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State of Maine Policy on Preservation of State Government Records

Effective: October 30, 2013

TO: All State Employees

Applicability: This policy applies to all employees of Maine state government, including all Executive Branch agencies, employees of the Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, the Constitutional Offices, and semi-independent agencies.

Statutory Authority: Maine State Revised Statutes, Title 5, Chapter 6, Section 95, §7.

Purpose: This policy establishes uniform records management practices throughout Maine state government. State government employees create and receive documents and e-mails as part of their official duties, therefore, most documents and e-mails are official state records. Records retention schedules dictate how long to retain any document or email: created or received in connection with official government business; serving as evidence of the agency’s functions, policies, and procedures; or retained because of its informational or historical value. Records retention schedules apply to both paper and electronic records. Most agencies also have agency-specific records retention schedules to supplement the General Records Schedules that apply to records that are common to most agencies.

BASIC PRINCIPLES of Records Management

Agency Directors and Records Officers shall ensure that all State Employees understand that they are creating public records, that the employees know the records for which they are responsible, that they will be aware of the General Schedules and any Agency Specific Schedules, and will know their agency’s Records Officer.

WHY of Records Management

In accordance with Chapter 1 – State Agency Records Programs 29/255, Directors and Agency Heads are responsible for establishing and maintaining an efficient and continuous records management program. Agency Directors are also responsible for appointing Agency Records Officers.

HOW of Records Management

Records Officers shall have knowledge of their agencies and their records, and know the functions to create an inventory of records and retention schedules, and maintain an office file plan and keep these updated.

Actions by Employees: Every State employee shall comply with this policy by taking the following actions:

1. Properly manage all of their State government records, including correspondence, e-mail and electronic documents.

a. Employees are to save (archive) their correspondence, email and other documents so that it is preserved for the amount of time required by the records schedules. It is the responsibility of Agency managers and supervisors to secure and archive records of former employees. For steps on how to archive e-mail, see the instructions on the State internal website,

b. Executive Branch: If assistance is needed, employees can call the OIT Help Desk at 624-7700.

c. Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, Constitutional Offices and semi-independent agencies: If assistance is needed, employees should call their individual HelpDesk.

2. Review the following Schedules and Guides:

3. Annually sign the web-based acknowledgement form (within 60 days of receiving notice):

Matthew Dunlap
Secretary of State

Revised: October 30, 2014

Policy (printable pdf)