Saturday, April 4, 2015

540. Have You Noticed Senate Bill 528?

We as genealogists have been focused on saving the Genealogy Division of the State Library and insuring the construction of the new State Archives, but other stuff is happening that could affect us. The following bill, passed by the State Senate and pending in the House, could be of great importance to researchers. Will it become law? Who knows. Will it get lost in the shuffle? It's anybody's guess.
[Thanks to Charlotte Sellers for bringing this to my attention.]

Senate Bill 528   Engrossed Senate Bill (H)

DIGEST: Preservation of Public Records.
            Changes the name of the state commission on public records to the Indiana archives and records administration (administration).
            Changes the name of the central micrographics laboratory to the state imaging and microfilm laboratory.
            Adds and changes certain terms to reflect changes in technology, materials, and processes.
            Specifies that the administration administers the law regarding preservation of public records for political subdivisions.
            Requires a county commission of public records to notify the administration within 30 days after selecting a chairman or secretary of the county commission.
            Provides that the administration may maintain damaged court record books.
            Requires a state agency to submit a recommended retention schedule to the administration (instead of to the oversight committee on public records).
            Provides that a political subdivision has the duties and responsibilities of a state agency under the law regarding preservation of public records.
            Requires the administration, with the approval of the oversight committee on public records, to: (1) ensure that the state retains or recovers possession of records that were to be retained by the territorial government under territorial law or are to be retained by the state government under state law; and (2) advise the office of technology with respect to records management and archival principles as applicable to the purchase of electronic content and information management systems.
            Authorizes the administration: (1) to sell or exchange records or non-record holdings that the administration does not need and is not required to maintain; and (2) to make and sell pictures, models, and other merchandise consisting of or containing reproductions of records and exhibits of the state archives.
            Requires money received from these sales to be deposited in the state archives preservation and reproduction account in the state general fund.
            Provides that a certificate of death received by a local health department or the state department of health is a public record that, upon request, must be made available for inspection and copying if certain conditions are met.
            Authorizes the state registrar to deny a request to inspect or copy a record concerning vital statistics if the state registrar has a reasonable suspicion that releasing the record may result in fraud or identity theft.
            Provides, for purposes of the law making it a Level 6 felony for a public official to dispose of a government record other than in accordance with a record retention schedule or with the consent of the administration, that "public official" includes all officers of agencies of state or local government.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for getting this information out to more people. The bill seems to go hand-in-hand with getting a modern facility built for the State Archives. Also, local records around Indiana are in danger due to our local officials lack of understanding of the current laws and inability to manage those of historical significance to researchers.