Management of Records

All government entities, including relief associations, create and possess records (electronic and paper). Records collected, created, received, maintained, or disseminated by a relief association regardless of their physical form are “government data.” As governmental entities that receive and manage public money, relief associations are subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 138.17, which states that records cannot be destroyed except at the direction of the state’s Records Disposition Panel.

A relief association has options for the retention of its records. A relief association's board of trustees may choose to adopt the General Records Retention Schedule for Volunteer Fire Relief Associations in its entirety and notify the Minnesota Historical Society of its adoption. Relief associations choosing this option may destroy certain types of records after they have been maintained for a specified length of time as detailed in the schedule.

Alternatively, a relief association may choose to modify the General Records Retention Schedule or to create its own schedule. Relief associations choosing these options must submit the proposed schedule to the State Records Disposition Panel for approval before the customized schedule can be used and any records destroyed.

If a relief association does not choose and implement one of these options, the relief association must permanently retain all of its records.

The OSA’s Statement of Position on management of records for relief associations includes a link to the General Records Retention Schedule, and information about how to use the schedule and notify the Minnesota Historical Society that the schedule has been adopted. 

Published last in the February 2021 Pension Newsletter