Records Management Rules

1. General provisions

1.1 The Records Management Rules (hereinafter referred to as “Rules”) regulate the documentation of the activities of Tallinn University of Technology (hereinafter referred to as “university”) and the related work procedure.

1.2 Records management rules applicable to specific activities are laid down in sectoral legislation.

1.3 A records management period is a calendar year. The records management period of a committee, working group, council (hereinafter referred to as “committee”) may be its period of operation.

1.4 Records management shall be organised and coordinated by the Human Resources Office. The head of a structural unit shall be responsible for the records management of the structural unit and records management of a structural unit shall be organised by the employee in whose job description the task has been set out. The chairman of a committee shall be responsible for the records management of the committee and the records management of a committee shall be organised by the secretary of the committee. Each employee shall be responsible for proper creation and management of records within the scope of his/her duties.

1.5 The university’s records are managed in the records management system (hereinafter referred to as “RMS”) and other electronic information systems. The records classification scheme sets out to which category a record must be assigned.

1.6 As a rule, the university creates, coordinates and processes records electronically. Paper records received are scanned and entered in the information system where the records are managed.

1.7 The content administrator of the RMS adds user and access rights, enters and changes the structure of the university and the records classification scheme, opens files, manages display forms, adds workflows for record types if necessary, transfers records to be archived to the archiving module, monitors the proper use of the system and advises structural units on the issues.

1.8 A structural unit has a unique codename used in the university’s records management. The first letter of the codename indicates the school or administrative and support structure, the second letter indicates the concrete structural unit. The Human Resources Office manages the codenames in the full text of the university structure.

2. For the purposes of the Rules,

2.1 “archival records” mean records to which archival value has been granted by the public archives as the result of an appraisal;

2.2 “case file” means correspondence and procedural actions related to a specific matter;

2.3 “records management procedures” means activities for fulfilling and documenting the tasks of a person or an organization;

2.4 “records management” means organisation of creation, receipt, use and storage of records;

2.5 “digital records” means records created using an electronic device and stored on a data carrier;

2.6 “digital stamp” means a data unit, created using a system of technical and organisational means, which is used by a holder of a digital stamp certificate to prove the integrity of a digital record and his or her connection with the record;

2.7 “records management system (RMS)” means an electronic information system for creating and managing records, which includes a records register indicating the location of a record based on the records classification scheme;

2.8 “records classification scheme” means a structured list of functions, series and records. A records classification scheme is the underlying document for planning and managing the records life cycle. A classification scheme is a classification of records based on the analysis of work processes and operations together with a framework for the retention periods and managing of records.

2.9 “record” means information recorded on any medium, which is created or received in the course of the activities of an agency or person, and the content, form and structure of which are sufficient to provide evidence of facts or activities;

2.10 “display form” means a form for entering records metadata (data describing the records) in the records management system based on the type of records;

2.11 “disposition” means records management operations during the retention period and activities related to decisions to destroy or transfer records;

2.12 “capture” – means linking a record or file to the classification scheme;

2.13 “destruction” means the process during which the records are destroyed by deleting, crushing, shredding, burning or other physical destruction so that they cannot be recovered;

2.14 “correspondence” means a memorandum, a request for explanation or any other communication of a person, a record received or sent by the university, which is registered in the correspondence register;

2.15 “metadata” means data describing the context, content and structure of records and the history of their management, including register data

2.16 “procedure” means legal action taken in a specific order to resolve a matter;

2.17 “series” means a classification, arrangement and description unit connecting records belonging together based on function, type or other criteria;

2.18 “file” means a set of records created or received under a series in the course of records management.

3. Transferring and accepting records management

3.1 Records management shall be transferred upon termination of an employee’s employment, reorganization or termination of the activity of a structural unit. If necessary, records management is also transferred when an employee takes a leave, is temporarily unable to work or refuses to perform work in other cases provided for in the Employment Contracts Act.

3.2 The transfer of records management shall be documented in the form of an instrument of transfer and receipt upon termination of the employment relationship of a rector, vice-rector, area director or head of a structural unit, reorganisation or termination of the activities of a structural unit as well as at the request of the person transferring or receiving the records.

