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Pennsylvania State Laws on Optical Images

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State Archivist and Records Manager:

Frank Suran, Director

Bureau of Archives & History

717-783-9872 fax: 717-878-4822

Diane Smith Wallace, Chief

Archival & Records Management Services

717-783-9874 fax: 717-787-4822

Kathy Smith, Records Mgmt.

State Records Ctr. Bldg.

1825 Stanley Dr., Harrisburg PA 17103

717-783-7330 fax: 717-772-5279

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Uniform Rules of Evidence

Editor's Note: Pennsylvania has not adopted any version of the Uniform Rules of Evidence.

Uniform Photographic Copies of Business and Public Records as Evidence Act

42 Pa. Cons. Star. Ann. 6109 adopts a version of the Uniform Photographic Copies of Business and Public Records as Evidence Act (LIPA). The UPA permits the destruction of an original document if, in the regular course of business, the original has been reproduced by "...microfilm...or other process which accurately reproduces or forms a durable medium for so reproducing the original .... "Furthermore, "[s]uch reproduction, when satisfactorily identified, is as admissible in evidence as the original itself in any judicial or administrative proceeding .... "

6109. Photographic Copies of Business and Public Records

(a) Short title of section. This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Uniform Photographic

Copies of Business and Public Records as Evidence Act."


(b) General rule. If any business institution, member of a profession or calling, or any department or agency of government, in the regular course of business or activity, has kept or recorded any memorandum, writing, entry, print, representation, or combination thereof, of any act, transaction, occurrence or event, and in the regular course of business has caused any or all of the same to be recorded, copied or reproduced by any photographic, photostatic, microfilm, microcard, miniature photographic or other process which accurately reproduces or forms a durable medium for so reproducing the original, the original may be destroyed, in the regular course of business, unless its preservation is required by law. Any such reproduction in order to comply with this section must accurately reproduce all lines and markings which appear on the original. Such reproduction, when satisfactorily identified, is as admissible in evidence as the original itself in any judicial or administrative proceeding, whether the original is in existence or not, and an enlargement or facsimile of such reproduction is likewise admissible in evidence if the original reproduction is in existence and available for inspection under direction of the tribunal. The introduction of a reproduced record, enlargement or facsimile does not preclude admission of the original.

Uniform Business Records as Evidence Act


42 Pa. Cons. Star. Ann. 6108 adopts a version of the Uniform Business Records as Evidence Act.


6108. Business Records

(a) Short title of section. This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Uniform Business Records as Evidence Act."


(b) General rule. A record of an act, condition, or event shall, insofar as relevant, be competent evidence if the custodian or other qualified witness testifies to its identity and the mode of its preparation, and if it was made in the regular course of business at or near the time of the act, condition, or event, and if, in the opinion of the tribunal, the sources of information, method and time of preparation were such as to justif? its admission.


(c) Definition. As used in this section, "business" includes every, kind of business, profession, occupation. calling, or operation of institutions whether carried on for profit or not.


Editor's Note: The scope of the business records exception to the hearsay rule, as codified by Sec. 6108. has been extended beyond private business entities. See Silver v. City of Harrisburg, 422 A.2d 704, 54 Pa.

Commw. Ct. 303 (1980); Joseph v. Krull Wholesale Drug Co., 147 F. Supp. 250 (E.D. Pa. 1957) aff'd per curtam 245 F.2d 231 (3d Cir. 1957). The purpose of the Uniform Business Record as Evidence Act is to create an additional exception to the hearsay' rule.


Special Statutes

Pa. Star. Ann. tit. 7 108 requires banks, trust companies, savings banks. building and loan associations. etc.. to preserve certain records for seven years from the date of last entry. Film, photographic, photostatic "...or other copies which accurately reproduce all lines and markings on the original..." are authorized for most of the types of records required to be retained; and any such copy "...shall be admissible in evidence in any proceeding with the same effect as though it were the original."


Editor's Note: Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 7 Sec. 6020-11 below is a similar provision relating to banks, trust companies, savings banks, building and loan associations, etc.

108. Retention of Records and Admissibility of Copies in Evidence

(a) Requirement of retention. Every institution and every national bank located in this Commonwealth shall retain in such form and manner that they may be readily produced upon proper demand each record of original or final entry, and each deposit or withdrawal slip or ticket, for a period of seven years from the date of making of the last entry thereon, except that coupons accompanying deposits in a club account. such as a Christmas club or a vacation club, need not be so retained for more than two years from the date of closing of such account

(b) Originals required and copies permitted. All records required to be retained under subsection (a) of this section shall be retained in their original form except that, in lieu of the originals, film, photographic, photostatic or other copies which accurately reproduce all lines and markings on the original may be kept of:

(i) Any ledger or other record of final entry with respect to deposit accounts, any deposit slip or ticket or any record with respect to accounts held in a fiduciary or other representative capacity, and

(ii) Any withdrawal slip or ticket or other record not covered by clause (i) of this subsection (b) at any time

after two years from the date of the making of the last entry thereon.

