Frequently Asked Questions

NDCC 54-46-02 defines a record as "A document, book, paper, photograph, sound recording or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law in connection with the transaction of official business."

A record is anything that:

  • Your office created;
  • Your office acted on;
  • Your office receives it for action;
  • Your office is designated as the custodian of (i.e. record-holder);
  • Your office needs to document its decisions.

Email is a method of communication that is no different than a paper record.

Minot State has been advised that the University System will be responsible for a technical solution that will manage compliance with the new email retention requirements without the need for action by each employee. Accordingly, all Minot State employees are being asked to continue to follow their regular retention procedures for all records, including emails. In other words, continue to treat an email in accordance with the record series associated with its content.

The "Office of Record Retention" is the organization or administrative unit that is officially designated for the maintenance, preservation, and disposition of the official record according to the Records Retention Schedule.

  •  Note: the Office of Record Retention is not always the office of origin.

Copy holders are individuals who are in possession of copies of records but are not the Office of Record Retention. They will dispose of their copies any time prior to the expiration of their retention period, in the method specified in the Records Retention Schedule, and with no need to include them in their annual Records Disposal Reports.

As soon as you identify a document as a convenience copy, mark it as such: either write “convenience copy” on it, get a “convenience copy” stamp made and stamp the document, or, if it’s a PDF, add “convenience copy” text to it. That way, as time passes, you won’t need to try to remember if a particular document is the official record or a convenience copy.

The retention period for some record series is “PERM – Permanent,” and, naturally, there is no disposal method specified. In that case, copyholders may dispose of their convenience copies at any time. Regarding the disposal method, they should err on the side of caution and use shredding – the most secure method possible.

Everyone is responsible.


  1. Review your records inventory.
  2. If any new record series have been created, add them to the records schedule in consultation with the Minot State Records Management leadership.
  3. Properly dispose of records in accordance with the disposal guidelines in the Records Retention Schedule used at Minot State.
If you would rather not maintain the disposal information throughout the year to submit annually, feel free to submit a Records Disposal Form monthly. 

No. Records must be managed in accordance with North Dakota state law.