AMIBA takes seriously its obligations to preserve information relating to litigation, audits, and investigations.The information listed in the retention schedule below is intended as a guideline and may not contain all the records AMIBA may be required to keep in the future. Questions regarding the retention of documents not listed in this chart should be directed to the Board Chair.
From time to time, the Board Chair may issue a notice, known as a “legal hold,” suspending the destruction of records due to pending, threatened, or otherwise reasonably foreseeable litigation, audits, government investigations, or similar proceedings. No records specified in any legal hold may be destroyed, even if the scheduled destruction date has passed, until the legal hold is withdrawn in writing by the Board Chair.
|FILE CATEGORY||ITEM||RETENTION PERIOD|
|Corporate Records||Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation||Permanent|
|Board and committee meeting agendas and minutes||Permanent|
|Conflict-of-interest disclosure forms||4 years|
| Finance and
|Financial statements (audited)||7 years|
|Auditor management letters||7 years|
|Payroll records||7 years|
|Check register and checks||7 years|
|Bank deposits and statements||7 years|
|Chart of accounts||7 years|
| General ledgers and journals
(includes bank reconciliations)
|Investment performance reports||7 years|
|Equipment files and maintenance records||7 years after disposition|
|Contracts and agreements||7 years after all obligations|
|Correspondence — general||3 years|
|Insurance Records||Policies — occurrence type||Permanent|
|Policies — claims-made type||7 years|
|Accident reports||7 years|
|Safety (OSHA) reports||7 years|
|Claims (after settlement)||7 years|
|Group disability records||7 years after end of benefits|
|Leases (expired)||7 years after all obligations|
|Mortgages, security agreements||7 years after all obligations|
|Tax|| IRS exemption determination and related
|IRS Forms 990||7 years|
| Charitable Organizations Registration Statements
(file with states)
|Human Resources||Employee personnel files||Permanent|
| Retirement plan benefits (plan descriptions,
|Workers comp claims (after settlement)||7 years|
|Employee orientation and training materials||7 years after use ends|
|Employee applications||3 years|
|IRS Form I-9 (store separate from personnel file)|| Greater of 1 year after
end of service, or 3 years
|Withholding tax statements||7 years|
|Timecards/hourly staff monthly reports||3 years|
|Technology||Software licenses and support agreements||7 years after all obligations|
1. Electronic Documents and Records.
Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents. Therefore, any electronic files falling into one of the document types on the above schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time. If a user has sufficient reason to keep an e-mail message, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an “archive” computer file folder. Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.
2. Emergency Planning.
The Organization’s records will be stored in a safe, secure, and accessible manner. Documents and financial files that are essential to keeping the Organization operating in an emergency will be duplicated or backed up at least every week and maintained off-site.
3. Document Destruction.
The operations manager is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying its records, which have met the required retention period, and overseeing their destruction. Destruction of financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding.
Document destruction will be suspended immediately, upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent. Destruction will be reinstated upon conclusion of the investigation.
Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against AMIBA and its employees and possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals. The Board Chair or senior staff will periodically review these procedures with legal counsel or the organization’s certified public accountant to ensure that they are in compliance with new or revised regulations.
ACCESS TO RECORDS
The records of AMIBA are generally open to public inspection in accordance with IRS rules, open records laws and the spirit of public service. However, certain information is not open to public examination and only may be released with the permission of a Co-Director. Questions in this area are to be resolved by the Co-Directors. If the answer to a request is unclear, the Co-Directors may contact AMIBA’s legal counsel for advising.
Record retention is governed by various rules, statutes of limitations and common sense. Certain documents must be retained indefinitely, while others may have little use after a year.
Payroll tax forms are not public information and will not be released.
IRS Forms 990, the exempt organization information returns, must be made available to anyone upon request. The specific rules are outlined in the instructions for form 990. All pages, schedules and attachments, except the detailed schedule of contributors must be made available. The prior three years of forms 990 must be available upon request for free review in our office. If the requester wishes to have a copy, that will be provided immediately or may be mailed to the person. We ask that the person pay the legally allowed fee of $1 for the first page and 15 cents for each additional page, plus actual postage, if applicable. Our form 990 submissions also are available for inspection at Guidestar.org.
The application for exempt status, Form 1023, and the IRS determination letter are also available to anyone upon request for a free review in our office or on our website. Copying charges are the same as for the 990 if the person wishes to take a copy. The specific rules are outlined in the instructions for the form 990.
The Bookkeeper is responsible for furnishing copies of these documents for distribution in a form suitable for public release. The Operations Manager will retain a copy of each form and make photocopies if requested.
AMIBA’s non-profit incorporation status may be reviewed on the website of the Montana Secretary of State using the business search tool.
All requests for personnel records, job references and credit inquiries will be referred to the Co-Directors.
Financial statements and other financial information are regularly distributed to AMIBA staff and the Board. This information is not to be made available to persons who are not regularly authorized to receive these particular reports. Any such requests for information must be approved by the Co-Directors.
Approved by unanimous board vote on 5/13/2013