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Great points Dwight and many others.  How do we determine retention in the
first place? When all else fails use the KISS principle.  Some of the
methods for determining the retention periods of records are (and there are
more):
Legislation (mandated by law/statute to retain)
Fiscal reasons (financial records)
Operational reasons (to do the job)
Administrative reasons (policies, procedures)
Historical (enduring value)

etc.

You would need to work with an auditor, solicitor, the senior management
team, OPI's, Archives and of course benchmarking what others are doing in
similar organizations.  It really is a balance.  Many folks in organizations
would keep everything, if they had their way.  Then you have the Records
Terminators, who destroy everything, God Help Us!  You have to protect your
Assets while been fiscally prudent.

John A. Gervais
Program Manager
Policy and Standards Section
Information Policy and Governance Division
Intergovernmental and International Affairs Directorate
Policy and Planning Branch
Canada Revenue Agency
25 Nicolas Street, 16th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0L5

' 1-613-688-9302
* mailto:[log in to unmask]
"  http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca




-----Original Message-----
From: WALLIS Dwight D [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: August 25, 2004 3:22 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Use of 'Nebulous' time frames


John, we actually have 3 internal versions of "permanent": Permanent
records appraised as having archival value; records defined as permanent
by law; and records which are "permanent" because an agency insists they
are against our own professional advice. These categories are tracked.
Archival records ultimately get accessioned into our archival holdings.
Legal requirements of permanence may change - such retentions have been
significantly reduced over the past 10-15 years (although more recent
trends appear to be towards an increase in retention requirements). The
last category goes down in volume every time we update a retention
schedule (or someone retires!). It's particularly useful when someone
from such an agency complains about the volume of records they are
storing. Not that I'm implying any hypocrisy here....

One of the tricky ones relates to legal permanence, particularly if such
records are appraised as having only marginal historical value. Do we go
to the expense of accessioning them as archival records (implying
maintenance in a preservation environment, and a more robust descriptive
approach). Or do we take less drastic actions under an assumption the
retention may change in the future?

Dwight Wallis, CRM
Records & Distribution Services Manager
Multnomah County Fleet, Records, Electronic & Distribution Services
1620 SE 190th Avenue
Portland OR 97233
phone: (503)988-3741
fax: (503)988-3754
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