Chapter 3.76 Public Records

City Code Chapter

(Chapter replaced by Ordinance 182637, effective May 1, 2009.)

3.76.010 Definitions.

  1. In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
  2. A.  “Agency” means a department, bureau, office, commission, board, public corporation or other organizational unit created by the Council of the City of Portland.
  3. B.  “Record” or “City record” means any recorded information, regardless of physical form or characteristic, prepared, owned, used or retained in connection with the transaction of official business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by an agency as evidence of the organization, function, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the City of Portland or because of the informational value in it.  The term does not include library and museum material developed or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes, extra copies of documents preserved solely for convenience of reference, or stocks of publications. These records are public property, subject to Oregon Public Records Law and to the records management requirements established by this Code.

3.76.020 Purpose.

  1. The purpose of this Chapter is to provide for the orderly management and care of current City records and to preserve non‑current City records of permanent value for administrative, legal, and research purposes. 

3.76.030 Archives and Records Management Program Creation and Administration.

  1. The City Auditor shall maintain a professional Archives and Records Management Program for the City, and shall be responsible for the maintenance of all City records.  The City Auditor shall be the custodian for all permanent records for which an agency has transferred ownership to the Auditor and for all historical records.

3.76.040 Authority and Duties of the Archives and Records Management Program.

  1. The Archives and Records Management Program shall:
  2. A.  Operate the program and the Archives and Records Center facility in accordance with currently accepted archives and records management professional standards;
  3. B.  Acquire, receive, appraise and secure records of permanent value from agencies of the City of Portland when those records are no longer necessary for conducting current business;
  4. C.  Acquire, receive, appraise, and secure all records for areas annexed by the City from a county or special district or from a defunct agency of the City of Portland;
  5. D.  Negotiate for the acquisition and return of City records which have been removed from its possession;
  6. E.  Secure transfer of records to the Archives when it has been determined that the records are stored under conditions that do not meet the standards established by Archives and Records Management;
  7. F.  Maintain inventories, indexes, catalogs, and other finding aids or guides to facilitate access to the City Archives;
  8. G.  Analyze, develop and provide written standards and procedures for the care and maintenance of City records, including those created and/or maintained in electronic format;
  9. H.  Establish minimum recordkeeping requirements for business systems or applications that maintain official City records;
  10. I.  Provide access, as defined by State law and City policies, to the records within Archives and Records Management’s custodianship;
  11. J.  Establish procedures for City agencies regarding the identification, segregation, and protection of records vital to continuing operations to comply with the City’s emergency preparedness policies;
  12. K.  Establish standards for City agencies with regard to the appropriate use of record media, accounting for cost, access and preservation;
  13. L.  Establish procedures for the preparation of records inventories and descriptions; develop records retention schedules for review by the City Auditor and City Attorney and which meet the requirements of Oregon Administrative Rules;
  14. M.  Establish procedures for the prompt and orderly disposition of City records for which the state archivist has granted authority to destroy because they no longer possess administrative, legal, or research value to warrant their retention;
  15. N.  Provide training to City agencies and employees on all aspects of records management.

3.76.050 Duties of Elected Officials and the Managers of City Agencies.

  1. Each City elected official and agency manager shall:
  2. A.   Make and preserve records containing adequate documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures and essential transactions of the agency which are designed to furnish the information necessary to protect the legal and financial rights of the City and of persons directly affected by the agency’s activities;
  3. B.  Ensure staff compliance with City records policies and procedures established by Archives and Records Management;
  4. C.  Work with Archives and Records Management to develop and review records retention schedules for records maintained by the agency;
  5. D.  Inform Archives and Records Management of any regulatory changes affecting record retention, maintenance or access requirements;
  6. E.  Notify Archives and Records Management of any program changes that may affect the management of City records, including but not limited to:  new agency responsibilities; records that are no longer being created; changes to records maintenance practices;
  7. F.   Follow established procedures to identify, segregate and protect records vital to the continuing operation of an agency in the event of natural or man‑made disaster;
  8. G.   Ensure that at least one copy of each report, document, study, publication or consultant report prepared at City expense be deposited with the Archives;
  9. H.   Notify the Archives of records older than 25 years in the agency’s possession; transfer control of original records upon notification from the Archives;
  10. I.   Establish safeguards against unauthorized or unlawful removal, loss or destruction of City records;
  11. J.  Ensure that City records are maintained in an manner that meets guidelines set by Archives and Records Management for security and environment;
  12. K.  Designate a management level employee to act as a liaison between the agency and Archives and Records Management on all matters relating to the archives and records management program.

3.76.060 Care of Records.

  1. Records of the City of Portland shall be managed according to the provisions of Oregon Revised Statutes, Oregon Administrative Rules and of this Chapter.

3.76.070 Destruction of Records.

  1. City records covered by a records retention schedule shall be destroyed according to the parameters set forth in the retention schedule.  In general, records shall not be retained beyond their prescribed retention.

3.76.080 Use of Copies.

  1. A.   When original City records are reproduced and placed in conveniently accessible files and provisions are made for preserving and using them for the duration of their legally mandated retention, the originals from which they were made may be destroyed.
  2. B.   Reproduction or replacement of City records made under this Chapter are admissible in evidence as primary evidence of the original writing.

3.76.090 Public Access to Records.

  1. All City records, except for those exempted by law, are available for inspection and copying by the public.  The City may require that records use occur during certain business hours and at specified locations, and may charge fees to recover the cost of retrieval and copying.