ARTICLE IRecords Management Program (§ 197-1 — § 197-7)
ARTICLE IIPublic Access (§ 197-8 — § 197-16)
§ 197-2Records management officer.
§ 197-3Powers and duties of records management
§ 197-4Records Advisory Board.
§ 197-5Custody of records.
§ 197-7Disposal of records.
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Those official records which have been determined by the officer and the Advisory Committee to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the local government.
- Any documents, books, papers, photographs, sound recordings, microforms or any other materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or in connection with the transaction of official village business.
- RECORDS CENTER
- An establishment maintained by the village primarily for the storage, servicing, security and processing of records which must be preserved for varying periods of time and need not be retained in office equipment or space.
The removal by the village, in accordance with approved records control schedules, of records no longer necessary for the conduct of business by such agency through removal methods which may include:
The transfer of records from one village department to any other village department.
- RECORDS MANAGEMENT
- The planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promotion and other managerial use and records disposition, including records preservation, records disposal and records centers or other storage facilities.
- Making information in records available to any village department for official use or to the public.
There shall be a Records Management Program established under the aegis of the Village Clerk and headed by the Village Clerk or his designee, who shall serve as records management officer (RMO). The officer will be responsible for administering the noncurrent and archival public records and storage areas for the Village of Spring Valley in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
The officer shall have all the necessary powers to carry out the efficient administration, determination of value, use, preservation, storage and disposition of the noncurrent and archival public records kept, filed or received by the offices and departments of the Village of Spring Valley.
The records management officer shall continually survey and examine public records to recommend their classification so as to determine the most suitable methods to be used for the maintaining, storing and servicing of archival material:
Obsolete and unnecessary records according to New York State Records Retention and Disposition Schedules thereby subject to disposition.
Information containing administrative, legal, fiscal, research historical or educational value which warrant their permanent retention.
Records not subject to disposition according to state law.
The officer shall establish guidelines for proper records management in any department or agency of the Village of Spring Valley in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
The officer shall report annually to the chief executive official and the governing body on the powers and duties herein mentioned, including but not limited to the cost/benefit ratio of programs effectuated by the department.
The officer shall operate a records management center for the storage, processing and servicing of all noncurrent and archival records for all Village of Spring Valley departments and agencies.
The officer shall establish a village archives and perform the following functions:
Advise and assist village departments in reviewing and selecting material to be transferred to the village archives for preservation.
Continually survey and examine public records to determine the most suitable methods to be used for the creating, maintaining, storing and servicing of archival materials.
Establish and maintain an adequate repository for the proper storage, conservation, processing and servicing of archival records.
Promulgate rules governing public access to and use of records in the archives, subject to the approval of the Records Advisory Board.
Develop a confidentiality policy for archival records designated confidential, provided that such policy does not conflict with any federal or state statutes.
Provide information services to other village offices.
Collect archival materials which are not official village records but which have associational value to the village or a close relationship to the existing archival collection. Such collecting shall be subject to archive space, staff and cost limitations and to the potential endangerment of such materials if they are not collected by the archives.
Develop a procedure whereby historically important records are to be identified at the point of generation.
There shall be a Records Advisory Board composed of the Mayor, the records management officer, the Treasurer, the Attorney, the grants coordinator and the village historian. The Board shall meet periodically and have the following duties. The Board shall:
Provide advice to the records management officer on the development of the Records Management Program.
Review the performance of the program on an ongoing basis and propose changes and improvements.
Review retention periods proposed by the records management officer for records not covered by the state archives' schedules.
Provide advice on the appraisal of records for archival value and to be the final sign-off entity as to what is or is not archival.
The Village Clerk is the legal custodian of its records and shall retain custody of records deposited in the records center. Records transferred to or acquired by the archives shall be under the custody and control of the archives rather than the department which created or held them immediately prior to being transferred to the archives.
Records shall be transferred to the archives upon the recommendation of the RMO, with the approval of the head of the department which has custody of the records and the approval of the Records Advisory Board.
