Records Management Essentials

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3.3. Inventory your agency's records

The general and series-specific retention schedules that your agency uses should be reviewed regularly in relation to the records that your agency is maintaining. To do this you will need a thorough understanding of your agency’s records, and may need to conduct an inventory in order to understand which offices are responsible for each record and how the records are being managed. Conceptualize the functions of your agency and the records that are created as a result of fulfilling those functions. If you have mapped out your business processes, as suggested in section two, you will be able to use that as a guide. Search all possible locations for records including file cabinets, hard drives, servers, and databases. For each record, document the record series title, GRAMA designation, location, media and file format(s), how long it is being kept, and how it is being stored and disposed of. A sample inventory spreadsheet is included below. In order to gather all of this information about the records, you may want to enlist the help of staff members, as described in the next step.


Series Title

Associated Function


Disposition (Permanent?)

GRAMA designation