Management of Records

The Government of Maharashtra has issued important directions as regards proper maintenance and management of records. The following is the extract from Government Resolution, General Administration Department. No. REC-1075/1981/XX-A, dated 21st July 1976, in the respect: With a view to (i) defining and regulating the responsibilities of the Department of the Secretariat and all other offices of Government and Local Bodies for proper custody, care and management of records in their possession for selection and retirement of records of permanent value to the State Archives, (ii) laying down the responsibilities of the state archives in respect of Public Records in its custody and also in respect on those in the custody of the Department of the Secretariat and other offices, and (iii) prescribing the limits and conditions governing access to the records retired to the State Archives, Government have approved the measures set out hereinafter:-

  1. These measures shall extend to the records of :-
    1. All the department of the secretariat and offices subordinate to the state.
    2. All the offices of the Zilla Parishads and Municipal Councils in the state.

    The term “records” for this purpose shall include documents, rolls, and files, of microfilms, photographs, charts, plans, diagrams, sound recordings, etc.

  2. The Department of the Secretariat and other Government offices as well as local bodies coming within the purview of this resolution will be responsible for their current and semi-current records, periodical appraisal and elimination of ephemeral records and for orderly and systematic transfer of records of permanent value to the State Archives.
  3. The record room holding semi-current records of each Department and public Office should be placed in the charge of properly trained, suitable and responsible staff.
  4. Suitable training re-orientation programmed should be organized by the StateArchives for the staff in charge of the Record Rooms of the Departments of the Secretariat and of the other offices.
  5. The staff entrusted with the record of Department /Office should be responsible for the proper maintenance and management of the semi-current records, for compilation and periodic revision of records in accordance with the procedure laid down for compilation and issue of (i) Annual indexes to Records, (ii) The organizational history of the department/ office and (iii) annual supplements to it, for maintenance of general liaise on with the State Archives, and for tendering advice generally on all matters pertaining to record management to all sections within the Department / Office.
  6. Retention Schedules, indicating the period for which particular classes or categories of records should be preserved shall be drawn up in consultation with the State Archives and should be got approved by the concerned Department / Office. The schedules should be revised once in five years to ensure that adequate notice is being taken of the changing and expanding activities of the Department/Office.
  7. All records and files selected for preservation should be transferred to the State Archives 5 years after being closed or recorded, as laid down in the Manual of Procedure, or the Acts or rules relating to the preservation of records of the Zilla Parishads or Municipal councils, subject to the following limitations-
    1. Files bearing any security classification should not transfer to the State Archives.
    2. The Governor’s Secretariat, the Chief Ministers’ Secretariat and the Offices of other Ministers may prescribe a longer period for the transfer of their non-confidential records.
    3. A Department / Office may requisition from the State Archives any individual file or record for its use whenever necessary. The file or record so requisitioned shall be returned to the State Archives within three months from the date of issue.
    4. Classified files remaining untransformed to the State Archives at the end of the stipulated period should be appraised once in five years with a view to downgrading them and downgraded files fit for permanent preservation transferred to the State Archives.
  8. Records pertaining to a Department / Office becoming defunct with no successor taking its functions should be transferred to the State Archives soon after that Department / Office is defunct.
  9. No records more than hundred years old should be destroyed.
  10. The Directorate of Archives will be the Inspecting Officer for non-current records in Government offices and the offices of the Zilla Parishads and Municipal Councils in the State (vide Government Resolution, General Administration Department, No. REC -1069/ 86117/ 11778- XX, dated the 3rd September 1975).
  11. The Directorate of Archives will be responsible for the custody, proper care and management of all records received in the State Archives.
  12. The Directorate of Archives may arrange to obtain for the State Archives, records of any public office or organization falling outside the scope of this Resolution or papers of historical value with private institutions and individuals, subject to the conditions mutually agreed upon.
  13. Government may constitute an Advisory body consisting of such persons as are interested in the subject to advice Government in the Management, preservation and research activities of the State Archives.
  14. The Directorate of Archives wills co- ordinate and guide the District Advisory Record Committees set up by Government for acquisition of records from private bodies or individuals in Districts.
  15. To ensure that no records of possible historical and research interest are destroyed by the Departments/ Offices after they cease to be of administrative use, the Departments/ Offices should associate the Director or Archives with the process of weeding of records, as prescribed in Government's Circulars, Political and Service Department, Nos. REC – 1053/ B, dated 21st September 1953 and 31st July 1954 or such orders issued thereafter. The Director of Archives should co- ordinate and guide all connected with the records in respect of their administration, preservation and elimination so as ensure that records of permanent value are not destroyed but are transferred to the State Archives at the appropriate time.
  16. The Director of archives will tender such advice and render such assistance as may be possible to offices and institutions falling outside the scope of this resolution in respect of technical problems bearing on record management.
  17. The Director of Archives will be responsible for attending to ancillary matter such as Archival Commission, and Committees, Archival publications, compilation of the National Register of Private Archives in so far as the State in concerned and organizing exhibitions and for developing general archival consciousness in the State.
  18. The Director of Archives will submit a report to Government every year on the management of public records, with particular reference to the actual working of there record management system.
  19. All non- confidential public records, transferred to the State Archives, pertaining to the period prior to the 1st January1946, shall be open to bonafide Research Scholars, subject to the conditions specified in Government resolution, General administration Department No. REC1066/ 114466- IV, dated the 5th August1975.
  20. The Department of the Secretariat and other office may in consultation with Government in General Administration Department, grant special access to Secret /Confidential records not transferred to the State Archives.

The above resolution is a new development in the Archival policy of Government of Maharashtra, and it shows that the Government is becoming record conscious. The Government of Maharashtra desires to develop its records on modern lines and bring up its Record Office to the level of a first rate reference and information center.