3.3 The following operations and information shall be indicated in the instrument depending on the structural unit/responsibilities:
3.3.1 the budgetary situation of the structural unit;
3.3.2 the composition of the structural unit and vacant posts;
3.3.3 the current state of assets of the structural unit;
3.3.4 the rooms, keys of the structural unit;
3.3.5 data on the transfer of property in personal use (a car, computer, mobile phone, etc.);
3.3.6 the list of documents/files/registers to be transferred;
3.3.7 the list of current contracts;
3.3.8 the list of currently valid legislation prepared by the administrative and support unit;
3.3.9 the list of documents being approved and prepared;
3.3.10 the list of the issues to be resolved and the corresponding documents;
3.3.11 the list of ongoing works (projects) and corresponding documents;
3.3.12 the stamps together with an imprint;
3.3.13 participation in management bodies, councils, committees, working groups, etc.;
3.3.14 the list of other responsibilities.

3.4 As a rule, an instrument of transfer and receipt is drawn up by the transferor and signed by the transferor and the recipient. Instruments of transfer and receipt shall be entered in the RMS.

3.5 An instrument of transfer and receipt shall be signed digitally or on paper in at least three copies, from which the transferor receives one, the recipient the second copy and the third copy shall be entered in the RMS.

3.6 Records management shall be transferred no later than on the day the employee leaves work or by the deadline set by the immediate superior. In the case of reorganization or termination of the activity of a structural unit, records management shall be transferred before the deadline for reorganization or termination of activity.

3.7 If necessary, the rector or the area director shall form a committee for the transfer of records management.

3.8 An employee shall transfer work records, collections of information or any other information stored in the computer provided to him or her for use that are essential for the activities of the university.

3.9 If an employee refuses or it is impossible to transfer records management, control over records management will be taken unilaterally in the presence of the immediate superior or an employee appointed by the immediate superior. In this case, a corresponding entry shall be made in the instrument of transfer and receipt.

3.10 If one of the parties disagrees with the content of the instrument of transfer and receipt, a reasoned dissenting opinion shall be submitted prior to signature thereof, which shall be appended to the instrument and the existence of which shall be indicated in the instrument.

4. Types and circulation of records

4.1 Records created and received in the course of the university’s activities are categorised under series in the records classification scheme based on the university’s functions.

4.2 The classification scheme of the university’s records and its amendments shall be approved by the rector.

4.3 Records circulation is the movement of records at the university starting from their creation or receipt until their dispatch, destruction or transfer to the public archives.

4.4 The records circulation process consists of the following stages:
4.4.1 initiation;
4.4.2 drawing up a draft, design or project;
4.4.3 submitting for review;
4.4.4 considering the proposals, amending and supplementing
4.4.5 formalising;
4.4.6 confirming by the person who prepared the record and the approvers;
4.4.7 signing or confirming the content;
4.4.8 registration;
4.4.9 capturing in the system, filing or distributing;
4.4.10 notifying;
4.4.11 performing the tasks arising from the record, resolving the matter or taking note of it;
4.4.12 amending or repealing;
4.4.13 making an extract or transcript;
4.4.14 management and storage;
4.4.15 transfer to the public archives;
4.4.16 disposition for destruction.

5. Document blanks, templates and forms

5.1 The university uses a general blank and a letter blank. A letter blank is used for official correspondence and certification. The general blank is used for other official records, excluding contracts. The document blanks of a structural unit or a decision-making body shall be designed based on the university’s general blank or letter blank in compliance with the requirements laid down for the use of the university’s logo.

5.2 The template of the specific record type is used to formalize a record and the requirements to the record format shall be adhered to. The Human Resources Office shall make sure that the requirements to the format of the templates and records are available and up-to-date. The templates and requirements to record formats are available in the RMS and on the intranet.

5.3 The head of a structural unit is responsible for making sure that the record forms supporting sectoral records management are available and up-to-date.

6. Drafting of legislation

6.1 The university’s legislation includes:
6.1.1 regulations;
6.1.2 resolutions;
6.1.3 directives;
6.1.4 orders.

6.2 The work procedure related to the legislation drawn up the University Board and the Senate is laid down in more detail in the legislation governing the work of the decision-making bodies.

6.3 The rector has the right to issue directives. Orders are issued by the rector, vice-rectors, area directors, deans in accordance with their respective competences and other employees in the cases provided for by law or based on the authority granted by the rector.

6.4 The Human Resources Office shall publish instructions for the classification of directives and orders, including the instructions for approving and signing on the intranet.

