ARA-8.11 - Identification of Bureau Vital Records

Administrative Rules Adopted by City Council (ARC)
Policy number


Administrative Rule Adopted by City Council



As part of the City’s overall business continuity plan, it is necessary to identify and protect those records that are essential to: protect City assets; protect the rights of the City, its citizens and employees; and to resume operations in the time period immediately following a disaster.


City Code Chapter 3.76.030

Archives and Records Management Program Creation and Administration

The City Auditor shall maintain a professional Archives and Records Management Program for the City, and shall be responsible for the care, maintenance and access of all City records.

City Charter 2-504 (a) 3

Auditor – Duties in General

Maintenance of all official records, including records of the various bureaus, records regarding the City Charter and City Code, and all other records regarding City business.


Vital Records: records that are fundamental to the functioning of an organization. Certain vital records contain information critical to the continued operation or survival of an organization during or immediately following a crisis. Such records are necessary to continue operations without delay under abnormal conditions. They contain information necessary to recreate an organization’s legal and financial status and to preserve the rights and obligations of stakeholders, including employees, customers and citizens. Some vital records may be unique and not easily reproducible, or the cost of reproduction or replacement may be considerable. They may be required in their original form to meet or fulfill evidential requirements. Records should be classified as vital only for as long as they support critical business processes and fulfill the requirements described above. Once they have fulfilled this role, they should be reclassified.


Each bureau must analyze its own operation and records to determine what information is vital to its continued existence. This must be fully aligned with overall City business continuity/recovery objectives and priorities and is assisted by defining operational, legal, and regulatory recordkeeping requirements and answering the following questions:

  • What records are absolutely necessary to resume operations?
  • What records are necessary to protect assets, protect legal and financial status of the City, and pre-serve rights and obligations of employees, customers, stockholders, and citizens?
  • How are these records created and where are they stored?
  • Does the necessary information reside in more than one medium?
  • Are there other sources – inside or outside the organization – from which the records can be retrieved?

Each bureau must submit upon request an inventory of its vital records to Archives/Records Management and to the City’s business continuity team.


Ordinance No. 182637, passed by City Council April 1, 2009 and effective May 1, 2009.

Administratively renamed ARA-8.11 on December 6, 2022

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