State Statutes and Northern Michigan University Policies Regarding Records Management

All records created by offices and staff of Northern Michigan University must be managed and disposed of according to an approved records retention and disposition schedule. Please see the Northern Michigan University Policy on Archives and Records Management.

The Michigan Penal Code (MCL 750.491) establishes misdemeanor penalties for disposing of records without the authorization of an approved Retention and Disposal Schedule (see also M.C.L.A. 18.1285(2)). Northern Michigan University administrators and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that relevant staff are aware of the provisions in the schedule and follow them. The University Archivist does not audit agencies and assess penalties.  However, courts may penalize agencies for failing to follow an approved Retention and Disposal Schedule.

The Records Media Act (116) of 1992 allows public agencies to officially reproduce public records by using one of four technologies: photocopying, photographing, microfilming, and digital imaging.  All digital images must be stored on optical disks according to this law.  The legislation also mandates the promulgation of Administrative Rules to regulate the use of digital imaging technology. 

Michigan Freedom of Information laws also impact public record retention and disposition and speak to the need for public agencies and offices to have formally approved disposition and retention schedules.   The Freedom of Information Act entitles all persons to full and complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of its public officials and employees.  Specific language is found in M.C.L.A. 15.231(2). 

Upon an oral or written request which describes the public record sufficiently to enable the public body to find the public record, a person has a right to inspect, copy, or receive copies of a public record of a public body, except as otherwise expressly provided by section 13. M.C.L.A. 15.233(1)  

 Northern Michigan University Policy and Procedure on Freedom of Information