Archival storage of documents

You should remember that it’s the obligation of any Russian institution or organization – to keep documents for certain period of time. In a small company usually a secretary or personal assistant is responsible for this, sometimes – an accountant. In middle size companies there may be a special unit that responses for document flow.

Regardless wide spreading of electronic means of information, so far there hadn’t been more reliable and economic material like paper. There is no any other material for universal and autonomous system of writing and reading of information among office technologies.

Are you surprised? Are you ready to name many points to prove usefulness of electronic carriers of information? Of course, they exist: small size, big volume, convenience of access and so on. However, according to current archival storage rules a document should be kept on a carrier it was created on. Certainly, transferring to electronic document flow which is more and more popular in modern offices, will reduce the amount of paper for archival materials, but in the nearest future paper archives still will remain an integral part of any office.  

Accountant's and HR documents comprise the basis of any archive. If you break certain legal terms of their storage you may be fined and have difficulties to get information necessary for further company operation or some personal data of employees. That’s why creating an archive it’s important to know that: storage period is calculated from the 1st of January of the year that follows the year when document control ends; all documents in archive should be stored according to file register; a file should look like as a pierced folder with original documents and state of its name, number and term of storage.  

Regulatory documents determine that the main part of accountant’s documents should be stored in archive for 5 years; collective agreement with company employees – for 10 years; personal documents of employees – for 50 years. If you break the terms and rules of storage, you may face with administrative responsibility, including penal sanctions and CEO’s and responsible specialists’ disqualification.

Let’s discuss the rules of paper documents storage. After carrying out expert’s assessment of documents value and determining terms of storage, you need to form files and then transfer them into archive. For right archival storage you need special space with certain conditions located either within the office (isolated from other spaces) or in a separate building.

Organizing archive you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have natural or specially made ventilation system
  • Keep certain temperature (17-19°С) and humidity (50-55%)
  • Have fire protection and security systems
  • Strictly comply with sanitary and hygienic requirements

It’s forbidden to use heating devices in the space of document archive storage, except for central heating wires if they are isolated in a special way. In case of natural lightning you need to install light-protective shutters. Artificial lighting is provided by incandescent lamps set inside closed matt dome lamps.

In case of right organization of archive storage all necessary documents will be available and will provide calm work and development of you company.

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