The records of Boston Area Youth Soccer League, Inc. (BAYS) are important assets of the organization. BAYS records include all records produced in connection with the organization, whether paper or electronic. Applicable laws and contracts may require BAYS to maintain certain types of records, usually for a specified period of time. Failure to retain those records for those minimum periods could subject BAYS, and involved individuals, to penalties and fines, cause the loss of rights, obstruct justice, spoil necessary evidence in a lawsuit, or otherwise seriously disadvantage BAYS.
BAYS expects all directors, officers, and employees to comply fully with any published record-retention or record-destruction policies and schedules, provided that all persons should note the following important exception to any stated destruction schedule:
If you believe, or BAYS informs you, that any records are relevant to litigation or potential litigation, or are potentially subject to a known or reasonably anticipated governmental audit, investigation, or administrative or enforcement proceeding, then you must preserve those records without alteration until BAYS determines that the records are no longer needed.
This exception supersedes any other destruction schedule for those records. If you believe that this exception may apply, or if you have any questions regarding the possible applicability of this exception, please contact the President at [email protected].
From time to time, BAYS may establish document retention or destruction policies or schedules for specific categories of records in order to ensure legal compliance, and also to accomplish other objectives, such as preserving cost management. Categories of documents that bear special consideration are identified below. While minimum retention periods are suggested, the retention of all documents should be determined primarily by the application of the general guidelines affecting document retention identified above, as well as any other pertinent factors. In addition, BAYS will comply with any specific requirements for record retention contained in contract or grant terms and conditions and laws or regulations governing particular types of records. If there is any inconsistency between the following general guidelines and such specific requirements, whichever retention period is longer shall govern.
- Financial and Tax Records. General ledgers once reconciled, audited financial statements, and all documents relating to the tax-exempt status of BAYS are to be retained on a permanent basis. The latter include the IRS Form 1023 or Form 1024 exemption application (including related correspondence), as well as the initial and subsequent IRS exemption determination letters and any IRS audit materials. All other financial and tax records, including tax returns or information forms such as IRS Forms 990, 990-T or 990-PF or Massachusetts state Form PC, are to be retained for at least seven years from the date of completion or filing of the applicable tax document. Financial and tax records include documents concerning payroll, expenses, proof of deductions, business costs, accounting and audit procedures and reports and other documents concerning BAYS's revenues and expenses.
- Employment Records/Personnel Records. State and federal statutes require BAYS to keep certain recruitment, employment and personnel information. BAYS also retains personnel files that reflect performance reviews and any complaints brought against BAYS or individual employees under applicable state and federal statutes. In addition, BAYS retains all final memoranda and correspondence reflecting performance reviews and actions taken by or against personnel in the employee's personnel file. Employment and personnel records are to be retained for seven years from the end date of a person’s employment. Each version of any personnel handbook is to be retained for seven years after the date on which it is amended or superseded.
- Board and Board Committee Materials. The Articles of Organization and all amendments or restatements, each version of the Bylaws, all annual reports, and all Board and Board Committee meeting minutes are to be retained permanently. Because BAYS has members, minutes of meetings of members are also to be retained permanently. A copy of all Board and Board Committee materials produced for such meetings shall be kept for at least three years.
- Contracts, Sales Invoices, and Similar Business Documentation. Copies of all contracts, sales invoices, leases, licenses and other business documentation are to be retained for a period of seven years from the date of their inception, provided that if any license or permit or any contractual or other arrangement is of a continuing nature, the documents in question are to be kept for a period of seven years beyond the life of the license, permit, or business arrangement. Insurance policies are to be retained permanently.
- Records of Gifts. Records of annual-fund gifts or gifts related to fundraising events are to be retained for four years from the end of the calendar year in which they are received. Records as to any restricted gift are to be retained permanently.
- Public Filings. Copies of all publicly filed documents are to be retained for seven years from the date of filing.
- Legal Files. Legal counsel should be consulted to determine the retention period of particular documents, but documents related in any way to legal proceedings or other legal disputes are generally to be maintained for a period of ten years.
- Idea Development/Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets. Documents relating to the development of ideas and concepts are often subject to intellectual property protection in their final form (e.g., patents and copyrights). The documents detailing the development process are often also of value to BAYS and are protected as a trade secret where BAYS derives independent economic value from the confidentiality of the information. All documents designated as containing trade secret information are to be retained for at least the life of the trade secret.
- Correspondence and Internal Memoranda. Correspondence and internal memoranda pertaining to another type of record are to be retained for the same period as the document to which they pertain. Routine correspondence or memoranda are to be retained for a period of three years.
- Electronic Mail. Email that needs to be saved should be either: (a) printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file; or (b) downloaded to a computer file and kept electronically or on disk as a separate file. The retention period depends upon the subject matter of the email, as covered elsewhere in this policy.
Failure to comply with this Document Retention Policy may result in disciplinary action against the employee or member of the BAYS BOD including suspension or termination. Questions about this policy should be referred to the BAYS President (president @bays.org).
New BAYS Document Retention Policy