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Sedgwick County to destroy old documents

By Emily Griffin, egriffin@kwch.com
Published On: Mar 12 2014 06:20:52 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 12 2014 04:23:19 PM CDT
SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. -

Sedgwick County Commissioners approved plans to shred county paperwork today.

The plan involves documents from agencies like the tax office and health department. Some 3,500 boxes with around 2,500 papers each need to be destroyed. Those boxes include paperwork from 2000, but some documents date back to the 1960s. The majority of the documents on the list to be destroyed come from COMCARE.

"They've been stored off site for so may years there's been an accumulation, until the department had some capacity with some employees to come here on a regular basis," explained Douglas King, Records Management and Freedom of Information Officer for the county. "Things are increasingly electronic so we're not creating as much paper as we used to but we still had decades of previous paper."

This is a routine process for the county. Documents need to be shredded for space and security. Many of the documents being shredded had previously been scanned and transferred to a digital form. The county is also required by Kansas law to keep a permanent record of what documents have been shredded in case there is ever a need to look back at what has already been destroyed.

"Nothing of value is lost, everything is documented meticulously," said Melissa Thompson, the county's Archives and Records Management Analyst. "We keep an electronic copy plus we keep a hard copy of every disposal. It's a permanent retention record according to the state and our database contains a stub of every box that's destroyed."

All of the boxes of documents on the list for destruction are taken to a local, certified vendor to be shredded. Then, the leftover paper and boxes are packed up and shipped off to be recycled.

The first shipment of documents is scheduled to be shredded Friday, March 14.

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