Administrative Regulation 17.04

SUBJECT: Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) ORIGINATING DEPARTMENT: Systems/Records Management

It is the policy of the BOCC to utilize the most cost effective and efficient process available in regard to retention of public records. 

Electronic technology provides a cost effective and dependable platform to host the County’s public records and allow easy and efficient access and retrieval. Therefore, the BOCC establishes this policy to identify electronic records as the primary record (master) copy.
  1. Duplicate (or Convenience) Records: Reproductions of record (master) copies, prepared simultaneously or separately, which are designated as not being the official copy. 
  2. Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) is a computer system or suite of programs designed to store and track electronic documents and other media. 
  3. Electronic recordkeeping system is an automated information system for the organized collection, processing, transmission, and dissemination of information in accordance with defined procedures.
  4. Electronic record is any information that is recorded in machine readable form. Electronic records include numeric, graphic, audio, video, and textual information which is recorded or transmitted in analog or digital form such as electronic spreadsheets, word processing files, databases, electronic mail, instant messages, scanned images, digital photographs, and multimedia files. 
  5. Intermediate Files/Processing Files: “Temporary electronic files used to create, correct, reorganize, update, or derive output from master data files. Intermediate files are precursors of public records, and are not, in themselves, public records which must be retained. Intermediate files only exist provided a final product is subsequently generated which perpetuates, communicates, or formalizes knowledge of some type. In the absence of such a final product, processing files constitute final evidence of the knowledge to be recorded and shall not be construed as intermediate files for the purposes of this chapter.” (Rule 1B-24.001(3)(h), F.A.C.)
  6. Public records are those as defined in Section 119.011, F.S., and include records that are designated by statute as confidential or exempt from public disclosure.
  7. Record (master) copy means public records specifically designated by the custodian as the official record as defined by the Florida Administrative Code Rule 1B-24. 
  8. Retention Period: The minimum period of time for which a record series must be retained before final disposition, based upon the administrative, legal, fiscal, and historical values of the record series. Retention values are determined by the nature, content, and purpose of the record series and not by the physical format (paper, electronic, microfilm) in which the series resides.
  9. Supporting Documents: Public records assembled or created to be used in the preparation of other records that are needed to trace or explain actions, steps, and decisions covered in the final or record (master) copy.
  10. Record Series: “[A] group of related public records arranged under a single filing arrangement or kept together as a unit (physically or intellectually) because they consist of the same form, relate to the same subject or function, result from the same activity, document a specific type of transaction, or have some other relationship arising from their creation, receipt, or use. A record series might contain records in a variety of forms and formats that document a particular program, function, or activity of the agency.” (Rule 1B-24.001(3)(k), F.A.C.)
  1. Staff will classify the record document type at the time of creation or receipt, to be sent to the County EDMS. 
  2. Conversion to an acceptable format is required prior to designating the record copy for the EDMS. 
  3. Upon conversion, the paper copy becomes a duplicate or convenience record and can be disposed in accordance with Florida Administrative Code Rule 1B-24 and the State of Florida General Records Schedules. 
  4. Email is a transmittal tool and not a records management style. Emails received externally that require retention shall be sent to the EDMS with an assigned classification and in an accepted format.
The County shall develop and maintain a Records and Information Management (RIM) Manual, for guidance and training, to support the Records and Information Management (RIM) Program.

Due to the advancements in technology and continuing clarification of public records policy via statutory change and case law, the RIM manual is incorporated by reference and not formal inclusion to allow swift amendment as warranted.

This manual will be available to staff and the public via the County’s website and intranet.

Questions or concerns regarding same should be directed to the Records Manager.


Electronic recordkeeping systems must have appropriate security in place to protect information that is confidential or exempt from disclosure. 

When providing access to or destroying electronic records containing confidential or exempt information, the County will take steps to prevent unauthorized access to or use of the exempt information. 


There is no single retention period that applies to all electronic records, or all electronic records in a particular format such as e-mail. 

Retention periods are determined by the content, nature, and purpose of records, and are set based on their legal, fiscal, administrative, and historical values, regardless of the format in which they reside. The RIM Manual provides guidance on this issue.

The retention of any particular electronic record will generally be the same as the retention for records in an alternative format that document the same program function or activity. 

Drafts, superseded documents or documents which have been revised to a final format are by their nature intermediate files and convenience records that can be disposed in accordance to the State of Florida General Records Schedule and Rule 1B-24, Florida Administrative Code.

The Records Manager will schedule the retention and disposition of all electronic records, as well as related access documentation and indexes, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 1B-24, Florida Administrative Code