General Record Retention Guidelines
The Office of Legislative Audits recently completed their fiscal compliance audit of UMBC for the period beginning July 1, 2011 and ending March 18, 2015. The final audit report was issued March 23, 2016. Campus Departments/Units are instructed to maintain financial records until they have been subject to Legislative Audit; therefore, as a general rule, Departments/Units can now elect to dispose of those records dated March 18, 2015 or prior.*
*Keeping in mind other federal or state regulations (e.g. HIPPA or FERPA) that would dictate otherwise. If the records are grant/contract related, the grant/contract documents dictate the record retention requirements (See Electronic Code of Federal Regulation-200.334 Retention Requirement for Records).
“Records” includes paper, electronic records, and records, reports or data in other media. When disposing of records, please be aware of confidentiality of personal information in the records. Shred paper documents containing personal, proprietary or confidential information.
Deletion of an electronic record may not eliminate all remnants of the record. Electronic data must be securely removed from any disk, tape, USB drive, hard drive, photocopier, facsimile machine, or other device with electronic storage before the device is transferred or discarded. Questions regarding the disposing of electronic records can be directed to Mark Cather, Chief Information Security Officer, in DoIT.
Bi-annually, Dr. Hrabowski invites Campus senior management members (e.g. Provost, Deans, and Vice Presidents) to an Audit Update Committee meeting where MAS goes over all of the significant audit issues on Campus.
Why are we audited?
- UMBC is a state-supported institution, and as such, is subject to audit by the Office of Legislative Audits (OLA).
- The OLA audits all state agencies, including USM institutions, on a 3-4 year cycle, as directed by statute.
- UMBC may also be audited by USM internal auditors, federal agency auditors and external CPA firms.
What should we do when a Legislative Audit begins?
- The campus community will be notified via mail and e-mail when the audit is set to begin.
- Each department should notify Management Advisory Services (MAS) when the auditors begin work in your area.
- The auditors will follow up on the status of prior audit exceptions. You should have already implemented corrective actions if your department was part of a prior audit exception. Contact MAS if you are not sure.
- The auditors may audit functions, programs and departments that they have not looked at in prior visits. Be aware that you may be audited and be as cooperative as possible.
- Meet with the auditors working in your area to let them know you are interested in the audit. Request that any findings related to your area be discussed with you to ensure that:
- They have not missed something that may be important to the process being reviewed.
- They speak to the most knowledgeable employees.
- You have a chance to offer input they may not have considered.
- You are aware of the exceptions in your area.
- Keep MAS apprised of any findings communicated to you by the auditors. UMBC is committed to taking a proactive approach to addressing audit exceptions. The sooner we are aware of them, the better.
- The auditors will hold an exit conference with the campus when the audit is completed to discuss their findings. Departments with audit exceptions will be invited to attend.
- Contact MAS with any questions you may have regarding the audit or how to respond.
- Relax – look at the audit as a chance to improve operations and not as criticism of you, your department, or UMBC.