

Local Government Retention Schedules

  • CO-2 Schedule, item 914, Records filed by contractor or sub-contractor with local government related to public works project
  • CO-2 Schedule, item 177, Assignment of real and personal property
  • CO-2 Schedule, item 183, Building loan contract records
  • CO-2 Schedule, various items, records subject to False Claims actions
  • ED-1 Schedule, item 486, Records filed by contractor or sub-contractor with local government related to public works project
  • ED-1 Schedule, various items, records subject to False Claims actions
  • MI-1 Schedule, item 789, Records filed by contractor or sub-contractor with local government related to public works project
  • MI-1 Schedule, various items, records subject to False Claims actions
  • MU-1 Schedule, item 783, Records filed by contractor or sub-contractor with local government related to public works project
  • MU-1 Schedule, various items, records subject to False Claims actions

State Agency Retention Schedules

  • State General Schedule, item 90375, Contractors’ Certified Payrolls
  • State General Schedule, various items, records subject to False Claims actions

Affected Schedule Items

Records subject to False Claims actions (6/2011)

On April 1, 2007, Chapter 13 of the State Finance Law, known as the “False Claims Act,” went into effect. The law allows a state agency or local government to bring a civil action to recover financial losses from a fraudulent claim in triplicate, and in addition allows a private citizen with inside knowledge of such fraud to receive up to 30% of the proceeds. The broad scope of this statute covers almost any false claim or statement that involves a demand for payment from the local government or which deprives the government of revenues. Section 192 of this statute permits any legal action to be commenced “no later than ten years after the date on which the violation of this article is committed.” This legal requirement may require that certain records covered by the Archives’ state agency retention schedule (General Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York State Government Records) and local government retention schedules (Records Retention and Disposition Schedule CO-2, ED-1, MI-1 and MU-1), be retained for longer than their stated legal minimum retention periods, in some cases up to 10 years. This longer retention may not only involve specific records covered by items found in the Fiscal section, but also other records found throughout the schedule needed for supplementary documentation. In instances involving potential actions under the “False Claims Act,” government officials may wish to consult with their attorney to verify whether any specific records warrant longer retention. This information will be added to future revisions of the introductory sections of the aforementioned retention schedules.

Contractor records (5/2011)

Local government records retention and disposition schedules issued by the State Archives include an item, Records filed by contractor or sub-contractor with local government related to public works project, in the Public Property and Equipment section. The General Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York State Government Records has a similar item, Contractors Certified Payrolls, in the Facilities Management section. This item, in the current versions of the state and local government schedules, authorizes records destruction three years after contract completion.

The Laws of 2008 (Chapter 8) effectively revised Section 220 (3-a) of the Labor Law upon which the retention and disposition of this contractor records item was based. The revised law lengthens the retention period of contractor records to five years after contract completion. To avoid premature destruction of these records, government officials should cease destroying records as authorized by the relevant item and should instead follow the indicated retention period prescribed by law and by the proposed new item below. The New York State Archives intends to revise this item in future editions of the records retention and disposition schedules. The relevant items in the state and local government schedules are as follows:

The proposed revisions of the items are as follows:

CO-2, ED-1, MI-1, and MU-1 Schedules

  • [ ] Records filed by contractor or sub-contractor with local government related to public works project, pursuant to Section 220 (3-a), Labor Law, including but not limited to copy or abstract of payroll, classification of workers employed on a project, and statement of work to be performed by each classification:
  • RETENTION: 5 years after contract completion

State General Schedule

  • 90375 Contractors’ Certified Payrolls – Records of certified payrolls filed with state agencies by contractors and sub-contractors relating to public-work projects, including correspondence and associated documents.

    • Minimum Retention and Disposition: Destroy 5 years after contract completion.

    • Justification: These records must be retained for the indicated period pursuant to Section 220 (3-a) of Labor Law.

Assignment of real and personal property (7/2009)
Building loan contracts (7/2009)

Records Retention and Disposition Schedule CO-2, last revised in 2006, includes two items in the County Clerk section concerning assignments of real and personal property and building loan contract records. These items, #177 and #183, authorize records destruction after specified time periods.

Based on discussions with state and county officials and after further review of the items, we have concluded that use of the current items may result in premature destruction of significant records that can adversely affect the legal rights of property owners. The New York State Archives intends to revise both of these items in a future edition of Schedule CO-2.

Because the proposed revisions will significantly alter the required records retention periods, we are now advising county records management officers of the proposed changes. Counties should cease destroying records as authorized by the existing items and should instead follow the indicated retention periods of the proposed new items. You should note that one major effect of the proposed revisions is to eliminate the authorization that assignments of mortgages, which were previously covered by item #177, can be destroyed after a period of time. Instead, the revised item will specify that such assignments of mortgages should be managed consistent with item #211, which requires permanent retention.

The proposed revisions of the items are as follows:

[177] Assignment of real and personal property, including but not limited to statement of refilling, certificate of cancellation, order vacating assignment, satisfaction and index to assignments

  1. Assignment of personal property, including but not limited to wage assignment and assignment of proceeds from personal contracts or estates:
    RETENTION: 6 years after filing or refilling

  2. Assignment of rent or lease of real property:
    RETENTION: 6 years after satisfaction
  • NOTE: Assignments of mortgages of real property are subject to the permanent retention requirements of item no. 211.

[183] Building loan contract records

  1. Agreement describing a loan to finance construction:
    RETENTION: 6 years after satisfaction of the associated building loan mortgage

  2. Building loan contract index:
    RETENTION: 6 years after all contracts indexed therein have been destroyed
  • NOTE: Building loan mortgages associated with building loan contracts are subject to the permanent retention requirements of item no. 211.

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