6.5 Preparation or amendment of a general legislative act (rules, procedure, strategy, statute, principles, etc.) shall be initiated by the rector, vice-rector or area director. The initiator, the head of the structural unit or chief officer appointed by the initiator is the person responsible.  The head of a support unit may appoint an executor, who organizes the preparation and review of the draft. An explanatory memorandum or an explanation shall be appended to the draft drawn up by the University Board or the Senate and, if necessary, to a draft directive, stating the reasons for adopting the draft, presenting the main positions and giving an overview of the accompanying effects, including the financial implications.

6.6 The executor sends the draft general legislative act to the employees concerned for review. The reviewer assesses the draft in particular within the his/her sphere of competence, agrees to it and/or submits his/her proposals for amendments, comments or opinion. The executor decides whether to take the submitted proposals into account and, if necessary, draws up a table of the received proposals, indicating the corresponding reasons if a proposal is not taken into account. The initiator shall decide whether the Rectorate needs to discuss a draft before the draft is finalized or submitted to the University Senate or University Board for processing.

6.7 Legislative acts are entered and processed in the RMS. The executor submits the corrected, supplemented, linguistically edited draft that has been duly formalised on a legislative acts template to the approval and signature round or to the University Board or Senate for processing.

6.8 All drafts of general legislative acts shall be approved by the chief legal officer, sectoral legislative acts shall be approved by the legal officer of the relevant sector.

6.9 Legislative acts enter into force upon signature or upon approval of the content unless another term is specified in the legislative act.

6.10 The university staff shall be informed of the issued regulation or resolution by the secretary of the decision-making body or the person responsible for the record.

6.11 The person responsible shall verify the performance of the tasks arising from the legislative act and timely resolution of the matters unless otherwise provided for in the legislative act. The head of a structural unit shall make sure that the legislative acts are up-to-date and makes proposals for amending and repealing legislative acts.

6.12 The Human Resources Office shall formalise, update the full texts of general legislative acts and publish them on the intranet within three working days of the publication of the original act or amending legislative act.

7. Taking minutes

7.1 The meetings of the University Board, the Senate and the decision-making and advisory bodies of the structural units established by legislation shall be recorded in minutes.

7.2 The need to take minutes and the level of detail in recording the development of discussions of an ad-hoc committee meeting shall be decided by the chairman of the committee based on the purpose of further use of the information recorded in the minutes and the importance of the issues to be discussed.

7.3 Minutes shall be drawn up within one week from the date of a meeting and shall be signed by the chairman of the meeting and the secretary of the meeting, unless otherwise provided by legislation. The chairman of the meeting is responsible for the correctness of the content of the minutes. The secretary of a meeting is responsible for proper preparation and registration of the minutes.

7.4 The date of an electronic meeting is the date of expressing opinions indicated in the notice of the meeting.

7.5 Minutes shall be entered in the RMS together with its annexes.

8. Issuing of letters of authorisation

8.1 The rector has the right to grant authority for representing the university or for subdelegation.

8.2 Letters of authorisation are entered and processed in the RMS. A letter of authorisation is issued in electronic form unless it is necessary to use another form due to the requirements laid down by legislation or the nature of the transaction.

8.3 A letter of authorisation shall set out the matters in which authorisation is granted to represent the university or to conclude a transaction on behalf of the university, the term of authorisation, the name and personal identification code of the representative.

8.4 Preparation, amendment or revocation of a letter of authorisation in the RMS shall be initiated by the person who needs authorisation. The head of a structural unit may appoint an executor, who organizes the processing of a letter of authorisation. A letter of authorisation shall be approved by the head of the structural unit, the legal officer in the sector, the area director.

8.5 Granting of a letter of authorisation required for the performance of contractual obligations to a person who is a contracting partner of the university shall be requested by the head of a structural unit who exercises supervision over performance of the contractual obligations.

8.6 A general authorisation is a set of rights, on the basis of which the authorised person permanently represents the university or concludes transactions on behalf of the university. A general authorisation is granted to area directors, heads of academic structural units and other persons, if necessary.

8.7 A special authorisation is a set of rights, on the basis of which the authorised person represents the university in a certain defined matter or in conclusion of a certain transaction. The rector or an area director authorised by the rector grants special authorisation to employees and contracting partners of the university.

8.8 Upon termination of an employment contract, the employee is required to return to the head of the structural unit the paper version of a valid letter of authorisation in his/her possession not later than on the last working day. Return of a valid letter of authorisation issued to a contracting partner on paper shall be organised by the head of the structural unit who requested the issue thereof.

