Record Retention Schedules
A "records schedule" identifies records as either temporary or permanent. All records schedules must be approved by The Idaho State Historical Society, State Records Center. A records schedule provides mandatory instructions for the disposition of the records (including the transfer of permanent records and disposal of temporary records) when they are no longer needed by the University. As part of the ongoing records life cycle, disposition should occur in the normal course of business. All ISU records must be scheduled.
Retention Schedules are Mandatory
- Retention schedules ensure that records are not kept longer than needed or destroyed too soon.
- Retention schedules help to safeguard against records being removed or destroyed without authorization. Removing or destroying records without authorization is illegal and can result in criminal charges.
Follow these steps to develop a records schedule:
- Review the functions and recordkeeping requirements for the department/area.
- Inventory the records.
- Determine the period of time the records are needed for conducting University business and meeting legal obligations
- Draft disposition instructions including:
File cutoffs or file breaks (convenient points within a filing plan/system (end of a letter of the alphabet, end of year or month, etc.) at which files are separated for purposes of storage and/or disposition)
Retention periods for temporary records Instructions for transferring permanent records to the University Archives
Instructions for sending inactive records to off-site storage
What are the benefits of using records schedules?
- Ensures that the important records are organized and maintained in such a way as to be easily retrieved and identifiable as evidence of the program's activities, especially in the event of an audit, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, or a discovery in a lawsuit
- Conserves office space and equipment by using filing cabinets to store only active paper records and conserves server space by using tapes, disks, and other off-line storage media for electronic records
- Saves money by moving inactive files to off-site storage areas until they are ready for final disposition
- Helps preserve those records that are valuable for historical or other research purposes
- Controls the growth of records in offices through the systematic disposition of unneeded records
Records series titles, descriptions, and retention periods can be found in the Idaho State Board of Education’s Higher Education Records Retention Schedule of the Records Management Guide.
Once the retention schedule has been completed by the department, it must be reviewed by the Records Manager. Retention Schedules will be annually reviewed by the Records Manager and updated to meet the needs of ISU.