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State agencies may not dispose of any records without disposition authorization from the State Archives consistent with provisions of Section 57.05 of Arts and Cultural Affairs Law. The State Archives issues this general schedule to authorize the disposition of records common to some or all agencies after the indicated minimum retention period. An agency may use a general schedule issued by the State Archives for any applicable records in its custody by notifying the State Archives of its intention to use the schedule and by retaining the records at least as long as the minimum retention periods established in this schedule. Use of the general schedule eliminates the need for an agency to request separate authorizations to dispose of records covered by the schedule.
Agencies may use any or all of the authorizations in this schedule to dispose of records, provided that the agency Records Management Officer first notifies the State Archives in writing of the intent to use the schedule. Following this notification, records may be disposed on a continuing basis, provided the minimum retention period has been met. No further notification is needed by those agencies which have already notified the State Archives of their intent to use previous editions of this general schedule. Agencies may discontinue use of the schedule at any time, but the Records Management Officer should notify the State Archives of the discontinuance. Information on whether an agency has adopted the general schedule can be obtained from the State Archives or the agency Records Management Officer.
Specific or temporary situations in an agency may create the need for retention periods that exceed the minimum retention periods in this schedule. Agencies are not required to destroy records at the end of the retention period, and they are not required to inform the State Archives if they intend to keep records longer. However, if agencies intend to retain records longer than the minimum retention periods as a regular business practice, they should document this intent in written internal procedures. This will provide documentation of normal practice for Freedom of Information Law requests, for legal actions such as discovery motions, or to justify continued storage of records in the State Records Center. Agencies may submit separate Records Disposition Requests (RDRs) to the State Archives for those series that they wish to retain longer than the retention periods in this schedule, but they are not required to do so unless those lengthier retention periods are required by specific state or federal retention requirements which are often found in statutes or regulations.
Agencies have considerable flexibility in applying the schedule to their specific needs, as long as records are kept at least as long as the minimum retention set forth in this schedule. Agencies should review the title, description of the records series, and justification to help determine whether an item applies to a particular series of records. If you are not certain whether the schedule applies to a specific group of records or if you need assistance with records not covered by this schedule, please contact your agency Records Management Officer or State Archives staff for advice and assistance.
Before using general schedule items to guide the disposition of records, program unit staff should contact their agency Records Management Officer to make certain that the schedule has been adopted and that applicable items are being used by the agency. In some cases, agencies have prepared their own plans for records that are also covered by general schedule items. In such cases, agency plans approved by the State Archives take precedence over the general schedule items. In other cases, it is possible that the agency has determined to retain records longer then the indicated minimum retention periods. Thus, program unit staff should contact their agency Records Management Officer to verify that records can be disposed after the indicated minimum retention periods.
This schedule will remain in effect until replaced, withdrawn, or superseded by the Attorney General, the State Comptroller, or the State Archives. In the event of a change in the retention or disposition of records listed in this general schedule, the State Archives will notify all agency Records Management Officers.