Retention of Membership Record printouts.

Discuss basic duties of stake and ward clerks, including where to begin.
jbh001
Community Moderators
Posts: 854
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:17 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Retention of Membership Record printouts.

Postby jbh001 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:11 am

When membership records come into MLS or changes are made to a membership record, MLS by default prints a new membership record as part of Send / Receive Changes under most circumstances.

I have an old binder in the clerks office full of these printouts.

I have yet to locate the policy on retention of these hardcopies. It makes sense to compare the hardcopy with the corresponding Membership Record Transaction Report to make sure all changes were correctly recorded. But what next? Are we (or the bishop) supposed to be maintaining these printouts in a filing cabinet or 3-ring binder somewhere, or do we just shred them?

The IOS's that print out get delivered to the corresponding member (or head of house). But I am specifically referring to the membership record, the one that states For Bishop and Membership Clerk Use Only at the top. If the instructions are in the help system of MLS, they are very effectively buried. If they are in the online training, they didn't whack me on the head with a skillet to draw attention to themselves. If they are in the Handbook, I haven't found them yet (but I haven't had much time to look for it either in the last 3 years; for better or for worse, it has been a low priority).

Can one of you that know more than I direct me to the policy on this?

User avatar
fergie34-p40
New Member
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:34 pm
Location: Mastic, New York

Postby fergie34-p40 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:47 pm

I don't know if you can still get a copy of the "Use and Retention of Records and Reports - 2004" form #35944. This is the most recent that I know of and it dose not cover MLS Transition reports. However all membership records and reports have a 1 year life. Your bishop may want to keep 2 to 3 years just in case you have to back track some information, ie. members moved in/out for tithing statements and the like. I have found this to be a help from time to time.:D
Robert Ferguson
South Shore Ward, Plainview New York Stake

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:06 pm

jbh001 wrote:When membership records come into MLS or changes are made to a membership record, MLS by default prints a new membership record as part of Send / Receive Changes under most circumstances.

I have an old binder in the clerks office full of these printouts.

I have yet to locate the policy on retention of these hardcopies. It makes sense to compare the hardcopy with the corresponding Membership Record Transaction Report to make sure all changes were correctly recorded. But what next? Are we (or the bishop) supposed to be maintaining these printouts in a filing cabinet or 3-ring binder somewhere, or do we just shred them?

The IOS's that print out get delivered to the corresponding member (or head of house). But I am specifically referring to the membership record, the one that states For Bishop and Membership Clerk Use Only at the top. If the instructions are in the help system of MLS, they are very effectively buried. If they are in the online training, they didn't whack me on the head with a skillet to draw attention to themselves. If they are in the Handbook, I haven't found them yet (but I haven't had much time to look for it either in the last 3 years; for better or for worse, it has been a low priority).

Can one of you that know more than I direct me to the policy on this?


This was discussed at length in another thread: http://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?t=823

jbh001
Community Moderators
Posts: 854
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:17 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Postby jbh001 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:03 pm

Thanks for the link. I have reviewed that thread and still come away with a nebulous answer to a specific question. I couldn't find the document referenced from Distribution Services on ldscatalog.com. I also checked the record keeping training on the Church website and found it equally vague. Fortunately the Receiving and Using Membership Records lesson directed me to specific pages in the Handbook.

Since the best answer anyone has been able to give at this point is "it depends," I'll check the Handbook to see if there is anything less vague there. It would be nice if the rationale for printing some of these MLS reports was explained somewhere (like in the Help section of MLS). Otherwise we are left with "CHQ made MLS do it that way for a purpose. We don't know what the purpose is, but we trust their judgement and will keep saving whatever MLS spits out until we receive direction on what to do with it all."

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20728
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:32 pm

I think the ultimate answer boils down to "as long as you feel you need to". Trust me when I tell you it comes in handy to look up information on move in/move outs. Especially the move outs because once they are gone, you have NO information in MLS's membership.

The biggest issue to be aware of is that sensitive information such as disfellowshipment is only exposed when you print the record. It's not easily visible anywhere else in MLS.

