Timely disposal of records. In cooperation with the State Archivist, employees of the State of Colorado are legally obligated promptly to dispose of state records that have little or no value (Colorado Revised Statutes 24-80-103). Lawful authorization for disposal of public records is obtained through following the Higher Education Records Schedule 8 of the Colorado State Archives Records Management Manual. Unless there are compelling reasons for doing so (for example, due to pending litigation relating to the records), retaining records longer than the disposal schedule authorizes causes unnecessary legal and financial liabilities and is strictly forbidden.
Unauthorized destruction. Likewise, unauthorized destruction of public records is considered tampering, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor (Colorado Revised Statutes 18-8-114).
Destruction of confidential records. A significant quantity of records created and received by the College contain confidential data elements such as social security numbers, home addresses, and other personal privacy data. Records series that contain data confidential or information exempt from public disclosure by law are to be destroyed by shredding, pulping, or incineration under the direct supervision of the Southwest Center's archival staff. These methods of destruction are prescribed so that confidential records may not be viewed or used by unauthorized persons after they are removed from the office of origin. Records that contain no confidential data may be recycled or removed as trash.
Effect of possible or pending investigations or legal actions. Fort Lewis College records users/maintainers are to notify the Center of Southwest Studies archival staff immediately of any possible or pending investigations or legal actions involving the College. This includes any investigations or legal actions in which Fort Lewis College is only a third party. Upon notification, Archives staff must immediately suspend the destruction of any records that may be considered useful to investigative or court proceedings.