State Records Disposition Authority

The Government Services Division (GSD) is a part of the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), which is responsible for administering and coordinating all functions associated with records management for state agencies, public colleges, and universities. As the support staff for the State Records Commission (SRC), staff members of GSD serve as the contacts for state agencies, colleges, and universities seeking assistance with Records Disposition Authority (RDA) development, RDA implementation training and implementation procedures, and other related issues.


I. Development and Revision

A. Purpose:


An RDA is a document approved by the State Records Commission (SRC) which lists an agency’s records with retention requirements and provides authorization for the disposition of agency records.

1. Analyzes the mandates and function of an agency and the technology used to create and maintain records


2. Identifies permanent records that document the agency’s function and accomplishment for permanent preservation


3. Provides disposition instructions for temporary records

B. Structure and Components:


1. Functional and Organizational Analysis of the Agency

Describes the agency’s background and organization and analyzes the function and activities performed by the agency


2. Analysis of Record Keeping System and Records Appraisal of the Agency
Summarizes the technology used to create and maintain records, identifies permanent records that document the agency’s function and accomplishments, and provides justification for examples of temporary records


3. Records Disposition Authority

Assigns a minimum retention period to each type of agency records (regardless of format)


C. Development and Revision:


1. Listed below may be found approved RDA's for many state agencies, colleges, and universities.


2. If your agency does not have an approved RDA or needs assistance with RDA revision, please contact the Government Services Division at: 334-242-4452.


II. Training and Implementation

A. RDA Implementation Training


After a draft RDA is approved by the State Records Commission and signed by agency head, staff of the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) will schedule an RDA implementation training session for the agency records liaison and/or other staff members.
Similar training sessions may be provided to agency staff at any future time if requested.


B. RDA Implementation Procedures


1. Transmittal of Archival/Permanent Records


Only records listed on an agency’s approved RDA as permanent may be transferred to the Alabama Department of Archives and History for preservation

a. Identifies permanent records for transfer
b. Contacts the State Records Center at 334-242-4306 for supplies (box, label, and transmittal form)
c. Packs the records and notifies the Government Services Division at 334-242-4452 for quality control review
d. Schedules the transmittal of records


Procedural Leaflet: Transferring Permanent Records to the Alabama Department of Archives and History
Archival Records Transmittal Form


2. Destruction of Obsolete Records


Approved RDAs only provide written retention requirements for records. Before any records can be actually destroyed, a destruction notice must be prepared and approved by the agency’s records liaison and/or management staff to ensure compliance with the RDA.

a. Identifies obsolete records for destruction
b. Converts size of records to cubic feet
c. Records key data of records to be destroyed on agency records destruction notice (date, records title, year span, and size)
d. Reviews and approves the destruction notice by agency records liaison and/or agency supervisor/head
e. Destroys records


Sample Obsolete Records Destruction Form
Conversion Chart


3. Development of an Agency Records Management Procedural Manual


An effective agency records management program is one that provides systematic procedural control of the creation, flow, distribution, use, and disposition of all records. An agency may use the model records management manual statements, approved by the State Records Commission, as a reference to design its own agency records management procedural manual.


Model Records Management Statements for Inclusion in Agency Policy and Procedures Manual

III. Reporting and Monitoring


All state agencies/colleges/universities with approved RDAs are required to submit an annual RDA implementation report for review by the State Records Commission.


A. Reporting Forms


(For best results use Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari as your browser to submit these forms digitally)

State Agency


B. Contents of Annual Agency RDA Implementation Report


1. Agency General Records Management Activities
2. Destruction of Obsolete Records
3. Transmittal of Permanent Records to the Archives


C. Summarized Annual Agency RDA Implementation Report and Reporting Statistics


Annual RDA Implementation Reports submitted by state agencies/ colleges/ universities will be incorporated by the Archives’ staff into a summarized report each quarter for review by the State Records Commission. A reporting statistics is also available for review online by the general public.


State Agency Annual RDA Implementation Reporting Statistics



Approved RDA's for State Agencies/Universities/Colleges



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Special Records Disposition Authorities (RDA) or RDA Revisions That Apply to All State Agencies/Colleges/Universities