Procedures and Forms to Document Disposition of State Records*
*The destruction of state records is prescribed by Texas Government Code 441, Subchapter L, Section 441.187.
Destruction/Disposition of Records form (for use by DSHS employees and Contractors) (Word format*)
Other forms for DSHS employees only
*See File Viewing Information
Final Disposition of Records
The retention period for the record copy of each records series listed on the approved SLR 105, Records Retention Schedule, should be consulted before taking any action to destroy records.
Contractors who create and maintain records because of a legal relationship with the Texas Department of State Health Services are obligated to follow the retention schedule for Texas Department of State Health Services and destroy records in accordance with the procedures set forth below.
Before a record may be destroyed:
Its records series must be listed on the records retention schedule for your area.
It must have met the retention period for that records series.
The record must not be involved in a pending or ongoing lawsuit, open records request, or audit.
Records Not on Records Retention Schedule
For records from an ongoing and currently maintained records series:
If you have records you wish to destroy, but they have been omitted from your records retention schedule, you must first amend the schedule before destruction of the records can take place. Contact the Records Management Office to amend your retention schedule.
For old records that are no longer maintained and not on the retention schedule:
If the records you wish to destroy are from a program or initiative no longer maintained, prepare a RMD 102 Request for Authority to Dispose of State Records and send to the Records Management Office. This form is then forwarded to the State Library and must be approved by the State Auditor and the State Librarian before destruction of these records can take place.
No record copy of a state record may legally be destroyed unless its records series is listed on the approved records retention schedule and it has met destruction eligibility requirements, or a Form RMD 102 is completed and approved by the State Auditor and the State Librarian.
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7.1 DESTROYING RECORDS IN STORAGE
Only records from state offices housed in Austin are accepted for storage at the State Records Center. Contractors may not store records at the State Records Center.
The State Records Center will destroy records as identified by the disposal date on the RMD 101 and as approved by the agency. The DSHS Records Management Office will contact the program’s Records Coordinator when records stored at the State Records Center are eligible for destruction. The Records Coordinator will be asked to approve the destruction in writing before disposal takes place.
All containers on a RMD 101 will be processed for final disposition at the same time.
After approval by the agency, State Records Center staff schedules the records for final disposition, in accordance with staff resources. To verify when a specific group of records has been destroyed, the Records Management Office may call the manager for Records Center Services at 421-7250. This service is offered free to agencies who use the storage facilities. Records are shredded and recycled.
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7.2 FINAL DISPOSITION OF RECORDS IN THE AGENCY
Internal approval by your program’s administration must be obtained before final disposition of the record copy of records within the agency. This approval is documented by the administrator's or records coordinator's signature on the Destruction/Disposition of Records form (Disposition Log). This documentation is required by the Texas State Library and is used should the department get a legal challenge in regard to the destruction of records. The Destruction/Disposition of Records Form and the retention schedule should demonstrate that records are destroyed in the normal course of business and in accordance with the retention period listed on the schedule. Contractors wanting to destroy state records created and/or maintained for a Texas Department of State Health Services program must receive DSHS program approval and the DSHS program administrator's signature on the Destruction/Disposition of Records Form.
To prepare the log:
Use the DSHS records retention schedule. Complete the agency item number, records series title, retention period, inclusive dates of the records, and appropriate disposition method on the Destruction/Disposition of Records Form.
The administrator or records coordinator for your program area must sign the form.
You may then dispose of the records as approved or you may first forward the paperwork to the Records Management Office to verify that the records are eligible for destruction.
The completed and signed Destruction/Disposition of Records Form must be sent to the Records Management Office. The program area should keep a convenience copy. The forms may be faxed to (512) 776-7474.
It is not necessary to document destruction of convenience copies or transitory information, therefore, no records disposition log is necessary for these types of records. DSHS employees may review the policy, see OS-3604 Records Management Policy.
Confidential Records Destruction
Confidential records to be destroyed must be shredded. The destruction of record copies of state records must be documented on the Destruction/Disposition of Records Form and with the signature of the program administrator or records coordinator. This shredding may take place in your program area or, if you are in Austin, you may have the staff from Executive and Staff Operations pick up your records for bulk shredding. Staff in the hospitals and regions may have a local vendor shred their records after sending the Disposition Logs.
Special instructions for destruction of confidential records being picked up by the DSHS Executive and Staff Operations Section (this service is available only for DSHS programs in Austin):
Please complete and sign a Records Destruction Disclosure Form before your confidential records are picked up for shredding. On the form you must certify that none of the records are involved with a pending or ongoing lawsuit, audit, or open records request and that they are included on a records retention schedule and have met their retention period. If you are asking that record copies be picked up for shredding, you must document this destruction on a Destruction/Disposition of Records form and forward the completed and signed log to the Records Management Office. This means that you will need to document the destruction of confidential shred materials by each records series and provide the appproximate volume of records destroyed for each records series. This should be done as your purge your files.
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7.3 MORATORIUM ON RECORDS DESTRUCTION
Records may NOT be destroyed even if their retention period has been met if they are involved in an ongoing or pending litigation, audit, or open records request.
The forms that may be needed to prepare records for destruction are: Destruction/Disposition of Records form (Word file*), Records Destruction Disclosure Form (restricted to DSHS employees in Austin), and the if the records are not on an approved DSHS retention schedule: RMD 102-Request for Authority to Dispose of State Records (restricted to DSHS employees). DSHS employees may download the Records Destruction Disclosure Form and the RMD 102-Request for Authority to Dispose of State Records at the Forms and Literature Order Entry and Inquiry System. For further information, contact the Records Management Office, phone (512) 776-7635.
*See File Viewing Information
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7.5 PRESERVATION OF ARCHIVAL RECORDS
If a records series has an "A" or an "R" in field #9 of the retention schedule, forward the records at the end of the retention period to the State Archivist by interagency mail to the address below. Include a letter with the record series information as it appears on your records retention schedule, your name and contact information.
Texas State Library
Austin, TX 78701
If you create an archival record with a permanent retention, you should forward a copy of the record immediately upon creation to the State Archivist.
Once a record is transferred to the State Archives it becomes the property of the archives to keep or dispose of as they see fit.
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