State of Maine Policy on Preservation of State Government Records
Effective: October 30, 2013
TO: All State Employees
Applicability: This policy applies to all employees of Maine state government, including all Executive Branch agencies, employees of the Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, the Constitutional Offices, and semi-independent agencies.
Statutory Authority: Maine State Revised Statutes, Title 5, Chapter 6, Section 95, §7.
Purpose: This policy establishes uniform records management practices throughout Maine state government. State government employees create and receive documents and emails as part of their official duties, therefore, most documents and emails are official state records. Records retention schedules dictate how long to retain any document or email: created or received in connection with official government business; serving as evidence of the agency's functions, policies, and procedures; or retained because of its informational or historical value. Records retention schedules apply to both paper and electronic records. Most agencies have agency-specific records retention schedules to supplement the General Records Schedules which apply to records common to most agencies.
BASIC PRINCIPLES of Records Management
Agency Directors and Records Officers shall ensure: all State Employees understand they are creating public records and know the records for which they are responsible; they are aware of the General Schedules and any Agency Specific Schedules; and know their agency's Records Officer.
WHY of Records Management
In accordance with Department of the Secretary of State/Maine State Archives (29/255) Chapter 1: State Agency Records Programs, Directors and Agency Heads are responsible for establishing and maintaining an efficient and continuous records management program. Agency Directors are also responsible for appointing Agency Records Officers.
HOW of Records Management
Records Officers shall have knowledge of their agencies and their records, and know the functions to create an inventory of records and retention schedules, and maintain an office file plan and keep these updated.
Actions by Employees: Every State employee shall comply with this policy by taking the following actions:
1. Properly manage all of their State government records, including correspondence, email and electronic documents.
a. Employees are to save (retain accordingly) their correspondence, email and other documents so that it is preserved for the amount of time required by the records schedules. It is the responsibility of Agency managers and supervisors to secure and manage/archive records of former employees. For steps on how to archive email, see the instructions on the State internal website,
b. Executive Branch: If assistance is needed, employees can call the OIT Help Desk at 624-7700.
c. Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, Constitutional Offices and semi-independent agencies: If assistance is needed, employees should call their individual HelpDesk.
2. Review the following Schedules and Guides:
- General Records Schedules
- State Agency Schedules (pertaining to their agency)
- Records Management Basic Principles for State Employees (PDF, 735KB) This online training addresses 4 key topics: Why Records Management is Important, Records Retention, Email Management and the Freedom of Access Act. It is recommended that every State employee take this training as part of the minimum standard training for Records Management. Records Officers and RO Assistants (PDF, 1.16MB) - any Records Officers or Assistants should use this minimum standard training to complete the policy requirements
- FAQs General (Word Doc, 37KB)
3. Annually sign the web-based acknowledgement form (within 60 days of receiving notice):
Note: The acknowledgement form link will be removed after 6 months of posting date. (Link has been removed for 2017 acknowledgement.)
Secretary of State
Revised: November 8, 2017