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It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 117 is amended to read:


(a)  The secretary of state shall be the custodian of those archives of the state of Vermont transferred to his or her custody. In fulfilling the duties of custodian, the secretary of state shall:

(1)  accept, preserve and administer records transferred to his or her custody by the commissioner of buildings and general services and from other public and private sources, and arrange and process these records, according to approved archival practices;

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Archival management” means the systematic identification and management of archival records to assure their authenticity and accessibility from the creation to ultimate disposition.

(2)  “Archives” or “archival records” means public records, as defined in 1 V.S.A. § 317(b), which have continuing legal, administrative, or historical value.

(3)  “Identification” means the analysis and appraisal of all public records, regardless of physical form or characteristics, to determine their value and ultimate disposition, based upon their:

(A)  current administrative, legal, and fiscal use;

(B)  evidential and informational content;

(C)  arrangement and condition;

(D)  intrinsic value; and

(E)  relationship to other records.

(b)  There is created within the office of the secretary of state the division of Vermont state archives which is charged with administering and implementing an archival management program for state government in accordance with professional archival practice and principles which shall be styled “the state archives program”.  The secretary shall have legal custody of the state’s archival records.

(c)  The secretary shall report annually to the governor and the general assembly on the state archives program.

(d)  The secretary may appoint an archives advisory committee to provide assistance and support for the state archives program.

(e)  The secretary may adopt rules consistent with this chapter.

(f)  There shall be a director of the division of Vermont state archives who shall have the title of “state archivist”, and who shall be qualified by education and professional experience to perform the duties of the office.  The state archivist shall be a classified position within the office of secretary of state.

(g)  In fulfilling the duties of the state archives program, the state archivist shall:

(1)  coordinate with the commissioner of buildings and general services for compliance with section 218 of this title and sections 453 and 454 of Title 22 to identify, schedule, and manage all public records with archival value;

(2)  establish and administer an archival management program for the application of effective and efficient methods to the creation, utilization, maintenance, retention, and preservation of state archival records;

(3)  cooperate with the head of a state agency or a public body to establish and maintain a program for the identification, scheduling, and preservation of archival records;

(4)  analyze, develop, establish, and coordinate standards, procedures, and techniques for the creation, preservation, and access to archival records;

(5)  analyze and identify archival records in state agencies;

(6)  cooperate with the commissioner of buildings and general services in the development of comprehensive records retention and disposition schedules that identify archival records;

(7)  take custody of archival records with the approval of their originating agency;

(8)  arrange, describe, and preserve archival records, and promote their use by government officials, educators, historians, and the public through the secretary of state’s website or other publication, or both;

(2)(9)  permit the public to inspect, examine and study the archives of his or her office;, provided that any record placed in the keeping of the office of the secretary of state under special terms or conditions of law restricting their use shall be made accessible only in accord with those terms and conditions;

(3)(10)  cooperate with and assist to the extent practicable state institutions, departments, agencies, municipalities and other political subdivisions and individuals engaged in the activities in the field of archives, manuscripts and history; and

(11)  provide advice, assistance, and consultation to state agencies, political subdivisions, historical agencies, libraries, and other Vermont organizations on the effective management of archival records;

(12)  serve on the Vermont historical records advisory board, as described in 44 U.S.C. § 2104, to encourage systematic documentation in Vermont and the collecting of archival records; and 

(4)(13)  publish or otherwise exhibit and promote those archival records of his or her office which he or she judges are judged to be of publishable value.

(b)(h)  Each volume published under the provisions of this section shall be called state papers of Vermont and numbered consecutively after the last volume of that title printed and published under the authority of No. 259 of the Acts of 1912.

(c)(i)  All volumes printed under authority of this section shall be delivered to the state librarian who shall deliver one copy to such elective and appointive state officers and such town and county clerks and such local historical societies and to each public high school and college library in the state, and to the library of each private school acting as a public high school as shall request it in writing for the permanent files of their offices.  The state librarian shall also furnish four copies to the Vermont historical society.  The remaining volumes shall be disposed of by the state librarian through liberal exchanges with other libraries and institutions or through sale at such prices as the state librarian shall establish.

(d)(j)  All volumes of the state papers of Vermont, published under authority of this or any other previous law, shall be evidence in court and shall have the same force as the original documents.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 218 is amended to read:


(a)  The general assembly finds that public records are essential to the administration of state and local government.  Public records contain information which allows government programs to function, provides officials with a basis for making decisions, and ensures continuity with past operations.  Public records document the legal responsibilities of government, help protect the rights of citizens, and provide citizens a means of monitoring government programs and measuring the performance of public officials.  Public records provide documentation for the functioning of government and for the retrospective analysis of the development of Vermont government and the impact of programs on citizens.  Public records in general and archival records in particular need to be systematically managed to preserve their legal, historical, and informational value, to provide ready access to vital information, and to promote the efficient and economical operation of government.

(a)(b)  The head of each state agency or department shall establish, maintain and implement an active and continuing program approved by the commissioner of buildings and general services with respect to public records, and the secretary of state with respect to archival records, for the effective management, preservation, and disposition of records, regardless of their physical form or characteristics, for which that head is responsible.

(b)(c)  For an agency or department records program to be approved by the commissioner of buildings and general services with respect to public records, and the secretary of state with respect to archival records, the head of each state agency or department shall:

* * *

(5)  establish and maintain other records related to management of the agency’s or department’s records as required by the director of public records or the state archivist;

(6)  provide for furnishing to the division of public records and state archives, such special reports regarding the records of the agency or department as the department of buildings and general services or the secretary of state may deem necessary;

* * *

(c)(d)  The head of each state agency or department shall designate a member of his or her staff as the records officer for his or her agency or department and shall notify the department of buildings and general services in writing of the name and title of the person designated.

Sec. 3.  22 V.S.A. § 453(13) is added to read:

(13)  Cooperate with the division of Vermont state archives within the secretary of state’s office to comprehensively identify, appraise, schedule, preserve, and keep accessible archival records.