Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Specifics on our retention schedule

It's been suggested to Steven Broberg and me that we should describe the retention schedules that we apply to email more thoroughly. Section 441.158 of the Texas Government Code says that the Texas State Library and Archives Commission shall adopt record retention schedules for counties in Texas. These schedules apply to all of our electronic records, including email.

Consider, for example, this description for a certain records series:

Correspondence and Internal Memoranda (includes incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence and internal correspondence and memoranda).

Retention Note: The minimum retention period for correspondence or internal memoranda in categories (a) and (b) directly linked to another record series or group listed in this or other commission schedules is that assigned to the other group or series. For example, a letter from an external auditor regarding an audit of a local government's financial records should be retained for the retention period given under item number 1025-01(e); a letter concerning a workers compensation claim should be retained for the period given under item number 1050-32, etc. The retention periods that follow are for correspondence and internal memoranda that do not readily fall within other record groups.

a) Policy and program development - Correspondence and internal memoranda pertaining to the formulation, planning, implementation, modification, or redefinition of the policies, programs, services, or projects of a local government. RETENTION: 5 years.

Retention Note: Review before disposal; some correspondence of this type may merit permanent retention for historical reasons.

b) Administrative - Correspondence and internal memoranda pertaining to or arising from the routine administration or operation of the policies, programs, services, and projects of a local government. RETENTION: 2 years.

c) Routine - Correspondence and internal memoranda such as letters of transmittal, requests for publications, internal meeting notices, and similar routine matters. RETENTION: AV. (Exempt from destruction request requirement)

So, the retention on an email categorized in this series might be zero (AV, or Administrative Value), 2 years, 5 years, or permanent, depending on the content. This is one of more than 1,500 series in the twelve schedules that apply to Travis County government records. The application of these schedules to email records is discussed in today's video:


  1. Steven and Shawn: I commend your work here! Your process is fascinating. I have posted some initial comments I will continue to follow this blog with keen interest. --Ben

  2. I like your work a lot.I am following this post.I read your previous post on email retention also.And this extention really help a lot to solve several problems related to email retention.Record series given here should be taken into account.