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This schedule provides retention and disposition authorizations for records commonly created and maintained by state agencies to support administrative, personnel, and fiscal activities. For the purposes of this schedule, state agency means any department, division, board, bureau, office, council, commission, authority, public benefit corporation having statewide responsibility, or a separate unit of the executive branch of state government created or established by law or executive order, but shall not include the Executive Chamber.
The schedule covers 216 records series. It is organized into 21 separate sections, each of which covers the records created or used to carry out a specific function. Each section begins with a short definition of the function and a listing of pertinent control agencies for the function.
Please note that many of the items in this schedule are new or revised from previous editions of the general schedule. New and revised items are indicated by an asterisk (*) preceding the item number. Some items that appeared in previous editions of the general schedule have been deleted or combined into current schedule items. The Numerical Index at the end of this schedule contains cross-references showing past items that have been deleted or the current items into which they have been combined.
The schedule applies to records regardless of the format or media in which they exist, including computer-generated electronic records. According to Section 57.05 of Arts and Cultural Affairs Law
Records means "all books, papers, maps, photographs, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by any agency of the state or by the legislature or the judiciary in pursuance of law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities, or because of the information contained therein."
Under this definition, electronic records, microfilm, and sound and video recordings are included within the meaning of "records."
The Arts and Cultural Affairs Law and State Archives regulations (8 NYCRR Part 188) exclude the following materials from the definition of records:
Library or museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes, extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference, and stocks of publications and of blank forms do not constitute records under this definition.
Agency staff, with assistance from the agency Records Management Officer, should use sound judgment and apply consistent criteria when deciding whether recorded information constitutes records. A consistent approach to defining records ensures that agencies create or capture adequate documentation of their programs and operations for ongoing administrative purposes and helps to meet legal and audit requirements. Some examples of information that may be excluded from the definition of records include
- temporary drafts or personal notes that were not circulated, reviewed, or used to make decisions or complete transactions
- extra copies of documents that were created or distributed solely for reference purposes
- temporary files used solely to change the arrangement or format of electronic records
- electronic versions of documents, transactions, or reports, when the record is retained on paper or microfilm to provide evidence or for legal or audit purposes
- conversely, extra copies of correspondence, reports, and printouts when the record is retained in electronic form to provide evidence or for legal or audit purposes
- copies of files or extracts of databases created solely to transfer data between systems.
Decisions about which material constitutes a record should be documented in agency policies and procedures. The agency Records Management Officer and State Archives staff can provide advice and assistance in distinguishing records from non-record material.