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For State and Municipal Agencies – Records Management

The Public Records Administration oversees records management functions within state government. Both the Public Records Administration and the Local Government Records program provide records management advice, assistance, and consultation to all state and municipal agencies. Comprehensive records management services encompass all records, regardless of format or media. In addition, the Local Government Records program works with Town and City Clerks to preserve and administer the historical records in their care. Workshops on a variety of topics are also available, likewise publications and guidelines about records and records issues.

The Public Records Administration works with agencies to develop records retention and disposition schedules, enabling timely disposal or retention as permanent records of the state. Municipal records retention and disposition schedules are developed by the Local Government Records program in consultation with municipal agencies.

Inactive records of state agencies can be stored at the State Records Center, managed by the Public Records Administration. Inactive records are those records that agencies no longer require immediate access to, but that are not yet eligible for disposal because of administrative, fiscal or legal requirements. Access to these records is provided only through the expressed permission of the originating state agency.

The Administrative Records Office maintains the rules and regulations filed with the Department of State by state agencies, boards and commissions.


Retention periods shown in all schedules are minimum retention periods. Agencies may need to retain records longer, most notably if the records may be required for a current or pending request under the Access to Public Records Act, or for current or pending litigation.

General Records Schedules

General Records Schedules cover the types of records created or received by all state and local government agencies.

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State Agencies Records Retention Schedules

Agency specific schedules govern the retention and disposition of records unique to a particular state agency's programs and functions. Find state agencies' schedules.

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Municipal Departments Records Retention Schedules

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Records Destruction

Before records are destroyed, agencies must submit a Certificate of Records Destruction to the State Archives/Public Records Administration (RIGL § 38-1-10, RIGL § 38-3-6(j), and RIGL § 42-8.1-10). Certificates of Records Destruction authorize the disposal of records and act as the legal replacement for the actual records subsequently destroyed.

Note: for records currently in storage at the State Records Center, the Public Records Administration prepares Certificates of Records Destruction for agencies' sign-off.

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