Records may be permanently removed from the archives at the request of the RMO or the head of the department which had custody of the records immediately prior to the transfer of those records to the archives, subject to the approval of the Records Advisory Board.
The Legal Department may take steps to recover local government records which have been alienated from proper custody and may, when necessary, institute actions of replevin.
No records shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by a department of the village unless approval has been obtained from the records management officer. No records shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the records management officer without the express written consent of the department head having authority.
§ 197-8Purpose and scope.
§ 197-9Records access officer.
§ 197-10Location of records.
§ 197-11Hours for inspection.
§ 197-12Requests for access.
§ 197-13Subject matter list.
§ 197-14Denial of access; appeals.
§ 197-16Public notice.
The people's right to know the process of government decisionmaking and the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality.
These regulations provide information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained.
Personnel shall furnish to the public the information and records required by the Freedom of Information Law (§ 84 et seq. of the Public Officers Law), as well as records otherwise available by law.
Any conflict among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Spring Valley is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and designates the Village Clerk and, in his or her absence, the Deputy Village Clerk as records access officer, who shall be responsible for ensuring appropriate agency response to public requests for access to records. The designation of a records access officer shall not be construed to prohibit officials who have in the past been authorized to make records or information available to the public from continuing to do so.
The records access officer shall ensure that personnel:
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list.
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary.
Upon request, certify that a record is a true copy.
Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at the office of the Village Clerk, Senator Gene Levy Municipal Plaza, Spring Valley, New York.
Requests for public access to record shall be accepted and records produced during all hours that the Clerk's office is regularly open for business.
A written request may be required, but oral requests may be accepted.
A response shall be given regarding any request reasonably describing the record or records sought within five (5) business days of receipt of the request.
A request shall reasonably describe the record or records sought. Wherever possible, a person requesting records should supply information regarding dates, file designations or other information that may help to describe the records sought.
If the records access officer does not provide or deny access to the records sought within five (5) business days of receipt of a request, he or she shall furnish a written acknowledgment of receipt of the request and a statement of the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied. If access to records is neither granted nor denied within ten (10) business days after the date of acknowledgment of receipt of a request, the request may be construed as a denial of access that may be appealed.
The records access officer shall maintain a reasonably detailed current list by subject matter of all records in his or her possession, whether or not records are available pursuant to Subdivision 2 of § 87 of the Public Officers Law.
The subject matter list shall be sufficiently detailed to permit identification of the category of the record sought.
The subject matter list shall be updated not less than twice per year. The most recent update shall appear on the first page of the subject matter list.
Denial of access to records shall be in writing, stating the reason therefor and advising the requester of the right to appeal to the individual or body established to hear appeals.
If requested records are not provided promptly, as required in § 197-12D of this Article, such failure shall also be deemed a denial of access.
The Board of Trustees shall hear appeals for denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law.
The time for deciding an appeal by the body designated to hear appeals shall commence upon receipt of a written appeal identifying:
The date of the appeal.
The date and location of the request for records.
The records to which the requester was denied access.
Whether the denial of access was in writing or due to failure to provide records promptly as required by § 197-12D.
The name and return address of the requester.
The body designated to hear appeals shall transmit to the Committee on Open Government copies of all appeals upon receipt of appeals. Such copies shall be addressed to the Committee on Open Government, Department of State, 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12231.
The Board of Trustees shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Open Government of its determination, in writing, within ten (10) business days of receipt of an appeal. The determination shall be transmitted to the Committee on Open Government in the same manner as set forth in Subsection E of this section.
The fee for photocopies not exceeding eight and one-half by fourteen (8 1/2 x 14) inches shall be the current fee mandated by the state.
A notice containing the title or name and business address of the records access officer and appeals body and the location where records can be seen or copied shall be posted in a conspicuous location wherever records are kept and/or published in a local newspaper of general circulation.