Temple Recommend Canary Copy Retention

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caj36
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Temple Recommend Canary Copy Retention

Postby caj36 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:43 am

I am a stake clerk. After I activate a new recommend, how long should I retain the canary (yellow) copy? The only guidance I can find in the manual for retention of membership records is to keep them as long as is needed. Does anyone know of more specific guidance?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:08 am

caj36 wrote:I am a stake clerk. After I activate a new recommend, how long should I retain the canary (yellow) copy? The only guidance I can find in the manual for retention of membership records is to keep them as long as is needed. Does anyone know of more specific guidance?


From the Stake Instructions for Activating Temple Recommends (available in MLS under Help):

Question:
What should we do with the canary copies of the temple recommends after we have activated those recommends?

Answer:
Keep the canary copies for 30 days, and then shred them.
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rjamesh
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Temple Recommend rentention

Postby rjamesh » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:08 am

How about as a Ward Clerk - how long to keep the PINK copy? I don't see that as a line item in the "Use and Retention of Records and Reports—Ward or Branch" document. Thanks.

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Postby jdlessley » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:02 pm

rjamesh wrote:How about as a Ward Clerk - how long to keep the PINK copy? I don't see that as a line item in the "Use and Retention of Records and Reports—Ward or Branch" document.
It is a financial record. Therefore the retention period is the current year plus three years in the U.S..
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Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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Postby lajackson » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:44 pm

jdlessley wrote:It is a financial record. Therefore the retention period is the current year plus three years in the U.S..


This is correct for financial records in the U.S., but I do not believe the pink copy of a temple recommend is a financial record. That said, I am not aware of any specific retention instructions, unless they are in the front of the current temple recommend book.

Before temple recommends were activated online, we asked bishops to keep the pink copies until two years after the newest recommend was issued. That way we would always have a copy of the recommend and number if the need ever arose to report a recommend lost or stolen. After two years, they were all expired, and so we did not ask bishops to keep them after that.

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Postby lajackson » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:59 pm

caj36 wrote:I am a stake clerk. After I activate a new recommend, how long should I retain the canary (yellow) copy?


While Alan's answer of 30 days is correct according to current MLS Help and has been the long-standing practice, you may wish to ask your stake president about the letter he received from the First Presidency dated December 9, 2011 and you won't have to keep them as long.

I would caution that, because of reports here in the Forum that some recommends "activated" in MLS did not actually make it into the system, we have been checking online to make sure they did before shredding or otherwise destroying the yellow copy. And when we activate recommends online, we usually wait until we see the update in MLS the next time we are at the stake offices, which works well since the shredder is there, anyway.

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Postby jdlessley » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:32 pm

lajackson wrote:This is correct for financial records in the U.S., but I do not believe the pink copy of a temple recommend is a financial record.
Oops! I hastily thought of Bishops' Storehouse Commodities. My mistake. I should have paid closer attention to the post title.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

kisaac
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Postby kisaac » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:41 pm

I would make sure you keep them for "as long as needed." So, what is your current process for activation and checking to make sure you are keeping them for "as long as needed?"

(I guess I need to ask my Stake Pres. about his letter....)

Our process is as follows:


  • Multiple clerks may actually activate recommends, so all recommends get activated, then the activation date is recorded on a sticky note and they are grouped by date with a paper clip, and placed in "locked" filing cabinet, in folder marked for that purpose.
  • Periodically, Stake assistant clerk - membership runs MLS recommend activation report, checks yellow copies against report, & provides printed report to stake president for his final approval. Any "Temple Activations" need his scrutiny anyway! (Change the sort to list most recent activations first, then only provide him the pages he needs to view since the last time he checked it.)
  • At this point, assuming everything is in order, and stake president has no questions about any activated recommends, I don't see a need to keep the yellow copy further. Occasionally, I've had to refer back to one for some reason, and a few times I've found the odd "yellow copy" in the activation pile that hasn't shown on the activation report...
  • And more recently, see lajackson's quote:
lajackson wrote:I would caution that, because of reports here in the Forum that some recommends "activated" in MLS did not actually make it into the system, we have been checking online to make sure they did before shredding or otherwise destroying the yellow copy.

This was a problem where recommends showing activated in your stake MLS were not showing activated when the patron arrived at the temple. I spoke with global service desk about this in mid January, and they said a server had failed causing sporadic problems, over late 2011, (possibly into early January 2012) but it was now fixed, and we have not seen these problems recently. However, this experience did show me the value of our double-checking system, as I knew FOR A FACT that the recommends had been activated properly by us at the stake, and the problem was elsewhere in the system.

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Postby lajackson » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:13 pm

kisaac wrote:I would make sure you keep them for "as long as needed." So, what is your current process for activation and checking to make sure you are keeping them for "as long as needed?"

(I guess I need to ask my Stake Pres. about his letter....)

Our process is as follows:


We use a simpler process.

Recommend activated online. Next visit to stake office verify that new recommend date is in MLS. Done.
Recommend activated in MLS. Counselor checks online to make sure new recommend is there. Done.

There is a third option we sometimes use:
Recommend activated online. Counselor runs into member at temple that evening or next day and sees that member is admitted. Done. [grin]

The December 9 letter suggests that the yellow copy is no longer needed once the recommend is activated.

Our first option actually does not require the MLS verification, but that is a nice sanity check.
Our second option is because of the glitch mentioned last year.
We have found that once a recommend shows activated online, it is activated.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:51 pm

lajackson wrote:Recommend activated in MLS. Counselor checks online to make sure new recommend is there. Done.


But this option does require that the canary copy is kept for some period of time until the recommend can be checked. All of these are simply variations on making sure that the recommend is actually activated. Once that is done, the canary copy can be destroyed. But since there have been some problems with the system, simply activating in MLS is not sufficient for making sure that it is actually activated. It does sound like you've thought through all the cases.

lajackson wrote:Our first option actually does not require the MLS verification, but that is a nice sanity check.


In addition to being a sanity check, making sure that MLS properly reflects online activations has the added benefit of ensuring that reports run from MLS that include temple recommend status will be accurate.
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