Staff reminder of the rules and responsibilities for
managing and disposing of Secretariat documents and records (ST/SGB/2007/5)
Responsibility for policy development, standards setting, provision of advice. and overall management of the records and archives of the United Nations, including Secretariat units away from Headquarters, peacekeeping operations, and subsidiary organizations of the Untied Nations, is centralized in the Office of Central Support Services' Archives and Records Management Section (ARMS)
All staff are required to comply with the rules that pertain to the legal title to and inviolability of Secretariat records, which specify, inter alia:
- All records, regardless of physical form, created or received by a member of the Secretariat in connection with or as a result of the official work of the United Nations are the property of the United Nations;
- Staff members separating from the Organization shall not remove any records from the United Nations premises; records are to be retained within their work unit for future business use, unless disposal is authorized in an approved retention schedule;
- Staff is prohibited from altering, destroying, misplacing or rendering useless any official document, record or file that is intended to be kept as a record of the Organization.
Further, managers are responsible for the following:
- Developing records management practices, tools, and training, and employing records management resources in support of their substantive mandate, mission, and programme of work;
- Developing and implementing retention policy for their business records through a comprehensive retention schedule, approved by ARMS;
- Transferring to ARMS' custody for secure storage and preservation those records no longer need for current business (typically after three years) but which need to be retained for administrative, legal, or historical purposes;
- Establishing suitable conditions for the maintenance and preservation of records which they are authorized to retain beyond the normal period for the conduct of their official business; and,
- In the event of the closure of an office, ensuring that records be transferred to ARMS after mutual consultation between the office and ARMS.