Glossary of Terms

These terms refer to routine work materials and routine fiscal records and do not include policy, planning, and decision-making records.

Administrative Use
"Administrative use" refers to a record's usefulness as determined by agency staff. This designation includes copies of records maintained for the convenience of agency staff. Please see the record series "A12 Correspondence" in this Schedule for more information on procedures for retention of convenience copies and other records with a short retention period. Records from series' that require retention "until administrative use ceases" may be discarded after such use. It is not necessary to submit a FORM RCB-2 APPLICATION FOR DESTRUCTION PERMISSION for destruction of administrative use records, unless otherwise noted in the schedule. Records custodians are advised to review "administrative use" records to determine whether the records possess any enduring historical value to the Commonwealth. In such cases, records custodians are advised to preserve the records and contact the Records Management Unit of the State Archives for assistance to determine the appropriate retention period.

Background Support Documentation
Background support documentation adds to an understanding of the thought process or intent of the participants in the subject covered, or an understanding of the subject itself.

A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties.

Electronic Record-Keeping System
An electronic record-keeping system is any information system where records are maintained primarily in electronic form.

The term Executive includes elected officials, commissioners, agency heads and their deputies, department heads, and directors, and the persons with delegated authority to act on their behalf.

A grant is a contract providing financial assistance to qualified applicants to further a specific public purpose. Includes As used in a record series description, this term means "may include" or "includes but is not limited to." It is meant to be followed by typical items that may be found in a record series for the purposes of identification and description.

Permanent records are to be retained indefinitely, and maintained in an accessible form either by the originating agency or by the Archives. Archival review may be considered, at the discretion of the State Archivist.

A program is an ongoing or repeating functional activity carried out as part of agency responsibilities.

A project is a one-time work activity, with defined objectives and timelines.

Public Records Custodian
A Public Records Custodian is the government employee who in the normal course of his duties has access to or control over records. 66 MGL 6. 46

A record is information that has been recorded or captured, regardless of physical form or characteristics.

Record Series
A records series is a set of records relating to a specific business process or function. Occasionally a record series is defined by the form of the records such as 'maps' or 'photographs.'

Retention Period
The Retention Period is the length of time required for the storage of records. This period is based upon, among other factors, statutory or regulatory requirements, agency custom, and retention schedules. Records must be maintained in an accessible format for the duration of the retention period.

Review by the Archives
Review by the Archives consists of a review and appraisal of records by Archives staff to determine any archival or permanent value. Archival review is performed at the discretion of the State Archivist, and may consist of either a full or a sample review of the records.

Routine Records
Routine records are records used during the normal course of business. Such records often do not have enduring or lasting value.

State Archives
The Massachusetts State Archives maintains permanently valuable governmental records for the benefit of state agencies, the Commonwealth, and its citizenry. Records transferred to the State Archives are no longer in the control of the originating agency.