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South Carolina State Laws on Optical Images

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State Archivist and Records Manager:

George L. Vogt, Director

Dept. of Archives & History

PO Box 11669, Columbia SC 29211

803-734-8592 fax: 803-734-8964


Roy H. Tryon, State Archivist & Records Administrator

1919 Blanding St., Columbia SC 29201

803-734-7914 fax: 803-734-3387

tryon@archives.scdah.sc.edu

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South Carolina Department of Archives and History

1430 Senate Street, P.O. Box 11,669, Columbia, South Carolina 29211 (803) 734-8577

State Records (803) 734-7914; Local Records (803) 734-7917

 

Dear Mr. Vogt:

Presently, there are no state laws in South Carolina that

specifically authorize the admissability of digital images as

evidence in court. The South Carolina Department of Archives and

History has issued a policy statement (copy enclosed) that states

the department's position regarding the use of optical disk

technology for the maintenance of public records. The policy does

authorize state and local governments to use optical disk systems

for the maintenance of public records provided certain conditions

are met.

Please call me if you need anything else or if you have

questions.


Sincerely,


William P. Henry

Electronic Records manager

henry@history.scdah.sc.edu


Enclosure



Public records information leaflet no. 13


Optical disk:

policy statement and

recommended practices


South Carolina Department

of Archives and History

Archives and Records

Management Division


Policy statement The South Carolina Department of Archives and History placed

this policy into effect on to March 1995. It supercedes the policy

placed into effect on 3 February 1992.

Purpose: This policy clarifies the position of the South Carolina

Department of Archives and History regarding the use of optical

disk technology for the maintenance of public records, as defined

by Section 3o-4-zo (c) of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, as

amended.


Authority: Sections 30+80 through 30-1-1oo of the Code of Laws of

South Carolina, 1976, as amended, provide the authority for the

establishment of this policy.


Scope: This policy statement applies to the records of all public

bodies as defined by Section 3o-1-10 of the Code of Laws of South

Carolina, 1976, as amended.


Statement: To ensure accessibility, reduce the risk of premature

disposition, and preserve records of permanent (archival) value,

the following policy is established for the disposition of public

records stored on optical disk:


[Special note: This policy does not supercede existing laws and

regulations (federal, state, or local) that require the maintenance

of public records and documents in a prescribed format.]


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Public records information leaflet no. 13


Records with State and local government officials can maintain public

an estab!ished records with an established retention* of ten years or less in

retention of an optical disk system and can dispose of the originals after

ten years or less receiving an authorization for disposal from the South Caro-

lina Department of Archives and History. If the records are

vital records, a security copy should be stored off-site in a

secure location.


Non-permanent State and local government officials can maintain non-per-

records with an manent public records with an established retention* of

established more than ten years in an optical disk system and dispose of

retention of the originals provided they:

more than

I. maintain security copies of the disks and indexes in off-site

ten years

storage.


z. either migrate and convert both the working and security

copies of the disks and indexes if optical systems are up-

graded or changed in a way that prevents access to the

contents of the disks created by the old system or recopy to

new disks every ten years, whichever occurs first.


3. sample both the working and security copies of the disks

and indexes at least once a year to make sure the data is

readable and recopy to new disk immediately if any loss of

information is detected.


4. obtain an authorization for disposal in advance from the

South Carolina Department of Archives and History.


[Those not able to ensure compliance with 1-4 above must

retain a paper record or a microform that meets state stan-

dards** for the established retention period.]


IRecords of Records of permanent value* that are scheduled for transfer

permanent value to the South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Transfers to and are maintained in optical disk systems will be authorized

Archives for disposal only after a paper record or a microform that

meets state standards** has been transferred to the South

Carolina Department of Archives and History. To provide

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Public records information leaflet no. 13


access to the information in all paper and microform records

transferred to the Department, the records must include

appropriate indexes or other finding aids.


Non-transfers Public records of permanent value* that are maintained in

an optical disk system but not scheduled for transfer to the

Department can be disposed of provided state and local

government officials comply with 1-4 above. If the optical disk

is the original medium for the records--as it is with the

procedural or transactional recording of deeds, for example--

we highly recommend the generation and permanent reten-

tion of either paper copies or microforms that meet state

standards.** If paper or microform copies are not to be

generated and retained, state and local government officials

must certify in writing their intention to complywith 1-4 above

before using the optical disk system.