(c) Admissibility of copies in evidence. Any copy of a record permitted to be kept in lieu of the original under subsection (b) of this section shall be admissible in evidence in any proceeding with the same effect as though it were the original.


Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 7 6610 sets forth certain banking requirements. Subsection (d) provides that if copies are kept pursuant to this statute, the copies "...may be photostatic, microfilm or electronic copies .... "

6610. Licensec Requirements: Records; Reports; Examinations; Receipts; Information to Be Furnished Borrower


(d) If copies of instruments, documents, accounts, books or records are maintained under subsection (a)(2), they may be photostatic, microfilm or electronic copies or copies provided in some other manner approved by the secretary, as long as access to information required by the secretary. exists electronically at all times within this Commonwealth.

6020-11. Retention of Records and Admissibility of Copies in Evidence

(a) Every association shall preserve in such form and manner that they may be produced upon proper demand, all of its records of original or final entries for a period of seven years from the date of making the last entry thereon, except that coupons accompanying deposits in a club account, such as a Christmas club or a vacation club, need not be so retained for more than two years from the date of closing of such account.

(b) All records required to be retained under subsection (a) of this section shall be retained in their original form except that. in lieu of the originals, film, photographic, photostatic or other copies which accurately reproduce all lines and markings on the originals may be retained.

(c) Any copy of a record permitted to be kept in lieu of the original under subsection (b) of this section shall be admissible in evidence in any proceeding with the same effect as though it were the original.

13 Pa. Cons. Star. Ann. 9409 is the Uniform Commercial Code section that authorizes the making and preservation of "...microfilm, photographic, photostatic or other copies..." of financing statements and other documents required to be filed under code provisions relating to secured transactions.


9409. Retention of Microfilm or Other Copies in Lieu of Originals; Admissibility of Copies in Evidence;

Duties of Filing Officer

In lieu of retaining the originals of any or all papers filed with him, a filing officer may make microfilm. photographic. photostatic or other copies of them which accurately reproduce such originals and may thereafter dispose of the originals so copied, and any copy so made shall be admissible in evidence in any proceeding with the same effect as though it were an original. If a filing officer upon making a copy of a paper shall have disposed of the original, then upon the filing of a termination statement the filing officer shall be relieved of the duties imposed upon him by .Sec. 9404(b) (relating to duties of filing officer). but instead shall note the termination statement on the index and shall send to the secured party an acknowledgment of the filing of the termination statement.


Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 40 910-7 provides that a title insurance company must retain the abstract of title or the report of the examination resulting from each examination of record title. The section further provides that in lieu of retaining the original abstract or report, the company may retain a reproduction of the original on microfilm "or other process which accurately produces or forms a durable medium for so reproducing the original."


Pa. Shat. Ann. tit. 43 113 specifically permits the use of microfilm in the keeping of the wages and hours records required by the state labor laws.

113. Posting Abstract of Act; Records of Hours of Work; Microfilm


(a) Every person employing or permitting any female to work in any establishment shall keep posted, in a conspicuous place, where such female employee may read, a printed abstract of the provisions of this act. Provided, that when any female shall be employed or permitted to work in connection with any establishment, but not in such establishment, the aforesaid abstract shall be kept posted in a conspicuous place in the office of such establishment. The Department of Labor and Industry shall prepare the abstract of the provisions of this act. Copies of such abstract shall be printed, in accordance with the laws of this Commonwealth regulating printing and publishing, and the Department of Labor and Industry shall supply the same, upon application, to all persons required to post the abstract.

(b) Every person employing or permitting any female to work in any establishment shall maintain a true and accurate record of the hours worked by each such female. Such record shall contain the name of the female employee, the hours of commencing and stopping work, the hours when the time allowed for meal or rest periods shall begin and end for each day of the week, and the total daily hours and total weekly hours for each such female employee.

Where records are maintained at a central, record-keeping office, other than in the place of employment, such records shall be made available for inspection at the place of employment within seven calendar days following verbal or written notice from the Secretary of Labor and Industry or his authorized representative. Such records shall be maintained for a period of three years.

The use of microfilm for record-keeping purposes is permitted: Provided, however, that employers who use such microfilm shall make available to authorized representatives of the Department of Labor and Industry the equipment which is necessary to facilitate review of the records.


