119.021 Custodial requirements; maintenance, preservation, and retention of public records.—
(1) Public records shall be maintained and preserved as follows:
(a) All public records should be kept in the buildings in which they are ordinarily used.
(b) Insofar as practicable, a custodian of public records of vital, permanent, or archival records shall keep them in fireproof and waterproof safes, vaults, or rooms fitted with noncombustible materials and in such arrangement as to be easily accessible for convenient use.
(c)1. Record books should be copied or repaired, renovated, or rebound if worn, mutilated, damaged, or difficult to read.
2. Whenever any state, county, or municipal records are in need of repair, restoration, or rebinding, the head of the concerned state agency, department, board, or commission; the board of county commissioners of such county; or the governing body of such municipality may authorize that such records be removed from the building or office in which such records are ordinarily kept for the length of time required to repair, restore, or rebind them.
3. Any public official who causes a record book to be copied shall attest and certify under oath that the copy is an accurate copy of the original book. The copy shall then have the force and effect of the original.
(2)(a) The Division of Library and Information Services of the Department of State shall adopt rules to establish retention schedules and a disposal process for public records.
(b) Each agency shall comply with the rules establishing retention schedules and disposal processes for public records which are adopted by the records and information management program of the division.
(c) Each public official shall systematically dispose of records no longer needed, subject to the consent of the records and information management program of the division in accordance with s. 257.36.
(d) The division may ascertain the condition of public records and shall give advice and assistance to public officials to solve problems related to the preservation, creation, filing, and public accessibility of public records in their custody. Public officials shall assist the division by preparing an inclusive inventory of categories of public records in their custody. The division shall establish a time period for the retention or disposal of each series of records. Upon the completion of the inventory and schedule, the division shall, subject to the availability of necessary space, staff, and other facilities for such purposes, make space available in its records center for the filing of semicurrent records so scheduled and in its archives for noncurrent records of permanent value, and shall render such other assistance as needed, including the microfilming of records so scheduled.
(3) Agency orders that comprise final agency action and that must be indexed or listed pursuant to s. 120.53 have continuing legal significance; therefore, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or any provision of chapter 257, each agency shall permanently maintain records of such orders pursuant to the applicable rules of the Department of State.
(4)(a) Whoever has custody of any public records shall deliver, at the expiration of his or her term of office, to his or her successor or, if there be none, to the records and information management program of the Division of Library and Information Services of the Department of State, all public records kept or received by him or her in the transaction of official business.
(b) Whoever is entitled to custody of public records shall demand them from any person having illegal possession of them, who must forthwith deliver the same to him or her. Any person unlawfully possessing public records must within 10 days deliver such records to the lawful custodian of public records unless just cause exists for failing to deliver such records.
History.—s. 2, ch. 67-125; s. 3, ch. 83-286; s. 753, ch. 95-147; s. 5, ch. 2004-335.