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Records Management
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HP Records Manager Implementation
Records Retention Schedules
Records Retention Schedules

Records Management


Statement of Purpose: The City of Portland Charter (Section 2-504) authorizes the Office of the City Auditor's Archives and Records Management Division to function as a public records administrator, ensuring the management of city records complies with state law and administrative rules (ORS 192 and OAR 166). By consulting the Oregon Secretary of State, Archives Division, the division develops and distributes records retention and disposition schedules for all city agencies.


What is a public record?

For the purposes of retention a public record is defined by Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 192.005(5):


(5) "Public record"

   (a) Means any information that:

      (A) Is prepared, owned, used or retained by a state agency or political subdivision;

      (B) Relates to an activity, transaction or function of a state agency or political subdivision;


      (C) Is necessary to satisfy the fiscal, legal, administrative or historical policies, requirements or needs of the state agency or political subdivision.




Records maintained by City bureaus are considered evidence of the organization, function, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities and must be maintained throughout the entire life cycle in accordance with the retention schedule established for that bureau.


All records created or received by the City, except for those excluded by law, are available for inspection and copying by the public. 


Link to the recently revised General Record Retention Schedule 


Purpose of the Record Retention Schedule

  • To describe the records of an agency, organization, or administrative unit
  • To establish a timetable (retention period) for a record’s life cycle, and provide authorization for a record’s ultimate disposition.  A record’s ultimate disposition is either destruction or permanent preservation

The retention period is established based upon a record’s administrative, fiscal, legal, historical and research value.


All City employees have the responsibility to preserve and maintain the records related to their work activities according to the applicable record retention schedule. 




Office of Record – the bureau or office responsible for maintaining the City’s record copy for the entire retention period. 


Record Copy – the single copy of a document, often the original, which is designated as the official copy to be preserved for the entire retention period.


Record Series – The individual categories in the records retention schedule.  Each category represents a collection of files, documents or electronically stored information kept together (either physically or intellectually) because it relates to a particular subject or function, results from the same activity, documents a specific type of transaction or has some other relationship arising out of its creation, receipt, maintenance, or use.   


Retention Period – The length of time a record must be kept to meet the City's administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical requirements.


Vital Records –  records which are essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an agency during and after an emergency; and also those records which are essential to protect the rights and interests of that agency and of the individuals directly affected by its actions.


Do I need to retain this record?   A presentation to help City employees understand their recordkeeping responsibilities. 

Contact Information

Tim Hunt, Records Analyst

1800 SW 6th Ave, Suite 550

Portland, OR 97201


(503) 865-4107 

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