HBP Part 20.6.6. Electronic Records

Handbook of Business Procedures

Date published: October 23, 2012
Last revised: December 16, 2013
Issued by: Records Management Service


A. Introduction

Records created, managed, or retained in electronic formats or automated systems as master records at The University of Texas at Austin or by a private contractor to the university must be retained and disposed of in accordance with The University of Texas Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS) and university policy. State law regarding electronic records requires that they are individually identifiable and retrievable for their entire retention period. Backup tapes cannot be considered a method of retaining records unless the backup tape is indexed for individual record retrieval.

B. Master Records Retained in Electronic Format at the Enterprise Level

All departments at the university use enterprise automated systems, such as *DEFINE, Financial Resource Management System (FRMS), Human Resource Management System (HRMS), and the Image Retrieval System (IRS), which create or store records that are retained electronically. For records maintained at the enterprise level, departments have a responsibility to ensure the integrity of the data entered and the quality of the imaged records. Standards and requirements for records or support documentation submitted electronically are set by owners of the enterprise automated systems in accordance with state law. Enterprise systems comply with all federal and state regulations regarding electronic records.

C. Master Records Retained in Electronic Format at the Department Level

A department may choose to image records or use automated recordkeeping programs at the departmental level. For records maintained electronically at the department level, each department has a responsibility to follow federal and state regulations regarding electronic records. For detailed instructions on meeting required standards, refer to the Departmental Management of Imaged Master Records Acknowledgment. Departments that choose to manage electronic or imaged records must include a signed copy of the acknowledgment in the department’s records management plan.

A department that is considering imaging records must weigh the feasibility of implementing a system that complies with these requirements:

  • The following standards must be adhered to:
    • image specifications, e.g., format and resolution
    • retrievability standards
    • security requirements
  • Measures must be taken to ensure the ongoing integrity and readability of the records for the length of time they must be retained, including:
    • a sample of the imaged records must be reviewed annually to ensure continued integrity, readability, and retrievability of the records
    • the means (software and hardware) to read and retrieve the records must be maintained
    • plans for conversion or migration must be in place in case changes in technology require that the records be transferred to a new system

D. Master Records Retained in Non-University Systems

A department may choose to contract for services that include the creation, management, retention, and disposition of university information and records in non-university systems, such as hosted services, cloud storage, or other systems. Departments must assure that contracts expressly provide that the contractor will comply with applicable state records management laws and university records management policy. Refer to 20.4.4 Contracts Pertaining to State Records for further information regarding contract requirements.


Part 20. Records Management - Table of Contents