Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Records Retention and Disposal

MnDOT Policy #DM006
Effective: December 7, 2020

View/print signed policy (PDF)

Records Retention and Disposal Procedures

Please go to the MnDOT Org Chart to find specific contact information: Org Chart.

Responsible Senior Officer: Deputy Commissioner/Chief Administrative Officer
Policy Owner: Chief Counsel, Office of Chief Counsel
Policy Contact: Records and Information Manager, Office of Chief Counsel

Policy statement

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) must create and maintain a complete and accurate Records Retention Schedule for MnDOT’s official records in compliance with the law. Refer to the Legal Holds Policy for retention of records subject to a legal hold.

MnDOT employees must follow the Retention Schedule Procedures to:

Reason for policy

MnDOT’s records are valuable assets and must be well-organized, easy to retrieve, and disposed of in accordance with this retention policy and the retention schedule. Proper management of MnDOT’s records ensures the quality, reliability, integrity, shareability, security, and transparency of the records.

Minnesota Statutes §15.17 requires MnDOT to make and keep all records necessary to accurately document the agency’s official activities. A critical part of MnDOT’s compliance with the law is the Retention Schedule. The schedule creates an inventory of all records and specifies where to keep the records, how long to retain a records series, and when and how the records can be disposed. The Records Disposition Panel approves the schedule.

This policy reduces legal risks and ensures efficient use of state resources by specifying record repository, avoiding duplication, limiting the retention period, and requiring disposal of records at the end of the retention period.

Applicability

All MnDOT employees must comply with MnDOT policies.

Key stakeholders affected by this policy include:

  • Chief Administrative Officer
  • Chief Counsel
  • Data Domain Stewards
  • Records Manager / Assistant Records Manager
  • Records Coordinator
  • Data Practices Compliance Official
  • Managers and Supervisors
  • Technology Investment Manager
  • Employees
  • Records Contacts

Definitions

Disposal (Record Disposal)

Permanent removal of a record from MnDOT’s repositories, which could include secure destruction, recycling, deleting, or transferring to the Minnesota State Archives. 

MnDOT Records Center

Responsible for cataloging and storing MnDOT business documents in a safe and secure environment in accordance with the department’s Record Retention Schedule.

Minnesota State Archives

A department of the Minnesota Historical Society responsible for keeping long-term records deemed of archival value to the state but no longer hold a business need for MnDOT.

See Minnesota Statutes §138.17.

Record (Business Record)

Information that documents MnDOT business decisions or transactions and is designated in the agency's Records Retention Schedule.

Records Disposition Panel

The body that approves government retention schedules. Membership on the panel consists of the Attorney General, Legislative Auditor in the case of state records, State Auditor in the case of local records, and the director of the Minnesota Historical Society.

See Minnesota Statutes §138.17.

Repository

A physical or electronic storage location for documents and records.

Retention Schedule

An official document that specifies each record series and how long they must be kept.

Responsibilities

Commissioner/Delegate

  • Ensure the MnDOT Records Retention Schedule complies with state law.
  • Approve and sign the MnDOT Records Retention Schedule.

Information Governance Supervisor

  • Approve and sign the MnDOT Records Retention Schedule.
  • Ensure training, procedures, and other documents associated with the policy remain current.

Chief Counsel

  • Advise on legal requirements for records retention.
  • Review data management agreements for Software as a Services or cloud computing vendors or service providers.
  • Review policy every 2 years or sooner as necessary, to ensure policy remains up-to-date.
  • Work with Policy Coordinator to revise policy and/or confirm its accuracy.
  • Communicate policy revisions, reviews, and retirements to stakeholders.

Data Domain Stewards

  • Guide the management of shared records for the common benefit of MnDOT.
  • Guide the quality, security, retention, timeliness, availability, and reliability of records.
  • Inform users of the proper management of records.
  • Authorize changes within their data domains.
  • Manage records in accordance with data practices classifications and requirements. 

Records Manager / Assistant Records Manager

  • Maintain and update the Records Retention Schedule.
  • Inform employees of the Records Retention and Disposal policy.
  • Coordinate records transfer with the Minnesota State Archives.
  • Respond to employees’ questions and their requests for information or assistance with records and disposition.
  • Provide subject matter expertise regarding records management practices.

Records Coordinator

Managers / Supervisors

  • Know what records are produced by staff and communicate where to store and how to access records.
  • Ensure staff comply with the Records Retention and Disposal policy.
  • Follow the account deletion process when employees separate from employment with MnDOT for proper management or disposal of records.
  • Request approval from the MnDOT Technology Investment Management to use a Software as a Service (SaaS) vendor and/or store MnDOT records with a cloud computing service. Following approval, consult with the Office of Chief Counsel to initiate a data management agreement with the potential service provider or vendor.

Technology Investment Management Program

  • Review and approve requests to use a Software as a Service (SaaS) vendor or cloud computing service to store MnDOT records.
  • Ensure all professional/technical contracts and MnDOT purchases with a cloud computing service or Software as a Service provider have an executed data management agreement, as indicated by the Office of Chief Counsel.
  • As applications are retired or replaced or professional/technical contracts expire, consult with the assigned Application Steward, Office of Chief Counsel, and MNIT to ensure that MnDOT data is retrieved as referenced in the applicable Data Management and Services Agreement and Certificate of Return or Destruction of Government Data Agreement.

Employees

  • Treat MnDOT records as valuable assets.
  • Manage records so that they are easily found, retrieved, secured, backed up, and readable for the full retention period.
  • Keep records in designated MnDOT repositories, avoid duplication, and do not save records on a computer hard drive, removable drive, personal archive, personal email account, or personally owned devices, such as cell phones or laptops.

Records Contacts

  • Serve as liaison between District and/or Central Office staff and the Records Manager.

Resources and related information

Forms

Processes, Procedures, and Instructions

Resources                                       

History and updates

Adopted

May 23, 1995 (Policy #95-12 and Guideline #95-12-G-1)

Revised

  • First Revision: July 7, 2000 (Policy #4.14 and Guideline #4.14-G-1)
  • Second Revision: July 28, 2014 (Policy #AD003)
  • Third Revision: September 23, 2015 (Policy #DM006)
  • Fourth Revision: December 7, 2020

Policy Review

This policy's next scheduled review is due December 2022.