Public Records

Pa. Shat. Ann. tit. 15 136(d) authorizes the Department of State to make copies "on microfilm or otherwise" of any document filed with the department pursuant to any statute; and thereafter, the department may destroy the original.

(d) Copies. The department may make a copy, on microfilm or otherwise, of any document filed in, with or by it pursuant to this title, or any statute hereby supplied or repealed, and thereafter destroy the document or return it to or upon the order of the person who delivered the document to the department.


Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 21 451 provides that a certified copy of an affidavit stating facts relating to the title to real estate duly recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds or the commissioner of records and certified by a member of the bar of the highest court in the Commonwealth shall be admissible evidence of the facts therein stated.


451. Recording of Affidavits; Admissibility into Evidence

An affidavit, stating facts relating to the matters hereinafter named, which may affect the title to real estate in this Commonwealth, made by any person having personal knowledge of the facts and competent to testify concerning them in open court, may be recorded (even though not acknowledged) in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds or Commissioner of Records in the county. in which such real estate is situated; and when so recorded, such affidavit, or a certified copy thereof, shall be admissible evidence of the facts therein stated, insofar as such facts affect title to real estate, provided a member of the bar of the highest court of this Commonwealth shall have signed a certification, appended thereto, that he or she relied upon such affidavit in passing on the title to such real estate.


Pa. 'Star. Ann. tit. 43 769 authorizes the Department of Labor to make photographs or reproductions of its records "for the effective and economical preservation of the information contained therein." The statute specificallyauthorizes the destruction of originals; and provides that duly authenticated copies are admissible if the originals would have been.


769. Obsolete Files, Records, etc.

The department may cause to be made such summaries, compilations, photographs, duplications or reproductions of any records, reports, or transcripts thereof, as it may deem advisable for the effective and economical preservation of the information contained therein. Original documents so photographed, duplicated or reproduced may be destroyed. Such summaries, compilations, photographs, duplications or reproductions, duly authenticated, shall be admissible in any proceedings under this act if the original record or records would have been admissible therein.

The provisions of 524 of the Administrative Code of 1929, as amended. to the contrary notwithstanding. the department may provide by regulation for the destruction, after reasonable periods, of any records. reports. wanscripts, other papers in its custody, or reproductions thereof. the preservation of which is no longer necessary for the establishment of contribution liability. or of benefit rights or for any other purpose necessary to the proper administration of this act, including any required audit thereof. Contribution reports of employers or the photographs thereof shall be retained for a period of at least two years from the date of filing.


Pa. Star. Ann. tit. 53 9008 allows the original of any public record held by any municipal to be microfilmed if approval is granted by the Local Government Records Committee; if so microfilmed, the originals may be destroyed and the microfilm "shall be receivable in evidence in any court or proceeding, and shall have the same force and effect as though the original public record had been there produced and proved."


9008. Photocopies, etc. of Records; Destruction of Originals: Copies as Evidence

Whenever any officer. commission or agency of any municipality shall have photographed. microphotographed or microfilmed any public record with the approval of and in conformance with standards


Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 65 65. I through 65.5 authorize public officers of certain counties of the first class and cities of the first class to record documents by photographic process, authorize photographing of documents previously recorded by other processes, and provide that copies are admissible as originals.


,65.1. Recording, Copying, etc., by Photostatic, Photographic, etc., Process Authorized Whenever any officer of any county of the first class or of any city of the first class is required or authorized by law to record, copy, recopy, or replace any document, plat paper, written instrument, or book, on file or of record in his office, he may do so by photostatic, photographic, microphotographic, microfilm, or other mechanical process which produces a clear, accurate, and permanent copy or reproduction of the original document, plat, paper, written instrument, or record, in accordance with standards not less than those approved for permanent records by the National Bureau of Standards.


65.2. Certification as True and Original Copy

In any case where an original document, plat, paper, written instrument, record, or book of record, previously filed or of record in the office of such officer is, whether because of the worn or injured condition thereof or for any other reason, copied and replaced by such process, and where such officer is required by law to certify in or on the paper or book replacing the original so copied that the replacement is a true and correct copy of the original, a copy of such certification by such officer, similarly made and produced and included at the end of the replacement, shall be sufficient compliance with such law.


65.3. Copies, How Considered; Effect; Evidence

Copies, records, reproductions and replacements, or enlarged reproductions thereof, thus produced, shall be considered as original copies, records, papers, or books of record, for all purposes, shall have the same effect in law and equity, and shall be admissible in evidence in like manner and under the same conditions as original copies, records, papers, or books of record, produced or copied in any other manner authorized by law.


