The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Retention Schedules

Reference Number: MTAS-525
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: January 31, 2009

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Using these Retention Schedules
Records in this schedule are grouped by topic.

The records under each topic constitute a records series. Each record  in the series is given a number consisting of the series designation plus a number designating the order in which the record is listed within the series. For example, Activity Reports under Animal Control are in Record Series A and have the record number A-1. The series designation and the record number should be useful in referring to records during both storage and disposition. 

You may notice that there are topics that appear not to be covered. We have attempted to use general topics to the extent possible to keep the schedule from being too voluminous. If you have a record that appears not to be covered, you should look for the record in a related topic that is included in the schedule. For example, a contract involving the airport authority would have the same retention period as other contracts noted under the General Administration topic. 

Under T.C.A. § 10-7-702, records manuals compiled by MTAS must “be used as guides by municipal officials in establishing retention schedules for all records created by municipal governments ...” Since this is a guide rather than the final word, a municipality may add more records or records series to the retention schedule if needed.

The schedules in this section have been reviewed by MTAS staff, the State Library and Archives, and several city officials. We recommend  their adoption. The retention periods marked with asterisks are required by state or federal law. All other retention periods are based on the record’s administrative, legal and historical value.

As noted, municipalities have a great deal of flexibility in adopting the retention schedule. It can be adopted, with any needed modification, by ordinance, resolution, motion, citywide policy, or by a records commission if the municipality has one; or applicable portions can be adopted as a departmental policy.

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