[Those not able to ensure compliance with 1-4 above must

retain permanently a paper record or a microform that

meets state standards.**]


*Retention values must be established through approved records reten-

tion schedules developed in accordance with section 3o+9o of the Code

of Laws of South Carolina, ,976, as amended.


**Quality Standards and Practices for the Microfilming of Public Records

(Regulations iz-zoo through 12-203, Code of Laws of South Carolina, ,976, as

amended)


Recommendations The Department recommends the use of the following guide-

for the selection lines for the design, selection, and operation of optical disk

and use of systems. These guidelines and practices will help you pro-

optical systems duce records and copies that will be acceptable in legal

proceedings; they will enable you to maintain and retrieve

information in ways that will meet your statutory obligations

and operational needs as a records custodian; and they will

help you to fulfill public requests. These considerations are

--- particularly important for records that must be kept for a

long time or permanently.

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Public records information leaflet no. 13


Legally-acceptable To ensure the acceptance of government records as legal

records management documents, you should maintain and dispose of those records

program --including records stored in optical systems--as part of a

legally-acceptable records management program. To con-

duct such a records management program, you should:

Include every record and all reproductions on records

retention schedules that adequately describe the records and

define the period for their retention and manner of disposi-

tion. These schedules, which must be approved by the De-

partment, are of two types:

Specific Schedules:. These schedules are written for records

that are unique to a particular agency, office, or

jurisdiction. They may list the different physical forms of

each record separately (e.g., paper, magnetic tape or disk,

microfilm, optical disk) because each form may have

a unique use, value, and retention period.

General Schedules: These schedules cover categories of

records that many offices and agencies have in common;

they typically do not specify particular physical forms.

When you implement general schedules, however, you

must take into account the various reproduction and

storage requirements of these physical forms.

Carry out records retention and disposition procedures

systematically as part of the regular course of business.

Maintain the documentation that supports the develop-

ment and implementation of retention schedules.

Regularly dispose of records when their retention period

has expired, either through destruction or transfer to an

archival repository, as the schedule specifies.

Other legal Government offices and agencies must maintain data in

considerations optical storage systems according to the terms of the South

Carolina Freedom of Information Act (Sections 30-4-10

through 30-4-IIO of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, as

amended). This act categorizes records as either restricted

from or open to the public. You must adopt procedures that

protect restricted records from unauthorized access and

allow access to open records. Other laws applicable to par-


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Public records information leaflet no. 13


ticular governmental jurisdictions, functions, or records may

require you to restrict specific records or information within

certain records. Your procedures should cover these records

as well.


Selection and use of Optical storage systems require hardware (equipment) and

optical storage software (computer programs) to retrieve and translate in-

systems formation into an eye-readable form. Because the storage

medium itself is not permanent, you must select an appro-

priate system and operate it in away that will let you retain and

retrieve information over time as hardware and software

change and the optical disks deteriorate physically.

Since few nationally-accepted standards have been set for

optical systems, the Division of Archives and Records Man-

agement offers the following suggestions to help you use this

technology. These recommendations represent generally

accepted principles and practices and address issues of con-

cern. In this changing technical environment, these recom-

"-' mendations will help you to keep your records accessible

and your programs in conformity with national standards as

they are developed. This subject is discussed in detail in a

technical report issued by the Association for Information

and Image Management, The Use of Optical Disks for Public

Records1


System documentation: If you wish to maintain an effective

operation and continue to retrieve data as your operating

environment changes over time, you must keep full docu-

mentation of:


Hardware and software, including brand names, version

numbers and dates of installation, upgrades, replacements,

and conversions.


Data structure and content, including the file layout and

data dictionaries.


"Enhancement" algorithms.


1Association for Information and Image Management. Technical Report for

Information and Image Management--The Use of Optical Disks for Public Records

[AIIM RE25-:1990] (Silver Spring, MD: AIIM, I99o).