65.4. Transcripts or Certified Copies

Transcripts or certified copies of such copies, records, reproductions and replacements shall be considered as transcripts or certified copies of the originals.


65.5. Correction, AIteration, Endorsement or Entry

In any case where any record or replacement thereof in the office of any such officer is produced by such process, any correction, alteration, endorsement, or entry, required or authorized to be made of or on any instrument or paper or on the record thereof, may be made by filing or inserting copies or recopies produced by the same process, of the pages, page, or part of the page, so corrected, altered, or on which such endorsement or entry is made, next to the place wherein the copy or record of such instrument or paper is contained or in such other manner as such officer shall deem advisable or practicable.


Pa. Star. Ann. tit. 71 205 authorizes any administrative department, board or commission, upon requisite approval, to microfilm correspondence, records or other papers, including "any returns, reports, claims or other papers pertaining to the administration, settlement, payment or collection of taxes, license fees, and other monies or property due the Commonwealth or rebates payable." The provision adds that "[m]icrofilm reproductions of such papers shall be admitted into evidence in any proceedings in place of the original papers in accordance with the 'Uniform Photographic Copies of Business and Public Records as Evidence Act.'"


205. (Adm. Code 525). Microfilm Records

Any administrative department. board or commission may. with the approval of the Executive Board. have microfilm records made of any correspondence, records or other papers for the purpose of protecting and safeguarding the original correspondence, records or other papers. or for the purpose of conserving filing space. and such microfilm reproduction shall, when properly identified, be admitted in evidence in any proceedings in place of the original correspondence, records or other papers. In any case where original correspondence, records or other papers are microfilmed under the provisions of this section for the purpose of conserving filing space, the administrative department, board or commission concerned may, with the approval of the Executive Board. destroy such original correspondence. records or other papers.


The provisions of this section expressly include. but are not limited to, any returns. reports. claims or other papers pertaining to the administration, settlement, payment or collection of taxes. license fees. and other moneys or property due the Commonwealth or rebates payable. Microfilm reproductions of such papers shall be admitted into evidence in any proceedings in place of the original papers in accordance with the "Uniform Photographic Copies of Business and Public Records as Evidence Act."


42 Pa. Cons. Star. Ann. 4321-4324 set forth the standards and procedures for the disposition of obsolete

judicial records that are deemed by the applicable governing authority to be of permanent value. Such records shall not be destroyed prior to being "reproduced by an',' photostatic. photographic, microphotographic. microfilm. video tape. magnetic tape or other mechanical process...in accordance with standards...approved...by the National Bureau ofStandards." Such copies shall be admissible in evidence in any matter, and shall have the same force and effect as theoriginal.


8. POLICY AND GUIDELINES FOR THE RETENTION AND DISPOSITION OF

ORIGINS----COUNTY RECORDS COPIED ONTO OPTICAL IMAGING AND

DATA STORAGE SYSTEMS


(a) Purpose


Establish and clarify a records management policy for

county officers with respect to the retention and ultimate

disposition of original records copied onto optical imag-

ing and data storage systems and to records stored on

optical disks in order to enable officers to incorporate

information retention and retrieval considerations at the

earliest possible time into their plans to acquire optical

imaging and data storage systems.


(b) Objectives


(i) To integrate records maintained on optical disks

into county records management programs.


(ii) To provide information needed by county officers

to properly evaluate the effect of optical imaging

and data storage systems on their operations.


(iii) To ensure that information stored on optical imaging

and data storage systems will be accessible in con-

formance with records retention and disposition

schedules and procedures approved by the County

Records Committee.


(iv) To reduce the risks associated with optical imag-

ing and data storage system hardware and software

obso!escence.


(c) Scope


Applies to all county officers covered by the County

Records Act and by Supreme Court Rule of Judicial Adminis-

tration Pa.R.J.A. No. 507(a).


(d) Policy


(i) Records relating tc optical imaging and data

storage systems, including systems documentation,

may be disposed of only in accordance with sched-

ules approved by the County Records Committee.


5/96 1-OPT-1



OPTICAL IMAGING GUIDELINES (Continued)


(1) All information retention requirements

and procedures established by the County

Records Committee are addressed during

the system planning.


(2) Where possible, systems should be built

from hardware and software components

that conform to non-proprietary and/or

commonly accepted standards, and


(3) Vendors should deposit a copy of computer

source code and associated documentation

with the county for use in the event of

the vendor's business failure.


B. Preservation Strategy


To ensure that records stored on optical

media are preserved, a county officer must:


Maintain proper care and handling proce-

dures for optical media by keeping a

clean, dust-free environment for all

equipment and prohibit eating, drinking

or smoking in the area.

