Most University employees would agree that email has changed the way in which we communicate and conduct business. As a business tool, email is used to rapidly exchange information, collaborate on projects, and make announcements. Many campus units utilize email to transmit reports, meeting minutes, drafts of policies, official memorandums, and other information without realizing that their email correspondence is a public record, according to the Virginia Public Records Act.
It is the responsibility of the individual sender and/or receiver of such messages to determine which information should be retained. Records should be maintained within a record keeping system and should be either retained or deleted according to the provisions of a Library of Virginia Records Retention and Disposition Schedule. Records that are retained by an individual, even if they are retained on an electronic medium, are subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act.