Records Retention and Destruction for Tribes,
Tribal Organizations and Tribal Enterprises

Every tribal organization has records, but few have an explicit records retention and destruction policy. Too often organizations take a haphazard approach to records retention and destruction that typically results in file cabinets and desks bursting with records that no one knows what to do with. For many, the instinct when dealing with records is to keep everything for fear of destroying something that should have been saved. In truth, keeping documents for longer than necessary can actually increase risk to the organization rather than minimize it. Without a policy that addresses every record your organization produces, it could be putting itself at legal risk and unnecessarily spending money to store redundant or duplicate records.

The basis for a records retention program is a formal records retention policy that includes detailed procedures that provide all organization employees with instructions on how to organize, handle, store and discard records. This class will help you accomplish a records retention audit and construct a policy that is specific to your organization’s records, needs and resources. Take the first step in solving your organization’s record problems—register today!

*You may also be interested in Records Retention and Destructionís companion class, Electronic Records Management.

T O P I C S   I N C L U D E
Basic Principles of Records Management
  • Understanding the life cycle of records
  • Need for records management
  • Manager’s responsibilities
  • Classification of records
Filing and File Management
  • Types of files
  • Specific filing techniques
  • Managing case and correspondence files
  • Manual and computerized file indexing
  • Setting up a uniform filing system:
    • Alphabetic
    • Geographic
    • Numeric
    • Subject
Essential Elements of a Records Retention Program
  • Record inventory
  • Organization rules
  • Retention schedule
  • Destruction policy
Handling Specific Kinds of Records
  • Employment
  • Personnel
  • Financial
  • School
  • Housing
  • Legal
  • Social service
  • Grants and contracts
Conducting a Records Inventory
  • Identifying record types
  • Identifying record status:
    • Active
    • Inactive
    • Vital
    • Trash
  • Record values
  • Determining record life cycles
Implementing a New Records Policy
  • Common challenges in introducing a new policy
  • Getting staff on board
  • Creating a records retention and destruction manual
  • Staffing and accountability concerns
  • Retention guidelines and schedules
  • Three important records identifiers for file names
  • Pros and cons of off-site records storage
  • Choosing a records destruction company
  • Same document redundancy
Legal Considerations
  • Employment laws
  • Securities laws
  • FOIA
  • E-Discovery
  • Indian Self-Determination Act
  • Privacy Act
  • Others
Other Topics
  • Potential consequences of mishandling records
  • Records management and disaster recovery
  • Software solutions
  • Sample records retention and destruction policies

*Topics subject to change.

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