C. Migration Strategy

To ensure access to long-term records, a

county officer must provide a means to:

 

(!) Upgrade equipment as technology evolves

and periodically recopy optical media as

required, or


(2) Recopy optical media (based upon projected

longevity of the optical disk) every ten

years, or


(3) Transfer data from an obsolete generation

of optical technology to a newly emerging

generation, in some cases bypassing the

generation that is mature, but at risk of

becoming obsolete.



OPTICAL IMAGING GUIDELINES (Continued)


A. Input Quality Control


Regular equipment maintenance is a necessary

process control procedure under which optical

imaging and data storage systems should operate.

A county officer must:


(1) Ensure that the optical system receives

periodic maintenance,


(2) Ensure that the optical drives are recali-

brated annually or more frequently based

upon an "hours in use" formula,


(3) Ensure that quality control evaluation of

each scanned image and related index data

is performed prior to writing image data to

optical media,


(4) Evaluate the scanner quality based on

standard procedures recommended in

ANSi/AIIM MS44-!988, Recommended Practice

for Quality Control of Imaqe Scanners

(ANSI- American National Standards Insti-

tute). ANSI is composed of representatives

from industry, technical societies, consum-

er organizations and government agencies.

AiIM-Association for Information and Image

Management (formerly National Micrographics

Association - NMA).


B. Scanning Density


Scanning density is vital to ensure image

legibility. A county officer must:


(1) Employ a scanning density of 200 dots per

inch (dpi) for office documents that con-

tain no type fonts smaller than six (6)

point,


(2) Employ a higher scanning density (300

dpi or 600 dpi) as needed for engineering

drawings, maps, and documents with type

fonts smaller than six (6) point or

significant background detail, and


(3)Validate the selected scanning density

with actual document tests.



OPTICAL IMAGING GUIDELINES (Continued)


F. Compression Techniques


There are two broad categories of compres-

sion techniques - proprietary and standard.

Proprietary compression techniques tend to

be fast and offer higher compression capa-

bilities but the stored images might not be

transportable between different systems.

Standardized compression techniques, al-

though they may not be as powerful, support

image data transfer between systems that

otherwise might be incompatible. There are

two international standard compression

techniques currently available-CCITT Group 3

and Group 4. Therefore a county officer

must:


(1) Require that digital imaging and data

storage systems support the prevailing

CCITT standards, but


(2) If a proprietary compression technique

is unavoidable, require the vendor to

specify compression / decompression

algorithms that ensure that no informa-

tion is "lost" during the transmission.


(iii) County officers must provide for the continuing

functionality of system components over time by:


A. Open Systems


Open systems architecture is defined as a

systems design approach that permits users to

interchange system hardware components with

minimal impact on the primary operating

software and to upgrade the system over time

without risk of data loss. A county officer

must:


(!) Require an open systems architecture for

new optical media applications, or


(2) Require vendors to provide a bridge to

systems with non-proprietary

configurations.



OPTICAL IMAGING GUIDELINES (Continued)


E. Technical Documentation


To ensure that all technical information will

be available, a county officer must:


(1) Require delivery of a complete set of

documentation (including source code,

object code, and maintenance documenta-

tion) to the organization responsible

for operation of an optical media appli-

cation system, and


(2) Document all aspects of the design and use,

including administrative procedures for

digital imaging, retrieval, and storage;

technical system specifications; problems

encountered over time; and measures taken

to address them, including hardware and

software modifications.


(iv) County officers must provide for the stability of

optical media by:


A. Recording Performance


Write once, read many times (WORM) and

rewritable optical media recording

technologies each offer advantages and

disadvantages. The selection of WORM or

rewritable recording must be linked to the

user's application requirements, available

resources, and the level of standardization

achieved by the optical media technologies.

It is possible that accidental or intentional

erasure of data stored on rewritable media

could occur and this must be taken into

account, particularly when the records have

substantial legal, financial, or other !ong-

term value. A county officer must:


(1) Require the use of WORM technology for

records of long-term legal, financial or

archival research value, and


(2) Ensure that read/write privileges are

carefully controlled and that an audit

trail of rewrites is maintained when

rewritable technology is used.



OPTICAL IMAGING GUIDELINES (Continued)


E. Storage Environment


Optical media should be stored in a

protected environment. Therefore a county

officer must:


(1) Store optical media in areas with stable

room temperatures (65 to 75 degrees

Fahrenheit) where the relative humidity

does not exceed 50 percent and does not

fall below 30 percent.


