Outside Vendors

When using vendors other than the State Records Center, you must still manage those records according to University records schedules if your unit falls under the UW-Madison umbrella.  Keep in mind the following when looking at other storage vendors:

  • Define the type of services you require and the expectations for performance. For example, do you need inactive records storage only, 24 x 7 access and service, records destruction, routine reporting, or witnessed destruction?
  • Research the vendor. Some questions to ask are:
    • How many years has the vendor been in operation?
    • Do they employ trained personnel?
    • What type of inventory systems do they use?
    • Are they able to provide University Archives and Records Management Services with reports if required?
    • What is their fee schedule?
    • What tools do they offer to help you manage your records?
    • What types of notification and verification does the vendor provide for records destruction?
    • What are their access and security policies?
    • If they accept electronic records, does their facility have the appropriate storage and security mechanisms in place?
    • Does the vendor provide electronic records monitoring and maintenance to ensure the records stay accessible? If so, at what cost? For electronic records, Administrative Rule 12 requires readability and retrieval checks at least every 3 years and transfer to new media storage at least every 5 years.
  • Visit the facility. Take the time to tour the facility and ask questions about their storage mechanisms, security and facility operations.
  • Determine vendor costs. When determining vendor costs, be sure to include fees for storage, service, transportation, re-files, destruction, and other incidental services.
  • Review vendor agreement. Determine what type of agreement you should have with the vendor and specify applicable performance measures. The agreement should be reviewed by appropriate personnel to ensure compliance with University policies and regulations.