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Protecting Your Card

Record Retention/Retrieval


Record Retention and Retrieval

Rensselaer is required to keep all official Rensselaer P-Card (Purchase/Travel Card) records for a period of ten (10) years according to record retention requirements.

Rensselaer has implemented a policy requiring all departments to store all cardholder documentation in a central location within the department.  This would include cardholder statements, purchase transaction logs and vendor documentation.

  • Documents for the three most current fiscal years, including the year in progress, are considered “active” records and must be stored in a central location within the department.
  • Documents older than the three most current fiscal years are designated “inactive” records.  Inactive records will need to be packed and sent to Iron Mountain, Rensselaer’s contracted vendor for offsite warehouse storage.
  • Transaction documents for Fiscal Year 2004 forward, at a minimum, should be filed alphabetically by Fiscal Year, Department and Cardholder Name

Retention Guidelines

Each department/center is required to designate an individual who will be responsible for all P-Card documentation.  This person will work closely with the Purchasing department to coordinate the collection of P-Card documents for storage, retrieving documents and ultimately destroying documents once they have met the retention period.

The department records coordinator should have the appropriate knowledge of and access to all the P-Card departmental records.

Packing Your Carton

Records must be stored in approved storage boxes, purchased from OfficeMax, item # P50M97213 (standard size:  12”W x 15”D x 10”H) Medium-Duty Storage Boxes. 

  • Pack files facing the end of the carton to be labeled.
  • Do not over pack or under pack the cartons.  Ideally, cartons should be packed to 90% capacity.  Leaving approximately 1 to 2 inches of free space makes it easier to retrieve files or add additional records.  Under packed cartons may not stay organized and the carton could collapse under the weight of other cartons when stored on shelves.
  • It is not necessary to remove binders, binder clips, paper clips or staples from the inactive records packed for storage.  If boxed documents are filed in binders, the binders will be destroyed along with the records when scheduled and approved for destruction.   

Organizing Your Records

  • Storage cartons should only contain P-Card records (bank statements, purchase logs, travel logs, and vendor receipts/backup).
  • The department records should be filed by fiscal year, then in a logical system of organization to enable timely, accurate and controlled record retrieval (example: alphabetically by cardholder/employee name, in date order).

P-Card files for the three most current fiscal years are to be centralized within your department.

Completing the Transmittal Form

Up to five cartons or boxes can be listed on each Iron Mountain transmittal sheet.  Rensselaer’s department “organization code” will be utilized when completing the transmittal sheet.

The following fields must be completed with the standardized information below:

  •  Customer ID — Enter N3185
  •  Customer Name:  Enter RPI
  •  Major Description:  FYXX or FYXX-FYXX range if multiple fiscal years contained in carton, followed by Department Name (for example, “FY00 Purchasing”)

 **Additional descriptive information can be added after Department Name, up to the maximum field length of 30 characters.

Each transmittal must also include:

  • Department ID:  Enter 4 digit RPI department organization code
  • Date Range/From and Date Range/To:  Enter the oldest and most recent dates of the records contained in the carton
  • Alpha Range/From and Alpha Range/To:   Enter the beginning and ending alphabetical ranges of records contained in the carton, up to 20 characters (for example, A-S or Adams to Smith)
  • Event Date:  Enter the last day of the fiscal year included in the carton.  Retention can be calculation from this date:  Purchase/Travel Card records must be retained for ten years following the end of the fiscal year during which the transaction took place  (for example, if the carton includes FY00 and FY01, enter 6/30/01)
  • Destruction Eligibility:  Calculate this date by adding 10 years to the “Event Date” referenced in item j (for example, if the event date is 6/30/01, the destruction eligibility date is 6/30/2011)
  • Preparer’s Full Name:  this must be filled out by the Department Records Coordinator responsible for the retention of purchase/travel card records within their respective department

Since a destruction eligibility date is being entered, DO NOT check off the Permanent or Undefined Indicators.

Retrieving Your Documents

The department records coordinator will work with the Purchasing department when retrieving records from Iron Mountain. 

Returning previously retrieved records back to storage will be arranged by the department records coordinator and the Purchasing staff.


The Purchasing operations associate is responsible for overseeing the records management process for the P-Card program and the liaison between the department and Iron Mountain, the vendor chosen for our record retention needs.

Contact the Record Retention team to:

  • obtain an Iron Mountain Transmittal form or transmittal bar code labels
  • request box pickup for storage
  • request box retrieval

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