(2) Not locate optical systems near areas of

electromagnetic radiation, such as

transformers, or areas of high radio

frequency radiation,


(3) Periodically clean optical media to

remove dust and other particulates

(e.g., fingerprints if media are

handled).


For additional information, contact:


Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Division of Archival and Records Management Sereices

P.O. Box 1026

Harrisburg, PA 17108-1026


(717) 783-9874 or (717) 787-3913


Officers may wish to contact AIIM for the most recent

edition of Technical Report - TR25 The Use of Optical

Disks for Public Records and other applicable standards:


Association for Information and Image Management

1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1100

Silver Spring, MD 20910


(301) 587-8202



9. STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR ELEC____TRONIC RECORDS

(a) Authority


These standards and procedures were adopted by the

County Records Committee in accordance with the

County Records Act.


(b) Purpose


The standards and procedures are designed to help

ensure the accuracy, usability, longevity and legal

acceptance of electronic records generated by county

offices.


(c) Scope


These standards and procedures establish the basic

requirements relating to the creation, maintenance,

use and disposition of electronic records. Eleetr0nic

records include numeric, graphic, and text information

which may be recorded on any medium capable of being

read by a computer and which satisfies the definition

of a record as defined in the County Records Act. This

includes, but is not limited to: magnetic media such as

computer tapes, disks, diskettes and other electronic

storage devices containing records. These requirements

apply to all electronic records systems, whether micro-

computers, minicomputers or main-frame computers, in

network or stand-alone configurations. The guidelines

apply to all county officers covered by the County

Records Act and by Supreme Court Rule of Judicial

Administration Pa. R.J.A. 507(a). Policy and guide-

lines for the retention and disposition of county

records copied onto optical imaging systems and stored

on optical disks are not included in this chapter but

are covered in Chapter One, Section 8 of the County

Records Manual.


(d) Responsibilities of County Officers


County officers shall ensure that the management of

electronic records incorporates the following elements:


(i) Assigning responsibility to develop and implement

a program for records created, received, main-

tained, used, or stored on electronic media.


(ii) Integrating the management of electronic records

with other records and information resources of

the county and incorporating electronic records

management responsibilities into any pertinent

county policies or directives.


5/96 1-ELEC-1



ELECTRONIC RECORDS STANDARDS (Continued)


(iii) Establishing procedures for addressing records

management requirements, including record disposi-

tion schedules promulgated by the County Records

Committee, before approving new electronic records

systems or enhancements to existing systems.


(iv) Ensuring that adequate training is provided for

users of electronic records systems in the opera-

tion, care and handling of the equipment and

software.


(v) Developing and maintaining adequate and up-to-date

documentation about each electronic records sys-

tem. Documentation should: list system title and

responsible county office; specify all technical

characteristics necessary for reading or process-

ing the records; identify all defined inputs and

outputs of the system; define the contents of the

system, including record formats and data base

tables; identify vital records and information;

determine restrictions on access and use; describe

update cycles or conditions and rules for adding

information to the system, changing information in

it or deleting information; and facilitate the

timely, authorized disposition of the records in

accordance with the County Records Manual.


(vi) Specifying the location, manner, and media in

which electronic records will be maintained to

meet operational and archival requirements, and

maintaining inventories of electronic records

systems to facilitate disposition.


(vii) Ensuring that compliance with county electronic

records procedures are applied to county electron-

ic records created or maintained by contractors.


(viii) Reviewing electronic systems periodically for con-

formance to procedures described in the County

Records Manual to ensure that record descriptions

and retention periods reflect changes as the

County Records Manual is updated.


(e) Procedures


(i) Creation and Use of Data Files


A. For electronic records systems that produce,

use, or store data files, disposition in-

structions for the data shall be incorporated

into a systems design and updated as necessary.


5/96 1-ELEC-2



ELECTRONIC RECORDS STANDARDS (Continued)


B. County offices shall maintain proper, up-to-date

technical documentation for each electronic

records system that produces, uses, or stores

data files. Minimum documentation required is a

narrative description of the system; physical

and technical characteristics of the records,

including a record layout that describes each

field including its name, size, starting or

relative position and a description of the form

of the data (such as alphabetic, zoned decimal,

packed decimal or numeric); or a data dictionary

or the equivalent information associated with a

data base management system including a descrip-

tion of the relations between data elements in

databases; and any other technical information

needed to read or process the records.


(ii) Creation and Use of Text Documents


Electronic records systems that maintain the

official file copy of text documents on electronic

media shall meet the following minimum require-

ments:


A. Provide a method for all authorized

users of the system to retrieve de-

sired documents, such as an indexing

or text search system.


