Technology, Management and Budget
Agency-Specific Retention and Disposal Schedules are legal documents approved by an agency, Records Management Services (DTMB), Archives of Michigan (DNR), Auditor General, Attorney General, and the State Administrative Board.
These schedules provide the only legal authority to destroy public records. The retention periods on agency-specific schedules are absolute minimums and maximums.
Agency-specific retention schedules are developed by the Records Management Services in conjunction with an agency. There are over 700 agency-specific schedules for Executive Branch agencies. Please call 517-335-9132 if you need a copy of an agency-specific schedule, if you need additional information, or to request a revision to your agency's schedule.
Local governments may develop their own agency-specific schedule and submit it for approval by the Records Management Services (DTMB), Archives of Michigan (DNR), and the State Administrative Board. These schedules will provide the only legal authority to destroy public records that are not covered by general schedules that are issued by the State of Michigan for local governments to use. The retention periods on agency-specific schedules are absolute minimums and maximums.
CREATING RETENTION AND DISPOSAL SCHEDULES
1. Conduct an inventory of all records or records series created or maintained by the agency.
A. It helps to select a room or cubicle, and then survey each drawer of each file cabinet or shelving unit to determine its contents.
B. While conducting the inventory, it would be a good idea to ensure that all drawers, shelves, file folders, boxes, etc. are properly labeled.
C. Identify any databases, spreadsheets, etc. that are used to support business processes or to help access paper files (such as indexes).
D. Consider the duties and responsibilities of each employee and identify all records (both paper and electronic) that each employee creates and uses.
2. Create a list of the record series identified as a result of the inventory, and include brief description of the function and content of each series. Try to answer the following questions:
A. Why is the record series created?
B. Does a law mandate the creation of the records series? If so, which law?
C. How is the records series created?
D. How are the records organized? (alphabetically, chronologically, etc.)
E. What format(s) does the records series exist in? (paper, photographs, maps, drawings, microfilm, digital images, e-mail, database, etc.)
F. What information can be found on a particular record? (names, dates, social security numbers, addresses, etc.)
G. Does the record series contain confidential information?
H. When did the agency first start to create/receive this record series? Is the record series still created?
I. What is the date range of the current holdings?
J. Do other agencies maintain the same exact records series? If so, who? Why?
3. Establish retention periods for each records series based upon the following:
A. Statutorily required retention period, if any
B. Statute of limitation requirements
C. Audit requirements
D. Administrative need
E. Potential historical value
4. Enter the proposed schedule onto the Records Retention and Disposal Schedule form (DTMB-0043). Please do not use colored fonts. See example of a Retention and Disposal Schedule for local government.
5. Have the completed schedule signed by the authorizing official. This person may be the agency head, the mayor, manager, or administrator as provided by the official policy of the unit of local government submitting the schedule. Note: RMS is willing to review and comment upon draft schedules before the agency seeks the signature of an authorizing official.
6. Send the signed schedule to: Records Management Services, 3400 N. Grand River Ave., Lansing, Michigan 48909. Please include a cover memo/note containing the name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address of a contact person. Original signatures are required, so please do not fax or e-mail this form.
7. RMS will review the schedule and identify record series that possess historical value. If the Archives of Michigan authorizes the eventual transfer of a particular records series to its custody for permanent preservation, a notation, such as "Transfer to the Archives of Michigan," will appear on the schedule.
8. RMS will forward the schedule to the Archives of Michigan and the State Administrative Board for approval.
9. A copy of the schedule will be returned to the local government agency, after the schedule is approved by the State Administrative Board. Note: RMS will retain the original approved schedule.
The local government agency may begin to dispose of records according to the provisions of the newly approved schedule.