9. Signing of records, signatory authority and certification of authenticity of signature

9.1 Records by which rights are granted and obligations are assumed or that require a signature pursuant to legislation must be signed.

9.2 If a record is processed in the RMS or another information system where the authenticity, reliability and integrity of the record is ensured, the workflow of digital approval and signing of the record can be replaced by the workflow of confirming the content of the record.

9.3 The employees of the university sign records within their competence specified in their job description, legislative act or a letter of authorisation granted. If the signatory authority has not been determined, it is decided by the head of the structural unit.

9.4 A record shall be submitted for signature together with all its annexes. A record to be signed digitally and its annexes are grouped into one container for signing.

9.5 If a digital record is signed by one or more persons, the record shall be signed in such a way that the signatures form an integral part of the record.

9.6 If the signatory indicated on the record cannot sign the record and the record is signed by another authorised employee, the record must be amended before signing and the actual name and official title of the signatory whose functions are performed by the actual signatory must be indicated on the record. If necessary, the legislative act granting authorisation or the letter of authorisation is attached to the record.

9.7 A facsimile signature or any other imprint does not replace the original signature.

9.8 A scanned paper record signed by hand that has been captured in the RMS is treated by the university as equivalent to the original record.

9.9 If a digitally signed record drawn up at the university or sent to the university needs to be printed for storage and/or the authenticity of the digital signature must be certified, the certificate of authenticity of the digital signature shall be attached to or printed on the reverse side of the printout or the printout must be supplied with a certification as a true copy by prior verifying the validity of the digital signature.

10. Registration and capturing records in the records management system

10.1 A record is entered in the RMS by the employee responsible for the record or by an employee who has been granted the corresponding rights. Records are captured based on the records classification scheme and other principles.

10.2 To register a record, the display form for the corresponding record type is filled in and stored in the RMS and the record file(s) are attached to it. An incoming paper record is scanned and then linked to metadata. An e-mail shall be captured together with the transmission data (the sender, receiver, time of sending).

10.3 A letter on the same subject sent in a records management period shall be registered as a follow-up or reply document under the same registration number.

10.4 A record is registered upon its signature in the RMS, on the date of confirmation of its content or its dispatch or receipt or on the following working day.

10.5 Before registering a record, the registrant shall verify the integrity of the record, the existence of signatures and approvals or the correspondence with the signatory indicated in the record, the existence of the annexes indicated in the record, the correctness of the addressee, etc.

10.6 If a paper record is captured in the system or a record created in the system is printed out for signature, the registrant of the record shall be responsible for the identity of the digital text and the content of the paper record.

10.7 If a record that must be registered is received at an employee’s e-mail address, the recipient of the record is responsible for submitting the record for registration.

10.8 A file entered in the RMS shall be named in compliance with the instructions provided in the requirements for the format of the records.

11. Executing a record and deadlines for resolution

11.1 A response to a memorandum, a request for explanation or any other communication of a person (hereinafter referred to as “letter”) received by the university which needs to be resolved shall be provided without undue delay, but no later than within 30 calendar days of its registration. Under special circumstances, the term may be extended to up to two months depending on the complexity of the response. The person shall be informed of extension of the term for response and of the reasons for extension.

11.2 After registration, the received letter is forwarded for execution to the structural unit/employee responsible for the matter or for review to the rector, area director or head of a structural unit who shall appoint the executor or executors, the deadline for execution and, if necessary, the procedure for resolving the matter.

11.3 A letter containing a complaint shall not be sent for execution to the structural unit or employee against whose activity the complaint was filed, but to the dean, area director or rector.

11.4 Execution of a record shall be monitored by the official responsible for the record.

11.5 A received letter is considered to have been executed on time or the matter is considered to be resolved if the addressee has taken note of it or responded to it. If the resolution of the matter does not require a response and it is resolved orally or in another way, an execution note is made on the record’s display form, indicating who resolved the matter, how and when the matter was resolved.

11.6 The head of a structural unit or the area director is responsible for the execution of an order issued by the university’s legislation.

11.7 The tasks recorded in the minutes of a meeting shall be forwarded for resolution and the execution thereof shall be monitored by the secretary or chairman of the meeting.

12. Access to records and complying with a request for information

12.1 The university’s records are divided into:
12.1.1 unrestricted records;
12.1.2 restricted records for internal use (supplied with a notation “FOR INTERNAL USE” (“AK”)).
12.2 Unrestricted records are available in the RMS and the public records register.

