Public records are accessed and used frequently beyond their retention time. In many cases, the records are the subject of FOIL or OPRA requests or are the subject of other litigation or investigations. This can lead to inefficient searches for records that are not in use and a considerable administrative burden to locate the information required to comply with these requests. A well-organized digital records management system and strict adherence to records preservation plans are great methods to avoid this kind of issue.

It is crucial to know the context of a document in order to determine its type. For instance, a document that is an original copy of an end-of-the-line report that contains an extensive amount of information needs to be preserved in a more permanent way than a draft version of the same document.

Retention Schedules are legal documents that specifies how long records should be kept and when it is destroyed or transferred to the archives (or other disposal options). It is best to follow these guidelines to minimize the need to search for documents from the past when responding to access requests.

The schedules are classified as ADMIN USE and PERMANENT or TRANSFERRED TO ARCHIVES FOR REVIEW depending on the level of preservation required for a specific record. The PERMANENT classification includes policies and procedures, board and council meetings minutes and handbooks, institutional accreditation reports and other significant records. The TRANSFER to archives for review category comprises a variety of records, some that are not considered to be PERMANENT in nature however they have a high level of importance as archives. These include documents of the president or other senior administration officials, governance organisation minutes or handbooks beginning or inaugural events and other significant records.

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