How do I build a Retention Schedule?

    A record, regardless of its format or the media on which it is recorded, supports decisions, justifies budgets and expenses, communicates ideas, confirms sales and purchases, documents rights, provides accountability, and otherwise provides information. This information may be required by executives, staff members, legal/regulatory authorities, stockholders, students, the public, and others in the orgainization.

    The goal of an information retention and disposition program is to ensure that a record is identified, appraised, and maintained for an appropriate period of time in such a way that is accessible and retrievable. It is disposed of – either destroyed or transferred for permanent preservation – at the end of the total retention period.

    The existence of, and compliance with, an information retention and disposition program is important to meet that goal and to avoid premature disposition and/or unauthorized disposal or retention of information.

    The Archival Connection

    Unless the organization's archival records are properly preserved and accessible, the organization's history and culture will ultimately be lost. The records retention schedule is frequently used as the means of identifying records possessing permanent archival or historical value and scheduling them for transfer to the organization's archive at a point in their life cycle when they have no further value for operational, legal, or other business purposes. Archives management programs may be operated as a part of the records management program.

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