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How long we keep information

Question:
How long we keep information
Answer:

How long we keep information before it is disposed of varies depending on the type of information, legal requirements and business need. Details are set out in our records retention schedules.

Having a retention and disposal policy and retention and disposal schedules are requirements of the Lord Chancellor's code of practice on the management of records issued under section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Retention and disposal policy

Our records retention and disposal policy sets out requirements and responsibilities for managing records retention and disposal.

We also produce separate guidance for staff about the responsibilities of the policy.

Retention schedules

Our record retention schedules list retention and disposal policies specifying how long records must be kept and details disposal action. They:

  • detail retention and disposal policies for records supporting each business function, activity and process
     
  • describe and define business functions, activities and processes that records support
     
  • define the retention trigger/closure procedure event - event triggering the start of the retention period and record closure procedure
     
  • specify the retention period - the period of time records needs to be kept after the retention trigger event has been reached
     
  • specify disposal action - action e.g. destroy or transfer to be carried out following review at the end of the retention period
     
  • identified the authority - legal, regulatory or business reasons that records are created and kept.

This is illustrated in our guide to understanding retention schedules:

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