B. Provide an appropriate level of security

to ensure integrity of the documents.


C, Provide a standard interchange format

when necessary to permit the exchange

of documents on electronic media using

different software/operating systems

and allow for the conversion or migra-

tion of documents on electronic media

from one system to another.


D. Provide for the disposition of the

documents including, when necessary,

transferring records to the State

Archives.


E. Before a document is created and main-

tained on electronic records systems,

documents shall be identified suffi-

ciently to enable authorized personnel


5/96 1-ELEC-3



ELECTRONIC RECORDS STANDARDS (Continued)


to retrieve, protect and carry out the

disposition of documents in the system.

Appropriate identifying information for

each document maintained on the elec-

tronic media may include: office of

origin, file code, key words for re-

trieval, addressee (if any), signature,

author, date, authorized disposition

{coded or otherwise), and security

classification (if applicable). County

officers should ensure that records

maintained in such systems can be corre-

lated with related records on paper,

microform, or other media.


(f) Legal Admissibility of Electronic Records


To enhance legal admissibility of records in an

electronic format and help ensure county records

may be used as evidence in court proceedings,

trustworthiness must be established by thoroughly

documenting the recordkeeping system's operation

and the controls imposed upon it. To implement

procedures to enhance the legal admissibility of

electronic records, county officers should: ~


(i) Document that similar kinds of records

generated and stored electronically are

created by the same processes each time

and have a standardized retrieval approach.


(ii) Substantiate that security procedures

prevent unauthorized addition, modification

or deletion of a record and ensure system

protection against such problems as power

interruptions.


(iii) Identify the electronic media on which

records are stored throughout their life

cycle and the maximum time span that

records must remain on each storage medium

in order to comply with minimum retention

periods as cited in the County Records

Manual.


(iv) Coordinate all of the above with legal

counsel, information managers, and records

management staff.


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ELECTRONIC RECORDS STANDARDS , (Continued)


(g) Security of electronic records.


County officers shall implement and maintain an

effective records security program that incorpo-

rates the following to:


(i) Ensure that only authorized personnel have access

to electronic records.


(ii) Provide for backup and recovery of records to pro-

tect against information loss.


(iii) Ensure that county personnel are trained to safe-

guard sensitive or classified electronic informa-

tion.


(iv) Minimize the risk of unauthorized alteration or

erasure of electronic records.


(v) Ensure that electronic records security is

included in a computer systems security plan


(h) Selection and Maintenance of Electronic Records

Storage Media.


County officers shall select appropriate media and

systems for storing records throughout their life

which meet the following requirements:


(i) Specific Requirements in selecting storage media.


A. Permit easy retrieval in a timely fashion.


B. Facilitate the distinction between records

and non-records as defined in the County

Records Act.


C. Retain the records in a usable format for the

length of their required retention period.


D. When appropriate, meet requirements for

transferring electronic records to the

State Archives.


(ii) The following factors shall be considered

before selecting a storage media or when

converting from one medium to another:


A. The required retention period of the records.


5/96 1-ELEC-5



ELECTRONIC RECORDS STANDARDS (Continued)


B. The maintenance necessary to retain the

records in that format.


C. The costs of storing and retrieving

the records stored in thatformat.


D. The density of the record.


E. The access time necessary to retrieve stored

records.


F. The portability of the medium (selecting

a medium that will run on equipment

produced by multiple manufacturers)

and the ability to transfer informa-

tion from one medium to another as

well as the flexibility of the soft-

ware to be migrated into a different

medium if desirable or necessary.


G. Compliance of the storage medium with

current industry and/or Federal stand-

ards if applicable.


(iii) County officers shall avoid the use of floppy

disks for the exclusive long-term storage of

permanent electronic records.


(iv) County officers shall ensure that all author-

ized users can identify and retrieve informa-

tion stored on removable disks or tapes by

establishing or by adopting procedures for

external labeling as well as procedures for

computer tape library subsystems for storage

media identification.


(v) County officers shall ensure that information

is not lost because of changing technology or

deterioration by converting storage media to

provide compatibility with the county's current

hardware and software. Before conversion to

a different medium, county officers shall

determine that the authorized dispositions of

the electronic records can be implemented

after conversion.


5/96 1-ELEC-6

%



ELECTRONIC RECORDS STANDARDS (Continued)


(vi) County officers should back up electronic

records on a regular basis to safeguard

against the loss of information due to equip-

ment malfunctions or human error. Duplicate

copies of permanent records should be main-

tained in separate buildings. All security

copies of vital electronic records, regard-

less of retention period, should be stored in

a separate building.


