Email in and of itself does not constitute a public record under the Public Records Act. However, information transmitted by email may become a public record if it meets the definition in the North Carolina Public Records Act, N.C.G.S. 132-1, i.e., “if it is information made or received in the transaction of public business by a state agency.” If either the content or the attachments transmitted by email meets the definition of a “public record” then they may not be deleted or otherwise disposed of except in accordance with a records retention schedule approved by the State Division of Archives and History.
Southeastern Community College employees shall retain, for an appropriate length of time, all email and attachments that constitute a public record. The legal custodian of email will normally be the originator if that person is a Southeastern Community College employee. Otherwise, it will be the employee to whom the email is addressed. The legal custodian is the person responsible for retaining the email and its attachments to ensure compliance with the Public Records Act. The content of the email and/or its attachments will determine its retention requirements.
BOT: March 16, 2010, July 20, 2010
Reviewed on October 19, 2020