Retention Schedule Forms and Approval Process


The forms on this page are primarily used for creating department-level retention and disposition authorities (RDAs), or retention schedules. For more information on filling out a new retention schedule form, please see the relevant page on the MINT.

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  How do I know if I need a new or revised retention schedule?

Check with your departmental records coordinator first to be sure the schedule does not already exist. Then, make sure that the series is not covered by one of the City's Global Schedules. In general, create or revise a retention schedule if a record type meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • Has only recently started to be created by your office
  • Is a version of an existing series in a radically different format (e.g. Paper > Database Records)
  • Is being prepared for conversion to digital format, either by City Records or in-office
  • Is subject to changes in legislation or administrative rule that significantly affect retention or confidentiality requirements
  • Is governed by an existing retention schedule that was approved greater than 10 years ago
  How do I get started with creating or amending a records schedule?

Get in touch with the City Records Officer, who can advise you on retention rules and precedents set by similar records in other jurisdictions (including at the statewide level). You will need at minimum:

  • A descriptive title for your records series (avoid specific form numbers, which are subject to change)
  • A brief (3-4 sentences) description of your series, including types of documents included and the purpose of the record
  • Any administrative, fiscal, or legal requirements related to minimum retention times (City Records can help with this research)
  • Indication of whether records in this series contain Personally-Identifiable Information (PII) or confidential/sensitive information under Wis. Stat. § 19.36 or other laws or regulations

Please do not sign the schedule until either Brad Houston or Maggie Turner has indicated it is ready to sign.

  Who approves new/renewed/amended/closed schedules?

Retention Schedules at the City of Milwaukee are subject to a 3-part approval process:

  1. An Administrative Review Team made up of subject-matter experts reviews schedules for major problems related to fiscal or legal issues, technological issues, or judgment of historical value.
  2. The City Information Management Committee reviews and approves or denies new schedule addition, modification, or deletion requests.
  3. The Wisconsin Public Records Board reviews and approves or denies new or amended schedules only.

The approval process happens quarterly and takes approximately 4 months from start to finish. See the Records Management page on the MINT for relevant submission deadlines. 

  What do you mean by "Active" and "Expired" records schedules?

Per Wisconsin Records law, all retention schedules have a built in sunset period of 10 years from the date of approval. Records Coordinators' lists of departmental schedules include the date on which approved schedules are due to sunset, or expire. Before that date, the schedule is active, and you may use it as normal to maintain and dispose of your office's records.

Once a retention series has sunset, it is considered expired and no longer in force until renewed through the records schedule approval process. An expired schedule may interfere with your office's ability to legally destroy records in a timely manner, and the Records Center may refuse to accept records with expired schedules for inactive records storage or digitization. For these reasons, it is important to renew your department's schedules before the expiration date, updating them with relevant changes in statute, regulation, or record format.

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