Records Inventory and Disposition

Policy Approve By
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Policy Date (original policy date)
Revised (date text was last updated)
Policy Prepared By
Janet Merz, Executive Assistant
Policy Category


The Washington State School for the Blind is required to maintain records in accordance with state statute, as passed into law by the Washington State Legislature (RCW 40.14). To accomplish this, the WSSB Records Officer shall appoint Records Custodian Assistants.

Maintaining Records Inventory

Responsibility Action
Records Custodian-Asst Conduct a biennial inventory of all records to identify current, new or obsolete record series, or needed amendments to existing series.
Records Officer Prepare a unique agency Records Retention Schedule and provide a copy to the Records Custodian-Assistant. Complete the Records Retention Scheduling Review and submit to the Division of Archives for State Records Committee Review.  Forward an approved copy of the Records Retention Schedule to each Records Custodian-Assistant.

After conducting a complete records inventory, review the records within each office to determine which records should be transferred to the records room (box the records and label the box).

Destruction of Records Stored at WSSB:

The Records Custodian Assistants will remove the records from the office per the State's General Record Retention Schedule ( Prepare records for destruction; determine method of destruction, and document records to be destroyed and date of destruction.  Submit to the Records Officer.

Public Records (RCW 40.14.010): Public records “shall include any paper, correspondence, completed form, bound record book, photograph, film, sound recording, map drawing, machine-readable materials, or other document, regardless of physical form or characteristics, and including such copies thereof, that have been made by or received by any agency of the state of Washington in connection with the transaction of public business…”

Electronic Documents

Electronic documents are defined as:  databases, file systems (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), Video, Audio, Photographs, PDF’s, etc.

E-mail is a document created or received on an electronic mail system, which includes brief notes, more formal or substantive documents, and any attachments that may be transmitted with the message.  These documents should be filed and retained according to the legal retention required for the information content of each.  To assure appropriate retention of public records generated or received through an e-mail system, WSSB uses a software program that automatically archives all electronic communications.  Staff do not have the ability to permanently delete incoming or outgoing electronic messages with this software program.  This ensures that WSSB’s legal obligation is met, under the Records Retention mandate.

Back-Up: Back-ups are for disaster recovery purposes only.

Confidentiality: Confidential and sensitive information should not be sent via e-mail.  The privacy and integrity of an e-mail message cannot be guaranteed.  Also, once created, there is no guarantee that attempts to erase or delete e-mail will be effective.

Privacy: All messages originated or transported within or received into the WSSB electronic mail system are considered to be the property of WSSB.

Release: If requested by a member of the public, e-mail and/or other electronic documents will be released.  For further information see the Public Records Act (RCW 42.17.250 et seq.) and the Ethics Board WAC (292-110-010). Tape or disk copies of deleted documents are also subject to the Public Records Act.

Litigation Hold Process:  If there is any reasonable doubt that WSSB will be party to a lawsuit, all documents surrounding that issue must be kept, regardless of the Records Retention schedule.  A notice will be sent to any employee who may have documentation pertaining to the subject matter.

Retention: E-mail messages are subject to the guidelines in RCW 40.14, regulating the preservation and destruction of public records and as such are managed through records retention schedules.