County Records Management
by KENNETH E. STAPLES Partner, Dallas Office
Presented before the Fourth County Auditors' Institute sponsored by the University of Texas, Austin—May 1962
THE SUBJECT for discussion today in the short time allotted is County Records Management. This is a broad subject, as we shall see in just a moment, and we obviously can not dig deeply into the details of county-records maintenance at this time. Further, it is apparent that the details of record-keeping applying to any one county represented here today may not at all fit the requirements of another county also represented. For example, I feel sure that representatives from one or more counties would be greatly interested
in a discussion of the preparation and maintenance of records by the use of electronic data-processing machines and I feel equally sure that there are those who would like to have some new thoughts developed concerning the preparation and maintenance of hand-posted records. At the same time I want to avoid talking in generalities and shall therefore attempt to develop some of the essentials of good records management, making selected applications of these essentials to county-records management. If I am successful in passing these essentials on to you then you will be in a position to consider all your records in the light of these essentials.
PRODUCTION OF RECORDS
Article 1651 of Vernon's Civil Statutes of the State of Texas speaks of the general duties of the county auditor as follows:
The auditor shall have oversight of all the books and records of all the officers of the county, district, or State, who may be authorized or required by law to receive or collect any money, funds, fees or other property for the use of, or belonging to the county; and he shall see to the strict enforcement of the law governing county finances.
The foregoing statement would seem to cover just about all county records.
What do we mean when we speak of records? Records, I would say, are the written evidence of transactions. Records start with