Records Management FAQs
UC campuses are under heavy scrutiny by the media, the Regents, the Internal Revenue Service and members of the public and as such need to provide quick access to documents upon request.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was designed to prevent financial malpractice by establishing new standards for U.S. public companies. The University of California has chosen to incorporate its provisions.
Sarbanes-Oxley includes retention mandates for certain public records, and while the Act doesn’t technically apply to the University, UC may seek disciplinary action for destroying, altering or concealing business records.
University records are pieces of information that have been created or received by your department of administrative, legal, fiscal, research or historical value in any format including paper, electronic or other media.
Non-records” include items that have no unique business, legal, regulatory or operational value including notes, extra copies maintained for convenience and emails to colleagues regarding non-official events.
I'd like to set up a records management program in my department. How do I start?
First, take an inventory of your department's records and then begin disposing of records in accordance with the UC retention schedules making sure to shred or erase personal, confidential or sensitive information.
Electronic records are subject to discovery in court and to review by auditors and members of the public. It's important to establish a system for retrieval and possible disposal according to UC guidelines.
Some UCLA offices such as Corporate Financial Services scan their own records because they have the volume to warrant the expense. Also UCLA Document and Bulk Mail Services provides scanning for a nominal cost.
The majority of retrieval requests received by Records Management are for financial documents, for which CFS is the office of record. Records Management also works closely with Campus Counsel and other offices.
Your first point of contact is generally your chief administrative or financial officer. However, Records Management is always willing to assist you in developing and managing a records management program.
The University has a searchable database to find the retention period for the documents you have.
It's important to destroy records at the end of their retention period in order to save money on storage costs and minimize legal risk since they are still subject to subpoena.
The University Archives office preserves items of historical value. If you have records that you think may be a significant piece of history, contact the University Archives staff.
Direct the requester to Records Management, the Office of Contact for all such requests. Do not release any such records yourself even if you have them. Records Management must determine the validity of the request.
Only the coordinating offices that are authorized to process subpoenas may accept one even if they specify records in your possession. Contact Records Management with any questions.
The summons (or subpoena-to-appear) can be accepted only by the individual or by the manager of a department with authorization of the named person.
No, since Records Management sends a letter of notification to the employee upon receiving a subpoena. In addition, the attorney or copy server is obligated by law to notify the employee in advance.
Do not accept the subpoena. Direct the process server to the Office of Campus Counsel.
State law prohibits the University from releasing information prior to the due date in order to provide the subject an opportunity to object to the disclosure by filing a motion to quash.