Agency Records Officers
Records Officer's Role
Every executive-branch state agency must have a records officer appointed by its agency head—this may be the executive director, legal counsel, head of IT, or another senior administrator for the state agency. Larger, more complex agencies may appoint a records officer at the division/bureau/program level, as deemed necessary.
The records officer
- Acts as liaison between your state agency, KSHS staff, and the State Records Board
- Knows the agency’s records and recordkeeping practices
- Knows the agency’s retention and disposition schedule and revises as necessary
- Formulates records management policies for your agency (assistance available from the Kansas Historical Society’s public records program
- Handles destruction or transfers of records when they have reached the end of their retention; ensures records are appropriately scheduled before destruction or transfer
- And otherwise ensures your agency’s records are well managed, regardless of format.
More information about the records officer’s role and responsibilities can be found in the administrative regulation, K.A.R. 53-4-1, which is an implementation of the Public Records Act, K.S.A. 75-3501 et seq.
In order to know what records your agency has, you may need to conduct a records inventory or survey. A sample form is available on our website.
In order to ensure the agency’s records are being managed properly, records officers will need to conduct training for their staff. Please check out this page on the KSHS website for sample training materials, and please feel free to contact public records program staff in the State Archives if you’d like our help in conducting a training session.
The records officer should establish procedures for storing and handling agency records with long-term value that will ensure their long term preservation. To the extent possible, this includes storing records in areas that are not subject to extreme temperature changes, flooding or water leaks, and that provide security from loss and defacement. If agency records with enduring value are microfilmed, the records officer should establish procedures to ensure that the quality of the microfilm meets the standards required by K.S.A. 75-3506 and K.S.A. 45-412. If agency records with enduring value are scanned or born digital, the records officer should ensure the system application(s) used for recordkeeping have an approved Electronic Recordkeeping Plan.
Other duties that relate to formulating and overseeing implementation of an agency records management program may include:
- Designing, monitoring, and refining efficient and effective records storage and retrieval systems, whatever the format--paper, microfilm, or electronic.
- Identifying vital or essential records (those records needed to resume business in the event of a disaster) and taking precautions to protect them, such as developing disaster preparedness plans for vital and archival records. [link]Go here for more information about essential records.
- Administering public access to records in accordance with the Kansas Open Records Act (K.S.A. 45-201 et seq.) while ensuring that legal restrictions on access to confidential records are followed.
- Conducting cost/benefit studies of records management activities.
- Directing forms design and forms management.
- Participating in automation studies to ensure that records management concerns are represented in designing and analyzing systems.