Division of Archives and Records Service

Retention ranges in new General Schedule

Rebekkah Shaw
December 9, 2015

As part of the process of updating all general retention schedules to adhere to legal requirements and best practices, we have adopted what the National Archives and Records Administration calls “flexible retentions” for some schedules. For example, a previously posted proposal for Public Transit Records is going before the State Records Committee this week. It has a retention of 3-7 years, with a disposition of destroy.

The flexible retention allows the general schedule to have a broad application focusing on functions rather than specific record types. It will be up to you to appraise the records of each record series in your agency in order to determine the appropriate flat retention within the time span.

For example, a transit district that has assessed a 3-year administrative need for its passenger counts, but a 6-year administrative need for the manifests will be able to use the proposed Public Transit Records general schedule for both. This proposed schedule says: “These records document bus activity and ridership. Information includes driver manifests, passenger counts, para-transit services, routes, and related records.” A transit district will be able to schedule two record series using the same general schedule- one for passenger counts and one for manifests. Each will have a specified flat retention.

With the implementation of flexible retention, it is vital that agencies identify their records and determine a flat retention to consistently maintain. There is a time span to work with, but choosing to not apply a flat retention would make your office vulnerable. If you have questions, please contact your records analyst.