Clarification on Retention Policy

Discuss basic duties of stake and ward clerks, including where to begin.
jeffnye
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Clarification on Retention Policy

Postby jeffnye » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 pm

Hello all,

I was just put in as the ward clerk and I am trying to figure out what records we are required to keep under church policy. I understand there are certain benefits to keeping various kinds of records, but for now I am just wondering what I absolutely must keep.

Here is what I know:

1) Financial records for 3 years + the current year. (Wiki Retention Policy)

2) Records of ordinances for 1 year. (Wiki Retention Policy)

Here are the items I don't know about:

1) Financial Transmission Reports (Do these count as "financial records"?)

2) Membership Transaction Reports (At the very bottom of the Wiki Retention Policy it states that printed Membership Records are optional, but it doesn't say optional next to the transaction reports.)

Other questions:

1) What exactly qualifies as "highly sensitive records"? As of right now we keep all of our financial records in the clerks office, but according to the policy highly sensitive records should be kept in the Bishop's office. Are we violating church policy?

2) From reading over older posts I gather that I need to at least preview the incoming membership records incase there is a note of disciplinary action. Is that correct?

Thanks so much for the help!

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:00 pm

jeffnye wrote:1) What exactly qualifies as "highly sensitive records"? As of right now we keep all of our financial records in the clerks office, but according to the policy highly sensitive records should be kept in the Bishop's office. Are we violating church policy?


As long as the financial is under lock and key, I think you're fine there. I believe that "highly sensitive" probably applies to disciplinary action or anything else that tends to be "bishop only" and the clerks/counselors/and secretary rarely get involved in.

jeffnye wrote:2) From reading over older posts I gather that I need to at least preview the incoming membership records incase there is a note of disciplinary action. Is that correct?


Correct.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:08 pm

jeffnye wrote:1) Financial Transmission Reports (Do these count as "financial records"?)


Yes, those are financial records.

jeffnye wrote:2) Membership Transaction Reports (At the very bottom of the Wiki Retention Policy it states that printed Membership Records are optional, but it doesn't say optional next to the transaction reports.)


Those would fall under the general policy of "Destroy all other records that are no longer needed." So you just need to make a judgment as to how long you think you may need transaction reports. I would think a maximum of one year, but you could destroy them more often if you don't think you need them.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:37 pm

jeffnye wrote:Membership Transaction Reports


Keep in mind that MLS keeps only a very limited amount of information about members who have moved out of your ward. If anyone were to ask you "when did the Brown family move out", you'd probably have to go back to your paper records to find the answer.
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DavidForthoffer
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Postby DavidForthoffer » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:19 am

jeffnye wrote:1) What exactly qualifies as "highly sensitive records"? As of right now we keep all of our financial records in the clerks office, but according to the policy highly sensitive records should be kept in the Bishop's office. Are we violating church policy?

Yes, if that's where your MLS computer is. Keep in mind that auxiliary presidents and representatives have access to the clerk's office. They should not have access to any of the following.
  • tithing information (e.g., donation records)
  • welfare recipients (e.g., expense records)
  • membership records (only the Bishop and Membership clerk should have access)
  • Individual Ordinance Summaries (only Bishop, Clerk, and that individual)

We have a closet in the clerk's office that only the Bishopric, clerk(s), and Executive Secretary have access to. We keep donation records, expense records, etc. there.
We have a filing cabinet that just the Bishop and clerk has access to.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:23 am

The fourth bullet in DavidForthoffer's post is essentially correct. An IOS for a minor can be viewed by the parent or guardian also.
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jeffnye
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Postby jeffnye » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:56 pm

DavidForthoffer wrote:Yes, if that's where your MLS computer is. Keep in mind that auxiliary presidents and representatives have access to the clerk's office. They should not have access to any of the following.
  • tithing information (e.g., donation records)
  • welfare recipients (e.g., expense records)
  • membership records (only the Bishop and Membership clerk should have access)
  • Individual Ordinance Summaries (only Bishop, Clerk, and that individual)
We have a closet in the clerk's office that only the Bishopric, clerk(s), and Executive Secretary have access to. We keep donation records, expense records, etc. there.
We have a filing cabinet that just the Bishop and clerk has access to.


