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, Legislative Branch, the Constitutional Offices, and semi-independent agencies.

Statutory Authority: Maine State Revised Statutes, Title 5, Chapter 6, §95-C.

Purpose: This policy establishes uniform records management practices throughout Maine State government. State government employees create and receive paper documents and electronic messages as part of their official duties; therefore, most will be considered official State records. Records retention schedules dictate how long to retain paper documents or electronic messages that are: created or received in connection with official government business; serving as evidence of the agency's functions, policies, and procedures; and/or retained because of its informational or historical value. Records retention schedules apply to all media formats. 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 (in their agency): understand they are creating public records and know the records for which they are responsible; 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 the agency and its records; 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 (but not limited to) correspondence, email and electronic documents.

a. Employees should save (retain accordingly) their paper and electronic correspondence including other documents so that it is preserved for 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: For assistance on how to retain or archive records, please contact your agency Records Officer or the Maine State Archives.

c. 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)
  • Minimum Standards Training:
    • Records Officers and RO Assistants, updated 2020 (pdf 820kb) - any Records Officers or Assistants should use this minimum standard training to complete the policy requirements
    • Records Management Basic Principles for State Employees (pdf 1.15mb) It is recommended that all other State employees (other than those taking the RO training), take this as part of the minimum standard training for Records Management. This online training addresses the following 4 topics:  Introduction to Records Management, Overview of the Records Management Process, Where to Go for Help, Email Management in Brief. 
  • RM FAQs

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 original posting date (10/2020).

Shenna Bellows
Secretary of State

Revised: March 2021