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November 1999


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"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 18 Nov 1999 22:37:06 EST
"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
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SARA has indeed been working with DEC, but that work has often not found its
way down to the detailed inventories of the program areas which, for the most
part, lack the staff to go through their records in the detail necessary to
make sure that needed materials does not disappear in the rush to move into
smaller quarters.

From what I've seen of SARA, their advice has mostly had to do with file
series such as contracts and fiscal records, which naturally expire after a
period of time.  They have been less helpful for organizing the technical
data which must remain on hand so that engineers and scientists can maintain
the background data needed to do their day to day jobs.

In my unit, we arranged for a visit from the executive staff's file experts.
They agreed that we have massive file holdings, and that most of it is needed
on hand for our day to day operations, but offered no guidance on how to
accomplish that.  They bottom line is that we will have half the file storage
space in the new building than we now have...we don't have the staff to
properly cull and organize the files, and much will either be lost or will
simply be piled up in boxes.

In a message dated 11/18/1999 2:32:42 PM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:

> The statement is not entirely accurate.  DEC is certainly moving and they
> clearing out records--but only those that have been appraised as
>   have gone through the legal process for obtaining a disposition
> authorization, and have reached the end of their legal retention period.
> State Archives and Records Administration (SARA) has worked closely with
> over the years to evaluate many, perhaps most, of the records of DEC for
> permanent historical, legal, and operational value.  We have identified
> many of these records as worthy of continued preservation either at DEC or
> part of the State Archives.  In fact, I can truthfully say that a much
> greater percentage of records at DEC are archival than in most State
> due to its critically important mission.  We have worked particularly
> with DEC records management officials in the past year or two to carefully
> review all existing records retention schedules to ensure that records are
> appropriately retained or disposed of during the agency move.
>  I am forwarding this reply, along with the original request, to our expert
> on DEC and its history and records, Dan Lorello.  He may be able to respond
> with either the information or some leads on how to find that information.