I think we are referring to slightly different things. The financial records I am referring to are kept in filing cabinets that have locks on them and only the appropriate people have keys to access those filing cabinets. So while the organization leaders can access the clerk's office to use MLS, they can't access any of those things on your list.

However, I am referring to this:

Protect all information against unauthorized access, change, destruction, or disclosure. Highly sensitive records, including computer printouts and removable storage media, (1) should never be left unattended when they are being used and (2) should be kept in a locked drawer or cabinet in the bishop's or stake president's office when not in use.


If the materials you mentioned are "highly sensitive" for purposes of that rule, it sounds like you are violating the policy as well. It specifically states it must be kept in the bishop's office or stake president's office, not just locked away somewhere that only designated people can access it.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:44 am

So the question is: what is "highly sensitive". If we were to look at the full range of information that might be held at the unit level, I'd think the most sensitive would be anything to do with disciplinary actions or things of that nature. Whither or not financial information, including donations and fast offering payments would be considered "highly sensitive" is probably going to have to be decided by the local leaders. That said, as far as I know, that kind of information has always been stored in locked drawers in the clerk's office.
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ralitaco
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Postby ralitaco » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:29 pm

I am an Asst. Clerk for Finances but our Ward Clerk has moved and I have been asked to fill in until the new ward clerk is called. I have been asked to help clean-up/organize the membership records. One of the things I was looking at were the actual physical files in the membership clerk's filing cabinet. The front half of the drawer has folders with all sorts of papers from years ago with no rhyme or reason. I am thinking that most of these paper will need to be shred but I just want to clarify what I should keep. The back half of the drawer has more recent papers but they are just piled up. I am thinking these will have the transmission reports, etc and most of them will need to be filed.

Please remember I am a FINANCIAL clerk and have not worked with the Membership records, so please forgive my ignorance.
From reading this thread and the Record Retention Wiki, I think I need to keep 3 "membership" records
1. An IOS for each member
a. Since this is optional, why would I want to print out 300-500 records?
b. What about non-members (i.e. spouses): will they even have an IOS?

2. Records of Ordinations for 1 year
a. What is considered a Record of Ordination?
b. Is it a printout from MLS or a Handwritten form?

3. Transaction Reports and Membership Updates
a. I am presuming these are the reports that printout after a Send/Receive
b. Are there any other sources for these reports?

Lastly, should any documents be retained for the Historical Report?

Thanks

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:55 pm

ralitaco wrote:1. An IOS for each member
a. Since this is optional, why would I want to print out 300-500 records?
b. What about non-members (i.e. spouses): will they even have an IOS?


As you said, it's optional to print an IOS for each member. Personally, I think it's a waste of time, paper, and toner to try to keep a complete list of such records for every member. As needed you can always print an IOS from MLS or from Leader and Clerk Resources on LDS.org. Only one ward in our stake still continues this practice, which seems to be a holdover from the old days when paper membership records were essential.

Non-members don't have an IOS.

ralitaco wrote:2. Records of Ordinations for 1 year
a. What is considered a Record of Ordination?
b. Is it a printout from MLS or a Handwritten form?


A Melchizedek/Aaronic Priesthood Ordination Recommendation form is printed from MLS and starts with details about the person to be ordained (name, ward, MRN, etc.). Then certain pieces of information will be filled in by hand as it moves through the process of interviews and the ordination.

ralitaco wrote:3. Transaction Reports and Membership Updates
a. I am presuming these are the reports that printout after a Send/Receive
b. Are there any other sources for these reports?


There are no other sources for transaction reports. There's just one chance to print them at the time the transaction is sent to CHQ or received from CHQ. They are useful to make sure the right transactions got requested and then that they actually happened. But they don't need to be kept a long time -- that's personal preference, but you might see over the course of a year how often you ever refer back to one, and that could help you decide how long to keep them.

ralitaco wrote:Lastly, should any documents be retained for the Historical Report?


Certainly the Officers Sustained form from ward conference should be kept. And anything else that seems of historical value. It's much easier to collect historical information along the way, rather than scrambling to find stuff in January.
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