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General Schedules for Local Government

"General Retention Schedules" cover records that are common to a particular type of local government agency, such as a county clerk or a school district. However, general schedules may not address every single record that a particular agency may have in its possession.

Any record that is not covered by an approved general schedule cannot be destroyed without the authorization of an approved "agency-specific schedule." Agency-specific schedules only address the unique records of the agency named on the schedule, and may not be used by another agency. Agency-specific schedules always override general schedules. The instructions and forms used to develop agency-specific schedules are available online.

Records can exist in a wide variety of formats, including paper, maps, photographs, digital images, e-mail messages, databases, etc. The retention periods defined within general schedules do not specify the format that the record may exist in, because each government agency that follows this schedule may choose to retain its records using different recording media. Local government agencies are responsible for ensuring that their records are properly retained and remain accessible during this entire retention period. Various laws identify acceptable formats for retaining public records; agencies are responsible for understanding and complying with these laws.

General Schedules for Local Government

Updated 10-24-2023