12.3 A request for information sent to the general contact address of the university shall be forwarded to the structural unit or employee holding the information for complying with the request. An employee to whom a request for information is assigned for it to be complied with or who has received a request for information is responsible for complying with the request for information.

12.4 A request for information shall be complied with promptly, but not later than within five working days. Where necessary and justified, the term for compliance with the request for information can be extended for up to fifteen working days.

12.5  A request for information need not be registered if it is promptly complied with. In other cases, a request for information is entered in the RMS, registered and managed in the same manner as a letter.

12.6 If the recipient or a person to whom a request for information is assigned suspects that it is a letter or that the record requested may be subject to a restriction on access, he or she shall contact the legal officer in the sector for clarification.

12.7 Access to documents supplied with a notation “FOR INTERNAL USE” (“AK”) and stored in the archival repository shall be governed by the procedures approved by the rector.

13. Certification of transcripts and extracts

13.1 A transcript is a reproduction of the full content of a record. A copy and a printout of a record also function as a transcript. An extract is a reproduction of a segment of the content of a record.

13.2 The head of the structural unit managing the original of the record and the employee appointed by the head of the structural unit have the right to certify a transcript or extract of a record which serves as the basis for proving the rights of or facts regarding persons.

13.3 A transcript or extract of a record shall be authenticated by means of a certification as a true copy and a stamp. A digital transcript or extract shall be authenticated by a digital signature or digital stamp.

14. Stamps and their storage and use

14.1 The university uses the university’s ink stamp and structural units’ ink stamps. The university’s stamp is safekept in the Human Resources Office.

14.2 The impressions of ink stamps are circular (with the diameter of 35 mm) with a text in red – the TALTECH logo and the text “Tallinn University of Technology” on the upper edge. In the centre of the ink stamp of a structural unit there is the name of the structural unit and the text “Tallinn University of Technology” on the edge.

14.3 The university’s stamp is used to certify diplomas, diploma supplements and certificates and other documents signed by persons authorised by the rector that require authentication.

14.4  A structural unit’s stamp is used to certify the transcripts, extracts, printouts of the documents of the structural unit and certify the certificates drawn up in the structural unit.

14.5 The head of a structural unit and the person responsible for records management have the right to use a stamp.

14.6 The Human Resources Office shall organise ordering, returning and destruction of stamps.

15. Organization of postal services

15.1 The Human Resources Office organises postal services and mediates information received at the university’s official e-mail address

15.2 In internal record circulation at the university, records are generally exchanged electronically. Documents that are not available to the recipient in electronic form are exchanged between structural units in paper form.

15.3 Consignments sent out on paper must be in a sealed envelope and formatted according to the instructions published on the website of the post office.

15.4 The sender is responsible for the content and packaging of a consignment.

15.5 International courier service orders are submitted through the Human Resources Office. Consignments must be packaged and the sender is responsible for the contents and packaging of the consignment.

16. Storing and disposition of records

16.1 In order to store records, files are opened in the RMS based on the records classification scheme at the beginning of a records management year. If it is not possible to preserve the authenticity and integrity of a digital record in the prescribed retention period, or if it is necessary to store the record on paper for history or other reason, a paper file shall be formed in the structural unit. A structural unit shall formalise and arrange files in accordance with the formatting requirements.

16.2 Records belonging to one series and created or received in one records management year are collected into one file. In the case of small series, as well as for storing the records of an ad hoc committee, documents of several years can be grouped together in a single file.

16.3 Records in a file shall be arranged in chronological order or based on another logic to provide a comprehensive overview of the matter. Correspondence in one matter is terminated by the last record drawn up or received in that matter.

16.4 Paper records, the retention period of which does not exceed ten years, shall be kept in the premises of the structural unit or in the premises used for this purpose until they are destroyed. Records with a permanent and long retention period are transferred to the university archives after three years. Transfer of records shall be recorded by signing an instrument of transfer and receipt.  The deadline for transfer may be extended with the permission of the archivist.

16.5 A structural unit is not allowed to destroy records on its own when the retention period expires or the records become unusable. Records shall be disposed to the archival repository for destruction. An archivist shall record destruction of records in a report of destruction.

16.6 Records subject to destruction due to unusability are copied before destruction if the condition of the records so permits and this shall be recorded in a report signed by the head of the structural unit and the archivist.

16.7 Safe destruction of records and transfer of archival records to the public archives shall be organised by an archivist.