Soldotna adopts records retention schedule

The City of Soldotna finalized its retention schedule for city records and documents two years after the project was identified as a top priority.

The schedule specifies how long a record is stored by the city and when it becomes obsolete, according to the original ordinance. A document is filed as having a certain value such as historical, legal, or financial and the period it will be retained is dependent on its value.

“To effectively manage city records a records retention schedule is necessary,” according to a memo from Soldotna City Clerk Shellie Saner to City Manager Mark Dixson.

Since the city was already handling it’s records retention procedures in accordance with the State of Alaska Local Government Model General Administrative Records Retention Schedule, the public will not notice any changes to the system, Saner said.

However, developing a full scheduling document specialized the scheduling process to fit the needs of the City, Saner said.

The local government model recommends a minimum for retention periods, Saner said. The city found that the minimum retention recommended for many records was not long enough to meet the needs of the city.

The state model was developed for all types of local governments, so it contains many record types that are not generated by Soldotna, Saner said. Those were left out of the city schedule.

The bulk of the work has taken place over the last year, Saner said. City department directors and Deputy Clerk Heather Dukowitz assisted Saner throughout the project.

Dixson identified the project as a top priority when Saner accepted the position as city clerk in June, 2013.

The original ordinance specifies that 30 days prior to the destruction of an obsolete record the records manager will circulate the records to each department head in city hall for commentary on the listing of all records and the destruction dates.

“Destroying records that have met their retention reduces administrative expenses, reduces the cost of records storage and minimizes the potential for city liability,” according to the records management program overview.

Kelly Sullivan can be reached at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

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