WEST VIRGINIA CODE
WVC 5 A- 8 - 15
§5A-8-15. Records management and preservation of county records;
alternate storage of county records; Records
Management and Preservation Board; qualifications and
appointment of members; reimbursement of expenses;
staffing; rule-making authority; study of records
management needs of state agencies; grants to
The Legislature finds that the use of electronic technology
and other procedures to manage and preserve public records by
counties should be uniform throughout the state where possible.
(a) The governing body and the chief elected official of a
county, hereinafter referred to as a county government entity,
whether organized and existing under a charter or under general
law, shall promote the principles of efficient records management
and preservation of local records. A county governing entity may,
as far as practical, follow the program established for the uniform
management and preservation of county records as set out in rules
proposed for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions
of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code as proposed by
the Records Management and Preservation Board.
(b) In the event a county government entity decides to destroy
or otherwise dispose of a county record, the county government
entity may, prior to destruction or disposal thereof, offer the
record to the Director of the Section of Archives and History of
the Division of Culture and History for preservation of the record as a document of historical value. Unless authorized by the
Supreme Court of Appeals, the records of courts of record and
magistrate courts are not affected by the provisions of this
(c)(1) A preservation duplicate of a county government entity
record may be stored in any format approved by the board in which
the image of the original record is preserved in a form, including
CD-ROM and optical image storage media, in which the image is
incapable of erasure or alteration and from which a reproduction of
the stored record may be retrieved that truly and accurately
depicts the image of the original county government record.
(2) Except for those formats, processes and systems used for
the storage of records on the effective date of this section, no
alternate format for the storage of county government entity
records described in this section is authorized for the storage of
county government entity records unless the particular format has
been approved pursuant to a legislative rule promulgated by the
board in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of
this code. The board may prohibit the use of any format, process
or system used for the storage of records upon its determination
that the same is not reasonably adequate to preserve the records
from destruction, alteration or decay.
(3) Upon creation of a preservation duplicate that stores an
original county government entity record in an approved format that
is incapable of erasure or alteration and that may be retrieved in a format that truly and accurately depicts the image of the
original record, the county government entity may destroy or
otherwise dispose of the original in accordance with the provisions
of section seven-c, article one, chapter fifty-seven of this code.
(d) A Records Management and Preservation Board for county
government entities is continued to be composed of eleven members.
(1) Three members shall serve ex officio. One member shall be
the Commissioner of the Division of Culture and History or designee
who shall be the chair of the board. One member shall be the
Administrator of the Supreme Court of Appeals or designee. One
member shall be the Chief Technology Officer or designee.
(2) The Governor shall appoint eight members of the board,
with the advice and consent of the Senate. Not more than five
appointments to the board may be from the same political party and
not more than three members may be appointed from the same
congressional district. Of the eight members appointed by the
(i) Five appointments shall be county elected officials, one
of whom shall be a clerk of a county commission, one of whom shall
be a circuit court clerk, one of whom shall be a county
commissioner, one of whom shall be a county sheriff and one of whom
shall be a county assessor, to be selected from a list of fifteen
names. The names of three clerks of county commissions and three
circuit court clerks shall be submitted to the Governor by the West
Virginia Association of Counties. The names of three county commissioners shall be submitted to the Governor jointly by the
West Virginia Association of Counties and the West Virginia County
Commissioners Association. The names of three county sheriffs
shall be submitted to the Governor by the West Virginia Sheriff's
Association. The names of three county assessors shall be
submitted to the Governor by the Association of West Virginia
(ii) One appointment shall be a county prosecuting attorney to
be selected from a list of three names submitted by the West
Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute;
(iii) One appointment shall be an attorney licensed in West
Virginia and in good standing as a member of the West Virginia
State Bar with experience in real estate and mineral title
examination, to be selected from a list of three names submitted by
the State Bar; and
(iv) One appointment shall be a representative of a local
historical or genealogical society.
(e) The members of the board shall serve without compensation
but shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses
actually incurred in the performance of their duties as members of
the board in a manner consistent with the guidelines of the Travel
Management Office of the Department of Administration. In the
event the expenses are paid, or are to be paid, by a third party,
the member shall not be reimbursed by the state.
(f) The staff of the board shall consist of the Director of the Archives and History Section of the Division of Culture and
History and any additional staff as needed.
(g) The board shall propose rules for legislative approval in
accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code to establish a system of records
management and preservation for county governments: Provided,
That, for the retention and disposition of records of courts of
record and magistrate courts, the implementation of the rule is
subject to action by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
The proposed rules shall include provisions for establishing a
program of grants to county governments for making records
management and preservation uniform throughout the state. The
board is not authorized to propose or promulgate emergency rules
under the provisions of this section.
(h) In addition to the fees charged by the clerk of the county
commission under the provisions of section ten, article one,
chapter fifty-nine of this code, the clerk shall charge and collect
an additional one-dollar fee for every document containing less
than ten pages filed for recording and an additional one-dollar fee
for each additional ten pages of document filed for recording. At
the end of each month, the clerk of the county commission shall
deposit into the Public Records and Preservation Account as
established in the State Treasury all fees collected: Provided,
That the clerk may retain not more than ten percent of the fees for
costs associated with the collection of the fees. Clerks shall be responsible for accounting for the collection and deposit in the
State Treasury of all fees collected by the clerk under the
provisions of this section.
(i) There is hereby created in the State Treasury a special
account entitled the Public Records and Preservation Revenue
Account. The account shall consist of all fees collected under the
provisions of this section, legislative appropriations, interest
earned from fees, investments, gifts, grants or contributions
received by the board. Expenditures from the account shall be for
the purposes set forth in this article and are not authorized from
collections but are to be made only in accordance with
appropriation by the Legislature and in accordance with the
provisions of article three, chapter twelve of this code and upon
the fulfillment of the provisions set forth in article two, chapter
eleven-b of this code.
(j) Subject to the above provision, the board may expend the
funds in the account to implement the provisions of this article.
In expending funds from the account, the board shall allocate not
more than fifty percent of the funds for grants to counties for
records management, access and preservation purposes. The board
shall provide for applications, set guidelines and establish
procedures for distributing grants to counties, including a process
for appealing an adverse decision on a grant application.
Expenditures from the account shall be for the purposes set forth
in this section, including the cost of additional staff of the Division of Archives and History.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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