May we keep the audio tapes of our meetings as the only official minutes?

(Updated 1/26/11)  According to the OAR’s that govern records retention, any record that must be kept for more than 99 years cannot be kept in electronic format only. Minutes of board meetings are required to be kept forever. If you audio tape your meetings, you will need to transcribe them to a written format for the permanent record.
You are only required to keep the audio tapes for a year after they have been transcribed. However your district could keep them for as long as possible and refer to them whenever there are questions about what transpired at the meeting. As long as you have the audio tapes you must provide copies to the public when requested. You can charge for making an actual audio tape copy, just as you can charge for written copies.
The legislature will be looking at the administrative records retention requirements this year (2011) and we may see changes to this rule which may require all meetings to be audio recorded.

"OAR 166-400-0010 Administrative Records    NOTE: Inclusion of a records series in this schedule does not require the series be created. If a record is created electronically, it can be retained in electronic format only as long as the retention period is 99 years or less.”

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