Frequently Asked Questions
Why create records retention schedules?
Oregon state and local governments produce a staggering amount and variety of records. Some of these need to be kept long-term for legal, fiscal, administrative, or historical reasons. Others may be disposed of relatively quickly after their usefulness has expired. A government's records are an important resource both to the agency and the general public. Information needs to be managed with the same care, concern, and skill as any other key asset.
What are records retention schedules?
Records retention schedules are lists and descriptions of public records. They include information about how long each type of records should be kept (retention period) and what should happen to it at the end of that period (disposition).
What is a general schedule?
A general schedule applies to an entire group of state or local government entities. Thus, a city general schedule applies to the records of all cities in Oregon. The only exception is if a valid "special schedule" exists for a particular state or local government entity or an office or record within that entity. In these cases, special schedules override the requirements of a general schedule.
What is a special schedule?
A special schedule is written for each state agency to describe in detail the history, programs, and records of the agency. Special schedules set the retention requirements for the unique program records created by each state agency. They do not include routine administrative and financial records. Instead, these are covered in the state agency general schedule. By describing agency programs in an easy to understand format, the special schedules are designed help citizens better navigate state government. In certain cases, limited special schedules are created for local governments. Each special schedule expires five years after its creation.
Are federal records covered by these retention
No, federal records are scheduled by the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA).
Are business records covered by these retention
No, these retention schedules relate only to Oregon state and local governments. However, businesses, particularly large ones, often employ records managers to create records retention schedules in order to efficiently manage records and comply with government requirements.
What statutes and rules govern records retention
schedules for Oregon?
Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 192 and Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 166 describe the authority and requirements related to the creation of records retention schedules for Oregon state and local governments.
Where can I see general records retention
Choose from the menu on this page.
Where can I see special records retention
Choose from the menu on this page.
Who can I contact if I have a records retention
schedule question that isn't addressed above?
Contact the records officer for the appropriate agency for specific questions related to a particular records retention schedule. Records officers are usually listed in the contact information for an agency in the Oregon Blue Book. In local government, the county clerk and city recorder are typically the designated records officers.
Contact the Oregon State Archives for general questions
about records retention schedules or to create a records
retention schedule for your agency.
Mary Beth Herkert
Oregon State Archives
800 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97310