Calvert Commissioners Approve a New Document Retention Policy

Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) recently approved a document retention policy for the county. These policies are required by the State.

As reported by Southern Maryland Newspapers Online,

Having a records retention policy allows for “freeing storage space for reuse, saving the county the cost of new equipment or construction, reduces the amount of staff time required to manage unneeded or obsolete records and locate needed documents; and, facilitates the identification and preservation of archival records,” according to a presentation made Tuesday to the BOCC.

Additionally, having a policy ensures efficiency and transparency, said associate county attorney Pamela Lucas.

Commissioners unanimously approved the policy, which will be sent to the Records Management Division of the Maryland Department of General Services and forwarded on to the Maryland State Archives to make a determination.

The policy is more than 100 pages long, detailing when records from various sources in every county department should be disposed of or the duration of retention, including emails, meeting minutes, meeting agendas and documents on various computer drives.

Some documents, such as BOCC minutes, are to be retained permanently. Others, like BOCC emails, are to be retained for three years “unless administratively useful.” The term “administratively useful” is used throughout the document, and it is up to the department heads to determine what documents are deemed as such, Lucas said in an interview.