Roles & Responsibilities

Three main groups in State, county, and local government have roles and responsibilities for records management:

Agency Responsibilities

COMAR 14.18.02.01 defines "agency" as any unit of State, county, or local government or any instrumentality of the State.

All agencies shall identify and preserve permanently valuable records, safeguard their legal and fiscal accountability; document their administrative history, and ensure ongoing public access to the public records. This is accomplished by

  • Developing a records management program according to guidance provided on this web site and in the Records Management Handbook provided by the Department of General Services, Records Management Division.
  • Appointing a records management officer for the agency. This is the individual designated by the agency to coordinate the records management program for that agency. The records management officer provides agency-wide guidance and information concerning its records management program and serves as the contact point for program information. Ideally, all records management information into and out of the agency should flow through this individual.
  • Designating records liaisons at the appropriate organizational levels within the agency where knowledge of specific records series exist. This should be an individual who possesses enough familiarity with an agency's mission and records to provide meaningful information and advice concerning records retention and disposition actions.
  • Establishing, implementing, maintaining, and revising the records retention and disposition schedules. COMAR 14.18.02 mandates that schedules shall be established, reviewed, and revised, if necessary, every 5 years. A schedule may be amended or revised at any time by an agency or office, or at the request of the Records Management Division or State Archives. Reasons for amendments or revisions include the creation of new records series, changes in record-keeping practices, changes in record formats, and reorganization of an agency or office.
  • Transferring permanent government records to the Maryland State Archvies in accordance with Archives' rules and regulations.
  • Transferring non-permanent State agency records to the Department of General Services, Records Management Division, as needed.
  • Submitting to the State Archives for review any proposed legislation that will alter the manner or nature of record-keeping within that agency. This proposed legislation must be accompanied by any relevant Attorney General opinions.
Department of General Services

The Department of General Services, Records Management Division supports records management by

  • Developing programs and policies for efficient records management for State, county, and local agencies.
  • Providing consultation and advice to State, county, and local agencies with respect to records management.
  • Assisting agency and office personnel in the development of records retention schedules and providing necessary forms for schedule development and revision.
  • Reviewing proposed records retention and disposition schedules.
  • Maintaining approved records retention and disposition schedules.
  • Providing storage space as available for non-permanent State agency records at the State Records Center.
  • Retrieving upon the records stored in the State Records Center.
  • Disposing of records stored in the State Records Center on behalf of State agencies, in accordance with approved retention schedules.
  • Reviewing and maintaining disposal certificates for State agencies.
  • Overseeing the survey of all State records every five years.
  • Compiling forms management statistical information by forms category from each department or independent unit and producing the annual Forms Management Report for the Maryland General Assembly.

Maryland State Archives

The Maryland State Archives is the repository of all permanent government records in the State of Maryland. The Archives supports State, county, and local records management by

  • Providing assistance upon request to State, county, and local agencies with respect to the determination of what records may or may not be deemed permanent.
  • Reviewing and approving records retention schedules.
  • Maintaining approved records retention and disposition schedules.
  • Reviewing, approving, and maintaining disposal certificates for the Maryland Judiciary.
  • Assisting agencies in the development of file specifications and procedures for transfer and retention of permanent electronic records.
  • Providing storage space for permanent State, county, and local agency records and assisting with the transfer of permanent records to the Archives.


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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