An electronic record is any information that is recorded in machine readable form. Electronic records include numeric, graphic, audio, video, and textual information which is recorded or transmitted in analog or digital form such as electronic spreadsheets, word processing files, databases, electronic mail, instant messages, scanned images, digital photographs, and multimedia files. Electronic records that meet the definition of a public record must be managed and made available according to applicable laws and rules. Record schedules apply to records regardless of their physical format.
UFIT’s Electronic Files webpage has more information on relevant policies and guidelines if you haven’t already checked it out.
Where is the best place to store electronic records?
UFIT recommends that electronic records and/or data should be stored on network drives or through approved online services such as GatorCloud. Official business records should never be stored on your desktop or any other temporary location (including removable storage devices) which may be lost or corrupted. As a reminder, only records and information stored on network drives are backed up by UFIT.
Is my email considered a public record?
Yes! As an employee of a public agency, your email is subject to Florida’s Public Records law. It is recommended that you save any relevant email correspondence (including attachments) in a new Outlook folder not affected by Outlook’s automatic deletion schedule. UFIT outlines this very well here and includes suggestions on how to save email for longer than three years.
Do I have to submit a disposition request form before I get rid of electronic records?
Yes! In order to properly dispose of electronic records or data, the records will need to be identified using the UF General Retention Schedule. (Please remember that you are not required to submit a disposition request for records assigned a retention period of ‘retain until obsolete, superseded, or administrative value is lost.’) Once you have identified applicable records, you will complete a Records Disposition Request form. The only part of the form that will differ from paper records is how volume is reported in Box 7, Column E. Rather than listing cubic feet or the number of boxes, the file size (KB/MB/GB) of the records and/or data being disposed of will need to be indicated for each item.
How do I safely dispose of electronic records?
FIT has specific requirements and guidelines for disposing of electronic records. This method will depend on the sensitivity or confidentiality of the records, and how the records were stored. Please refer to UF’s Information Security website for more information.