Active Records: Records that still have sufficient administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical value to warrant their continued storage in an easily accessible area (e.g., office area).
Appraisal: The process of determining the value and thus the disposition of records based upon their current administrative, legal, and fiscal use; their long-term evidential and informational or research value; their arrangement; and their relationship to other records.
Archives: Office dedicated to the preservation of records deemed to have enduring historical significance. Usually an archives will accept, arrange, and preserve such records according to approved archival practices.
Custodian: The appointed keeper of public records.
Disposition: Actions taken with regard to public records that have met all retention requirements and are no longer needed for current government business as indicated in General Records Schedules or Records Retention Schedules. Disposition may include either destruction of public records or transfer of public records to the custody of another department.
Drafts: Materials that constitute precursors of public records, have not been communicated or circulated for review or comment, and are not in themselves intended as final evidence of the knowledge to be recorded. Information in a preliminary form that is not intended to perpetuate, communicate, or formalize knowledge of some type and that is fully represented in the final product is a “draft” and not a “public record.”
Duplicate (or Convenience) Records: Reproductions of record (master) copies, prepared simultaneously or separately, which are designated as not being the official copy.
Electronic Records: “[A]ny information that is recorded in machine readable form.”
Files Management: Applying records management principles and techniques to filing practices in order to organize and maintain records properly, retrieve them rapidly, ensure their completeness, and facilitate appropriate disposition.
General Records Schedules: “[R]etention requirements established by the Division for public records common to all agencies or specified types of agencies within the State of Florida indicating the minimum time such records must be kept.”
Inactive Records: Records that have lost some of their value or have been superseded by new records but have not yet met all of their retention requirements. These records can be stored off-site (with permission of the Records Manager) until final disposition. Sometimes referred to as “semi-active records.”
Office of Record: The office designated as the primary repository for a record with the primary responsibility for the producing the record if needed for audit purposes. The office of record is not necessarily the office of origin.
Public Records: “[A]ll documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.”
Record (Master) Copy: “[P]ublic records specifically designated by the custodian as the official record.”
Record Series: “[A] group of related public records arranged under a single filing arrangement or kept together as a unit (physically or intellectually) because they consist of the same form, relate to the same subject or function, result from the same activity, document a specific type of transaction, or have some other relationship arising from their creation, receipt, or use. A record series might contain records in a variety of forms and formats that document a particular program, function, or activity of the agency.”
Records Inventory: The systematic categorization of records in an agency conducted to develop or identify appropriate retention schedules for the agency’s records.
Records Management: The application of systematic and scientific controls to recorded information required in the operation of an agency’s business. Records management seeks to manage and control records throughout their life cycle, from their creation, distribution, filing, and use through their final disposition, whether by destruction or permanent retention.
Records Retention Schedule: “[R]etention requirements established by the Division for public records held by a specified agency within the State of Florida indicating the minimum time such records must be kept.”
Retention Period: The minimum period of time for which a record series must be retained before final disposition, based upon the administrative, legal, fiscal, and historical values of the record series. Retention values are determined by the nature, content, and purpose of the record series and not by the physical format (paper, electronic, microfilm) in which the series resides.
Supporting Documents: Public records assembled or created to be used in the preparation of other records that are needed to trace or explain actions, steps, and decisions covered in the final or record (master) copy.