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RECORDS MANAGEMENT IN AN ELECTRONIC ENVIRONMENT

RECORDS MANAGEMENT IN AN ELECTRONIC ENVIRONMENT

RECORDS MANAGEMENT IN AN ELECTRONIC

RECORDS MANAGEMENT IN ANELECTRONIC ENVIRONMENTLegal FrameworkPublic Records ActThe Public Records Act [PRA] (Code of Laws of SouthCarolina, 1976, Section 30-1-10 through 30-1-140,as amended) available at www.scstatehouse.org/code/t30c001.htm governs the management ofpublic records created by all agencies or entitiessupported in whole or in part by public funds inSouth Carolina. Although legal responsibility forrecords created in your office rests primarily withyour agency, the Public Records Act permits theSouth Carolina Department of Archives and History(SCDAH) to assist in the decision-making processand intervene if necessary to prevent unlawfulrecord destruction.The SCDAH is empowered to do any of the following:◆ Establish and develop standards, procedures,techniques, and schedules for the management ofpublic records.◆ Examine all public records, including thoseotherwise restricted.◆ Act to preserve and protect permanently valuablepublic records.◆ Survey agency record keeping practices and makerecommendations for improvement.◆ Conduct information and training programs in allphases of information and records management.◆ Determine the medium in which archival recordsmust be maintained or transferred to thedepartment, including those in electronic oroptical formats.◆ The SCDAH director may order the removal ofrecords from agency environments that do notmeet Department regulations for records storage.In addition, your agency must:◆ Cooperate with the SCDAH and establish andmaintain an active continuing program of recordsmanagement.◆ Assist the SCDAH in conducting inclusiveinventories and developing schedules mandatingrecords retention by series.◆ Dispose of records in accordance with anauthorized retention schedule and/or aftercopying, destroying according to SCDAHprocedures.Did you know that “The chiefadministrative officer of any agency orsubdivision or any public body in chargeof public records or creating, filing, orkeeping public records is the legalcustodian of these records and isresponsible for carrying out the dutiesand responsibilities of this chapterwhich are assigned to public agencies,bodies, offices, or subdivisions. He mayappoint a records officer to act on hisbehalf.”— Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976,Section 30-1-20South Carolina Uniform ElectronicTransactions Act (UETA)Enacted in 2004, the South Carolina UniformElectronic Transactions Act [UETA] (Code of Laws ofSouth Carolina, 1976, Section 26-6-10 through26-6-210) facilitates electronic commerce andelectronic government services by legally placingelectronic records and signatures on equal footingwith their paper counterparts. UETA officiallyrepeals the 1998 South Carolina ElectronicCommerce Act [Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976Section 26, Chapter 5]. The purpose of UETA is toestablish policy relating to the use of electroniccommunications and records in contractualtransactions. This law does not require the use ofelectronic records and signatures but allows forthem where agreed upon by all involved parties.MORE ➔South Carolina Department of Archives & Historywww.state.sc.us/scdah/erg/erg.htmJanuary 2005Version 1 — RMEEPage 1

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