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Letter to Agency Heads from State Archivist Concerning Executive Office Records

TO: State Agency Executive Officials

FROM: Christine Ward, Assistant Commissioner for Archives

SUBJECT: Executive Office Records

DATE: 10/2010

I anticipate that the upcoming months will see significant changes in the leadership of many state agencies. Members of my staff have already received inquiries from several agencies about the disposition of executive office records, including records of past and present agency commissioners and other senior managers, as those agencies prepare for expected leadership transitions.

To guide and assist agencies in planning for the disposition of records of senior managers, the State Archives has prepared the enclosed Guidelines for the Management of State Agency Executive Office Records. This publication provides basic advice and recommendations on how agencies should manage the disposition of these important records which document the decisions, actions, and activities of executive offices and officials as they lead agency programs and services. The Guidelines indicate legal requirements for the disposition of executive office records and describe the State Archives’ role in overseeing that disposition and preserving records of long-term research or other value.

I encourage senior agency officials to start planning as soon as possible for the disposition of your records, especially if leadership changes are expected in the near future. Each agency has a designated Records Management Officer (RMO) who can assist in this planning. The State Archives’ Government Records Services unit is also prepared to directly aid executive offices and agency RMOs in this work. Even if your agency does not expect any change in leadership, I still urge your attention to the proper management of your records and planning for their eventual disposition.

For more information on obtaining State Archives assistance to plan for disposition of executive office or other agency records, I invite you to contact Geof Huth of our Government Records Services unit at 518-474-6926. Your agency Records Management Officer can help in coordinating these services. If you are uncertain who has been designated as your agency’s RMO, contact us for that information.