Download the complete Electronic Public Records Training presentation ppt format of techlaw_practice_group_electronic_public_record_tr

The following is a summary from the above presentation.

What is an electronic record?

Any and all forms of electronic records created or received by Commonwealth employees, contractors and agents.

Examples of electronic records:

  • Emails and their attachments
  • Web pages, old and new
  • System data (data in the IT system)
  • System data (data about the system)
  • Word processed documents
  • Electronic calendars and to do lists generated by MS Outlook and other desktop
  • Software
  • Videos
  • Floppy disks
  • CDs
  • Audiotape
  • Microfilm/Fiche
  • Data storage Tapes
  • The once and future Forms, Media and Formats

How to Begin

Step 1: Freeze the Documents.
Contact key document holders (employees, contractors, agents, CIO, third party data hosts) informing them of the request and requiring them to cease deleting responsive documents Interview your CIO, Systems Administrators and Third Party Data Holders

Step 2: Research
The Information Architecture of your Agency
The electronic storage methods used by your agency
Disaster Recovery procedures
Backup procedures
Orphan systems from the past that still hold agency data

Step 3: Work Closely with Your CIO
He knows the technology
You will have to help him with the scope of the request
Ask him questions about the list of documents that may be involved; he won't necessarily point out the obscure ones to you.

Step 4: Draft a Discovery Plan and Follow It
The plan: a roadmap for making a good faith effort to locate and copy electronic documents responsive to the public records request
Plan should include tracking cost of labor involved in searching for electronic documents and cost of media used to make copies (CD ROM, etc.)

Step 5: Collect Documents based on your plan.

SPR 3-96: Some costs can be recouped, some cannot. Track costs for:
Media on which record is copied
But not segregation
Media on which record is copied.

Sources of Help:

Public Records Law Practice Group
Techlaw Practice Group
ITD's General Counsel