(vii) For the maintenance of magnetic computer

medium, county officers shall follow indus-

try and national standards for safeguarding

information.


(viii) Maintenance of magnetic computer tape con-

taining permanent records.


A. County officers shall provide for the

testing of magnetic computer tapes no

more than six months prior to using them

to store electronic records that are

scheduled for permanent retention. This

test should verify that the tape is free

of permanent errors and in compliance

with National Institute of Standards and

Technology or industry standards.


B. County officers shall maintain the

storage and test areas for computer

magnetic tapes containing permanent

records at the following temperature

and relative humidities:


Constant temperature - 62 to 68 degrees

Fahrenheit.


Constant relative humidity - 35 to 45

percent.


C. County officers should rewind accord-

ing to tape specifications all tapes

containing permanent records every

3-1/2 years.


5/96 1-ELEC-7



ELECTRONIC RECORDS STANDARDS (Continued)


D. County officers shall annually read a statis-

tical sample of all reels or cartridges of

magnetic computer tape containing permanent

records to identify any loss of data and to

discover and correct the causes of data loss.

In magnetic medium storage libraries with

1,800 or fewer reels/cartridges, a 20 percent

sample or a sample size of 50 reels/car-

tridges, whichever is larger, should be read.

In magnetic medium libraries with more than

1,800 reels/cartridges, a sample of 384 reels

/cartridges should be read. Tapes with 10 or

more errors shall be replaced and, when

possible, lost data shall be restored. All

other tapes which might have been affected by

the same cause (i.e., poor quality tape,

high usage, poor environment, improper han-

dling) shall be read and corrected as appro-

priate.


E. County officers shall copy permanent data

stored on magnetic tapes before the tapes are

10 years old, onto tested and verified new

tapes.


F. County officers shall ensure that external

labels (or the equivalent automated tape

management system) for magnetic tapes used to

store permanent electronic records shall

provide unique identification of each

reel/cartridge, including the name of the

office responsible for the data, system

title, and security classification, if ap-

plicable. Additionally, the following infor-

mation shall be maintained for (but not

necessarily attached to) each reel/cartridge

used to store permanent electronic records:

file title(s); dates of creation; dates of

coverage; the recording density; type of

internal labels; volume serial number, if


5/96 1-ELEC-8



ELECTRONIC RECORDS STANDARDS (Continued)


applicable; number of tracks; character

code/software dependency; information about

block size; and reel/cartridge sequence

number, if the file is part of a multi-

reel/cartridge set. For numeric data files,

include record format and logical record

length, if applicable; data set name(s) and

sequence, if applicable; and number of record

for each data set.


G. County officers shall maintain proper care

and handing procedures for electronic media

by keeping a clean, dust-free environment for

all equipment and prohibit eating, drinking

or smoking in magnetic computer medium stor-

age libraries and test or evaluation areas

that contain permanent records.


(ix) Maintenance of direct access storage media.


A. County officers shall issue written proce-

dures which draw upon the recommendations of

the manufacturers for the care and handling

of direct access storage media.


B. County officers shall ensure that external

labels for diskettes or removable disks used

when processing or temporarily storing perma-

nent records shall include the following

information: name of the office responsible

for the records; descriptive title of the

contents; dates of creation; security classi-

fication, if applicable; and identification

of the software and hardware used.


(i) Retention of Electronic Records


County officers shall establish policies and procedures

to ensure that electronic records and their documenta-

tion are retained for the length of their required

retention period. The retention procedures shall in-

clude:


5/96 1-ELEC-9

a



ELECTRONIC RECORDS STANDARDS (Continued)


(i) Scheduling the disposition of electronic

records, as well as related documentation

and indexes in accordance with the County

Records Manual.


(ii) Transferring a copy of the electronic

records and any related documentation and

indexes to the State Archives if specified

in the County Records Manual. (Contact the

State Archives for instructions as to

necessary requirements.)


(iii) Establishing procedures for regular recopy-

ing, reformatting, and other necessary

maintenance to ensure the retention and

usability of electronic records throughout

their required retention period.


(j) Destruction of Public Records on Electronic Media


Electronic records may be destroyed in compliance with

the County Records Manual. Electronic records sched-

uled for destruction should be disposed of in a way

that ensures protection of any sensitive, proprietary,

or security information. Magnetic recording media

previously used for electronic records including sensi-

tive, proprietary, or security information are not to

be recycled if the previously recorded information can

be compromised by reuse in any way.


For additional information, contact:

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Division of Archival and Records Management Services

P.O. Box 1026

Harrisburg, PA 17108-1026

(717) 783-9874 or (717) 787-3913

5/96 1-ELEC-10

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