The State of California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the Public Health Service (PHS), National Science Foundation (NSF) and the University have record retention requirements for financial conflict of interest disclosures.

FPPC policy states that “original reports and statements…shall be retained…for a period of not less than seven years” and “after an original report or statement or a copy has been on file for at least two years…may comply…by retaining a copy on microfilm or other space-saving materials available for public inspection instead of the original report or statement or copy.”

PHS policy states that “records of all financial disclosures and all actions taken by the Institution with respect to each conflicting interest” must be maintained for “at least three years from the date of submission of the final expenditures report, or where applicable, from other dates specified in 45 CFR 74.53(b) for different situations.”

NSF policy states that “Institutions must maintain records of all financial disclosures and of all actions taken to resolve conflicts of interest for at least three years beyond the termination or completion of the grant to which they relate, or until the resolution of any NSF action involving those records, whichever is longer.”

UC Berkeley implementing policy of the PHS and NSF requirements state that records will be kept “three (3) years after termination of sponsored project or until resolution of any action by the sponsor, whichever is longer.”

UC Berkeley policy regarding financial disclosure associated with human subject protocols had not included a record retention or disposition requirement.

Accordingly, the COI Committee has established the following disposition schedule for committee records to comply with the regulations and policies noted above.  Records are destroyed only after ensuring that all legal, fiscal and administrative obligations are satisfied.

The only documents retained in the COI Committee case files are as follows:

  • State Form 700-U or Federal Financial Disclosure Form or Human Subjects Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form
  • 700-U Addendum
  • Internal review memo
  • Approval letter (includes any applicable management plans)
  • Evidence (copy of initial confirmation of receipt by NIH Commons and any request for additional information sent via follow-up letter) of notification to NIH, as applicable.
  • Examples of evidence of adherence to any management plan (e.g., copy of publication disclaimer/disclosure, copy of Oversight Committee report, copy of human subjects consent form.)

  1. State Form 700-U Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators, the 700-U Addendum, the internal review memo and any approval letters or other materials as described above will be destroyed on the seventh year anniversary date plus one day. If storage space for paper records becomes an issue, they may be copied and stored electronically after two years, in accordance with policy.
  2. Federal Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure Forms for funded projects, the internal review memo and the approval letters or other materials as described above will be destroyed on the third year anniversary of the end date of the relevant project period plus one day, unless there are pending actions, which specifically relate to a disclosed financial interest.
  3. Human Subjects Financial Conflict of Interest Forms, the internal review memo and the approval letter or other materials as described above will be destroyed on the seventh year anniversary date of the financial disclosure approval plus one day.
  4. Any disclosure forms attendant to projects for which funding was not received or protocols that were withdrawn will be destroyed as soon as the COI Coordinator is aware that such has occurred.
  5. Any review materials associated with any particular disclosure aside from those mentioned above (e.g., pre-meeting letters or email exchanges with disclosers requesting clarification or information, copies of personal consulting agreements, copies of human subject’s protocols) will be destroyed immediately following the meeting at which approval for that disclosure was granted.
  6. The COI Committee agendas and case analyses will be kept for one year following the date of the meeting for which these documents were prepared.
  7. Examples of evidence of adherence to management plans will be retained in accordance with the retention plan for the disclosure with which they are associated (see above).