What are Transitory Records?
Transitory Records are created or received by the University in the course of conducting its activities, but have no ongoing operational, informational, evidential or historical value. Usually transitory records have an immediate or short-term value, pertaining to an immediate task or minor transaction. They can exist in any format or medium.
Unlike University Records that provide evidence of policy, decision or obligation, and which must be filed and retained in a recordkeeping system, and disposed of according to authorized records retention schedules, transitory records may be destroyed/deleted of as soon as they are no longer serve a business purpose.
|Transitory Records include:|
Announcements and notices of a general nature
Convenience or duplicate copies
Messages where the information has no operational value
Stocks of in-house publications which are obsolete, superseded or otherwise no longer useful
Destroying/Deleting Transitory Records
Destroy/delete transitory records regularly.
- Do not retain transitory records
- Review transitory materials regularly after operational need ends
- Clearly identify draft items and discard once the final version of a document is prepared (with exceptions noted below)
Destroy/delete transitory records as soon as they have served their primary purpose.
- Notices: once event has taken place (unless you are the originator)
- Preliminary drafts: when the final version of a document is issued
- “FYI”: when no longer referenced
- “cc” copies: when issue is resolved or concluded
- Snapshots or printouts: when database is updated/rolled over
Exercise judgement on what transitory records may be needed to be kept and for how long.
- Drafts and working papers may need to be retained until a final report is prepared, a final agreement is reached, or a final decision is taken
- Versions which show an evolution or change in policy or approach may have value for historical research purposes
- Budgets or policies may have reference value in the unit responsible for their creation
- A telephone message slip or transmission document may be kept as evidence of contact at a certain time and date
- An annotated copy of a convenience or duplicate copy showing significant input should be filed and saved with other records related to the same activity or function
- Periodic printouts may constitute an important “snapshot” record of a dynamic database
Note that transitory records are not the same as duplicate sets of records that are maintained by an office where there is a need to keep a duplicate set to serve a business purpose. These duplicate series should be managed according to an authorized records retention schedule.