User avatar
childsdj
Community Moderators
Posts: 258
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:51 am

Postby childsdj » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:53 pm

[font=Times New Roman]The new policy is as follows, "The ward or branch should have one in the Member and Leader Services (MLS) program for each member living in the ward or branch." This is in the new Record Use and Retention policy that is currently being given to distribution from what I understand. It is up to each priesthood leader to determine if they would also like a printed copy on file. I know it is not an exact answer, but that is the best I can do for now.[/font]

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:23 pm

DJC wrote:[font=Times New Roman]The new policy is as follows, "The ward or branch should have one in the Member and Leader Services (MLS) program for each member living in the ward or branch." This is in the new Record Use and Retention policy that is currently being given to distribution from what I understand. It is up to each priesthood leader to determine if they would also like a printed copy on file. I know it is not an exact answer, but that is the best I can do for now.[/font]


Actually, I think it's a great answer. We sometimes look for policy when there is no policy. If there is no policy, local priesthood leaders do what they choose under inspiration to fit their local unit's needs.

Some wards don't print out membership records at all, others maintain extensive printed records for years. As long as they do what is necessary to keep accurate records in MLS, and they properly secure electronic and printed records, and securely dispose of printed records that are no longer needed, the local leaders can do as they see fit. The foregoing is subject, of course, to any actual written policy on the subject which may be issued.

jbh001
Community Moderators
Posts: 854
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:17 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Postby jbh001 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:48 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Trust me when I tell you it comes in handy to look up information on move in/move outs. Especially the move outs because once they are gone, you have NO information in MLS's membership.
I agree wholeheartedly, but this was not my question. I am not asking about retention of the Membership Record Transaction Report, Individual Ordinance Summaries (IOS), or the transaction confirmation report from CHQ. I am asking about membership records only.
DJC wrote:The new policy is as follows, "The ward or branch should have one in the Member and Leader Services (MLS) program for each member living in the ward or branch."
[size=84]More precise wording would be along the lines of: "[font=Courier New]The ward or branch should have a membership record in the Member and Leader Services (MLS) program for each member living within the ward or branch boundaries[font=Verdana].[/font]" [/SIZE][/font] This agrees with the Handbook (page 45 of book 1) that the ward should have a membership record for each member living within the ward boundaries. But the handbook does not specify whether that record must be a hardcopy or if electronic is acceptable for most circumstances.

[size=84] I have read the pages I was lead to in the Handbook and the instruction there is that records are kept for as long as they are needed for administrative and legal purposes (see page 151 of book1). "Administrative purposes" would seem to apply primarily to the membership side of things, while "legal purposes" would seem to apply primarily to the financial side of things.

Additionally I finally found the following in the Help section of MLS under Receiving Membership Records.

[/SIZE]
[font=Courier New]When you receive a membership record over the modem from the administration office:
1. Check the accuracy of the records for converts and children.
2. Give the bishop the records with confidential information (such as a disfellowshipment).

The bishop should file the records with confidential information in his confidential files. He can use the records of converts and members moving in for fellowshipping purposes.

Printed membership records that are not needed should be destroyed in a manner that makes it impossible to reconstruct them.
[/font]
From the lack of specific policy to the contrary, I feel free to read all of this as:

1. If it shows disciplinary action or other annotations, give a hardcopy to the bishop for his confidential files.

2. If they are new converts, give a hardcopy to the bishop so they can be discussed at the next bishopric, PEC, or ward council meeting. Then shred the hardcopy when it is no longer needed for this purpose.

3. Shred all other hardcopies of the membership record. They can be re-printed for the bishop as needed prior to interviews (see page 145 of book 1) and then promptly shredded afterward.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20728
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:57 pm

jbh001 wrote:From the lack of specific policy to the contrary, I feel free to read all of this as:

1. If it shows disciplinary action or other annotations, give a hardcopy to the bishop for his confidential files.

2. If they are new converts, give a hardcopy to the bishop so they can be discussed at the next bishopric, PEC, or ward council meeting. Then shred the hardcopy when it is no longer needed for this purpose.

3. Shred all other hardcopies of the membership record. They can be re-printed for the bishop as needed prior to interviews (see page 145 of book 1) and then promptly shredded afterward.


I would agree with #1 and #3.

#2 would be fine if that's how the local leadership wants to handle it.

jbh001
Community Moderators
Posts: 854
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:17 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Postby jbh001 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:31 pm

RussellHltn wrote:#2 would be fine if that's how the local leadership wants to handle it.
This very thing is encouraged in the Receiving and Using Membership Records online training. The only part I added to that training was about shredding the hardcopy when it is no longer needed (page 151 of Book 1).


Return to “Getting Started for New Clerks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest