Retention Schedule Preparation Overview

What is a Retention Schedule?

  • A Records Retention and Disposition Schedule (or retention schedule, for short) is an official document, created by a government agency and approved by the State Archivist.
  • A retention schedule lists every type of record that the agency generates and gives the agency authority to transfer permanent records and destroy non-permanent records at specified times.

Why do I need a retention schedule?

  • State Government Article 10, sections 608-611 and COMAR 14.18.02 require retention schedules for the economical and efficient management of records.
  • A retention schedule gives you authority to destroy records that have no more use or to transfer to the Archives records that have permanent value but are no longer needed for your daily work.

How do I create a retention schedule?
The process for instituting a retention schedule is as follows:

  • Records inventory
  • Schedule draft
  • Schedule submission, review, and approval
  • Record transfer and disposal
  • Regular schedule reviews and updates

Records Inventory »

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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.

This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.

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