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Records retention and disposal

A retention and disposal schedule defines how long different types of information need to be kept (paper or electronic), and when they should be disposed of.

Systematically disposing of materials at the end of their life is good business practice and is essential we comply with the law. For each of our activities, the retention schedule sets out:

  • What collections of information are held and their purpose.
  • Who is responsible for them (the 'information custodian').
  • How long materials need to be kept and what the trigger is to count down to disposal, for example six years from date of case closure.
  • Whether the retention period is defined in law or based on common business practice.

We must:

  • Identify the records it needs to keep - and those it does not need to retain
  • Define how long information is kept to meet the legal, financial and other requirements of public administration.
  • Apply those rules systematically to its information.
  • Confirm how information will be stored at different stages of its life-cycle and how it will be destroyed at the end of its life.
  • Provide evidence that records have been disposed of consistently in case of challenge.

The retention schedule is updated regularly as services review their needs. The latest version of our retention schedule can be viewed under quick links above.