Public records information leaflet no. 13


Operating procedures, including methods for scanning or

entering data; revising, updating, or expunging records;

indexing; backing up to disks, tapes, microfilm, etc.; testing

the readability of records; applying safeguards to prevent

tampering and unauthorized access to protected informa-

tion; and carrying out the disposition of original records. In

addition, to provide audit trails, you should document

procedures for logging and tracking. Full documentation of

your operating procedures will contribute to the legal

acceptability of your records management program and

will help to make the data you produce from optical disks

admissable as evidence in legal proceedings.


Hardware and software:


When you are selecting a system, strongly consider those

with open rather than proprietary designs; open systems will

give you the most flexibility when you are choosing equip-

ment and will support interconnection, information system

integration, and information sharing.


Prepare specifications for hardware and software that will

require your vendors to continue to support and maintain

their products.


Establish performance standards, incorporate them into

your specifications for hardware and software, and require

vendors to support them with a substantial performance

bond.


Select systems that provide enough scanning resolution

to produce a high-quality image. Validate the quality of the

image by testing with actual documents.


Seek vendors who use standard rather than proprietary

compression algorithms and file headers to make future

migrations of data more certain and reliable. If vendors use

proprietary algorithms, they must be able to demostrate

their capacity to bridge to standard compressions and file

headers.


Require vendors to supply programs or provide services to .-.-'

test the readability of your disks periodically.


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Public records information leaflet no. 13


Consider systems that will allow you to index or incorpo-

rate other retrieval information directly onto both the optical

disk and the computer hard disk.


Verification and inspection: Include visual inspection in your

operational procedures to verify the completeness and accu-

racy of the scanning process once documents have been

transferred to a disk.


Indexing: When information is stored in a medium that is not

eye-readable, complete and accurate indexes are essential.

Your system design, therefore, must include provisions for

appropriate indexing. When information will be retrieved

for many years--from records that will be retained and used

over a long period, for example--you must develop and

document indexes with future users in mind and include in

your operational procedures an index check for accuracy at

the time the index is created.


Labelling: Label disks, tapes, and other storage containers

with particular care since it is impossible to determine con-

tent merely by looking at a disk or tape.


Back-up and storage: It is vital to make full, frequent, and

regular backups of optical records and magnetic indexes.

Store your security copies in secure and suitable facilities,

preferably off-site, and since environmental conditions for

the storage of optical disks have not been established, follow

the manufacturers' specifications. If you transfer images

stored on magnetic media to optical disk, you should back up

the magnetic media before the transfer and then back up the

optical disk after it.


Refreshment, migration, and conversion plans: Prepare an

appropriate plan for "refreshing" data and for migrating and

converting images and corollary indexes to new storage

media as needed to preserve the records in an accessible form.


Risk management: Develop a comprehensive risk or disaster

prevention and recovery plan.

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Public records information leaflet no. 13


IFor more information Directyour comments, suggestions, and questions about this

leaflet to:

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Archives and Records Management Division

i9i9 Blanding Street

Columbia, South Carolina z92oi

Telephone: (803) 734-7914

Fax: (803) 734-3387


Public information no. 1 Legal requirements for microfilming public records

leaflets from (1992)

the Archives no. 2 On choosing records for microfilming (1992)

no. 3 Service bureau or in-house microfilming (1992)

no. 4 Targeting and certification of microfilm (I992)

no. 5 Choosing a microfilm camera (1992)

no. 6 Quality testing of microfilm (X992)

no. 7 Microfilm and microforms (1992)

no. 8 Choosing a micrographics service bureau (1992)

no. 9 Choosing microfilm readers and reader/printers

(I992)

no. 1o Computer assisted retrieval systems (1992)

no. n Microfilm storage (1992)

no. i2 Preservation microfilming (I992)

no. x3 Optical disk: policy statement and recommended

practices (revised I995)

no. 14 Storing records in the State Records Center (1993)

no. i5 The deposit of security microfilm 0993)

no. 16 Disaster preparedness and recoveryin state and local

government records offices (I993)

no. 17 How to conduct a records inventory (I993)

no. 18 How to establish records retention schedules 0993)

no. I9 Photographic media (to be announced)

no. 20 Editing and splicing roll microfilm of long-term or

archival value (I994)

March 1995

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