Records Management Custodians
Who should become the Records Custodian?
The Records Custodian is a single individual, appointed by the department head, who satisfies the following conditions:
- The person understands the record systems of the office.
- The person is able to make decisions on retention and disposition of these records.
Since departmental directors are frequently not intimately involved in the day-to-day records maintenance in each office, they are often not the best Records Custodians. Rather, the primary Administrative Assistant is often the better choice, as this is usually the person who has more direct knowledge and control of the records being produced. However, the decision of who is to become Records Custodian for any office is left to the discretion of the departmental director.
NOTE: It is highly recommended that the Records Custodian work closely with their departmental director and other staff, especially in all decisions made regarding retention and disposition.
What are the responsibilities of the Records Custodian?
The Records Custodian has six primary duties:
- Help determine retention and disposition policies. The primary responsibility of the Records Custodian is to work closely with the College Records Manager in the determination of retention and disposition policies for all material (both physical and digital). In other words, the Records Custodian must decide "how long should we keep it" and "what should happen to it when we don't need it anymore".
- Work with the Records Analyst and other stakeholders in developing a departmental File Plan. This is the primary instrument for classifying records, and is a critical component to any digital records keeping strategy.
- Make decisions about who can access records. Each department will have varying needs regarding confidentiality and security. The Records Custodian is responsible for determining who (either within the department or institution-wide) should have access to departmental records.
- NOTE: Records Management never releases information or material to parties outside the institution. Such inquiries are referred to appropriate College departments. See Accessing Records for more information.
- Provide guidance to departmental personnel in all records related issues. The Records Custodian is the "resident expert" on records produced by the department, and the primary source of information on how to use Records Management. In addition, the Records Custodian should provide guidance to departmental personnel who are involved in packing or preparing records for storage.
- Work with Records Management to ensure proper handling of all material. Records Management will rely on the expertise of the Records Custodian for all handling and maintenance issues.
- Review material scheduled for disposition. Periodic disposition rounds will require the review of the Records Custodian to ensure that all material scheduled is no longer needed, and is eligible for disposition.