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Rule To Determine What State Documents Are Saved

Last updated on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana plans to approve a new statewide rule next week on which government emails have to be saved, and for how long.

State public records law requires policy-related records to be saved for three years, and contracts to be saved for 10.

State archivist Jim Corridan says even in electronic form, saving every email creates storage problems -- and isn't always necessary. He says the rule will define which emails, such as personal messages or unsolicited pitch letters from vendors, are considered "transitory" and don't need to be saved.

The new rule will include other electronic records for the first time, such as spreadsheets or digital photos. A draft of that portion of the policy is already complete.

And Corridan says the rule may include a directive that records need to be recopied to CD or DVD every three years or so. He notes disks begin to degrade in two-to-five years, so recopying may be necessary to ensure records really are preserved.

The policy to be issued by the Indiana Commission on Public Records is likely to be a six-month stopgap to see if any problems come up with implementation, with a permanent administrative rule to be introduced in January.

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