Banker boxes are a common way to store paper documents that must be kept in case they’re needed. Across county departments, there’s a lot of paper records, and somebody has to track them.
For example, across a single county’s departments, they can possibly be tracking thousands of banker boxes full of records. They’re required to keep them for years in case they must be referred to at some point down the road. And often times they are in fact pulled for reference. When this happens, a designated employee of the county who has access to the county’s banker boxes must followed a detailed procedure to pull the requested boxes. The procedure for document retrievals varies from one county to another.
Though, one action that’s common is charging a retrieval fee. It might only be a dollar or two, but it must be documented and charged to the department that is requesting the retrieval. Another common fee is individual departments paying for the storage of their own banker boxes in the first place. Again, it’s not much, since this is a case where the county is its own customer. Nonetheless, whoever pulls the boxes must make sure that these fees are being applied to the departments.
This leads to a lot of paperwork as a result of sending copies of requests, receipts of retrievals, etc. In fact, the documents that track the movement of records to and from the boxes in storage become themselves more banker boxes of records. While retrieved papers or boxes are checked out to a department, someone has to keep track of what all is checked out, to whom, and when it’s due back.
Meanwhile, dates of destruction must be maintained and followed through with. Depending on the state the county is in and the department for which the records are stored, the disposal date could be anywhere between three to ten years. Ideally, all of the contents within a banker box will have the same destruction date to make it easier. Data retention policies have to be thoroughly maintained. Trying to track dates on hundreds of boxes can be a large undertaking for someone to keep current. Destroying records has a procedure of its own. Records cannot be simply thrown away in the dumpster. They must be completely destroyed. The management of banker boxes can be overwhelmingly backlogged. A large portion of the banker boxes still being housed might actually be overdue to be destroyed.
The good news is that there is a system to help track the boxes. When we help you implement our software, we can help you get your banker boxes organized and your process simplified. Organizing what needs to be destroyed and retained longer will be one of the first tasks your new software will help complete. We will also make sure that retrievals have the right charges associated with them so you can report on it. Your new Flowtrac system begins to benefit your agency immediately upon implementation.