Retention Policies

Current retention schedules cover offices across the UN. For ease of searching they have been grouped below into one of four groups:


Developing retention schedules



Examples of retention and disposition actions:  
  •  Retain for 2 years then destroy in the office.

  •  Retain for 20 years; transfer to the Archives 3 years after date created.

  •  Retain permanently; transfer to the Archives 3 years after date created.

Records retention schedules are developed as a result of a business analysis project. This is a joint effort between ARMS and the UN department or office which is responsible for the records.

The steps in the process are as follows:

  1. Analyse the functions, activities and transactions documented by the records of a business unit

  2. Assess the value of the records based on the importance of the function to which they relate

  3. Research the relevant business, administrative, fiscal, legal, historical requirements to establish how long to retain records

  4. Create the retention schedule

  5. With the agreement of the records originating offices, ARMS formally approves the retention schedule


The schedule sets out the various classes or series of records created by the business unit and gives a retention or disposition action to each class or series of records.


Records retention schedules are often developed together with the development of related records classification schemes to ensure that records capture and creation is linked to records retention and disposition.