A public record is defined as: information “prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body in the performance of an official function, from the time it is created.” Local governments are responsible for ensuring that the public records they create and receive while conducting public business are retained and destroyed in accordance with Michigan law.
Michigan law requires that:
- all records be listed on an approved retention and disposal schedule and
- all retention and disposal schedules must be formally approved by the Records Management Services [in the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget], the Archives of Michigan, and the State Administrative Board.
Note: Schedule #8, Records Management Handbook: Guidelines and Approved Retention and Disposal Schedule for Cities and Villages is an approved schedule*. However, there have been significant changes regarding its updating. Instead of updating the entire schedule, the state’s Records Management Services has updated parts of it in sections, as separate schedules.
If you have adopted and used Schedule #8, you now need to adopt the separate schedules that have superseded sections of this book. For example, the Elections schedule (schedule #23) and the Clerks schedule (schedule #24) have superseded sections of Schedule #8, Records Management Handbook: Guidelines and Approved Retention and Disposal Schedule for Cities and Villages.
Not all the new schedules promulgated by Records Management Services supersede sections of the Records Management Handbook. Schedules such as Public Libraries (schedule # 17) and Human Resources (schedule #26) are new, and were never a part of the original general schedule. You should look over the list of general schedules (which contains schedules updated or created through January 2022) and adopt the schedules that are appropriate for your municipality.
*The schedule in this handbook has been pre-approved by the State of Michigan. It contains the usual documents found in most municipal departments. For questions on records retention schedules, contact:
Caryn Wojcik, Government Records Archivist State of Michigan, Records Management Services 3400 N. Grand River Ave. PO Box 30026 Lansing MI 48909 517.335.8222
Links to Records Management Resources