Laws, Rules, and Regulations
The purpose of this site is to guide Maryland State, county, and local government agencies in the management of public records. The Annotated Code of Maryland State Government Article 10, sections 608-611 and COMAR 14.18.02 require every State, county or local government agency to develop a program to efficiently manage its records. This includes the establishment and/or regular revision of records retention and disposition schedules. The head of each agency or office is responsible for ensuring that all records created or received by that agency are on an approved records retention and disposition schedule.
The willful, unauthorized destruction or alienation of any public record is a misdemeanor subject to criminal penalties set forth in the Annotated Code of Maryland (Criminal Law Article 8, section 606). A public record may not be disposed of without authorization from the State Archivist. This authorization must be obtained by means of filing a records retention and disposition schedule with the State of Maryland. The Schedule Preparation section of this web site provides guidance on the development and approval of records retention schedules.
If you are a State agency with an approved records retention schedule and would like to transfer non-permanent records to the State Records Center, please contact the Records Management Division at 410-799-1379. Agencies must complete and submit a Records Transmittal and Receipt Form (DGS 550-5) prior to transfer.
If you already have an approved records retention schedule and would like to arrange for the transfer of permanent records to the Archives, please visit the Records Transfer section of this website.
All records management forms and instructions are available online.
County, municipal, and other local authorities may seek delegated authority from the State Archivist to develop and implement archival / records management programs at the local level consistent with COMAR 14.18.03. Delegated programs must comply with the records management statutes and regulations including Annotated Code of Maryland State Government Article 10, section 616 which requires public officials to offer records to the Archives prior to destruction. Delegated programs may be supplemented by local laws such as Baltimore City's Ordinance 41-659, Ordinance 54-1096, and Ordinance 78-916.
This web site is provided as a courtesy of the Maryland State Archives. As you develop your records management program, you should consult with the Records Management Division of the Department of General Services and your staff counsel.
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