Records Retention Schedule (RRS)
One of the pre-requisites of good Records Management is to ensure that records are neither prematurely destroyed nor kept for periods longer than required – at the cost of economy and efficiency. Thus, in order to prescribe judicious retention periods to different categories of records, a Records Retention Schedule (RRS) needs to be drawn by the concerned records creating agencies.
Records Management has always remained a critical activity of Government Departments, as good records management is viewed as key to efficient administration. In respect of management of records, the National Archives of India and Department of Administration Reforms & Public Grievances are both equally responsible for formulation of guidelines on preparation of Records Retention Schedule.
The Department of Administration Reforms & Public Grievances is responsible for guidelines and preparation of Records Retention Schedule for records pertaining to facilitative functions common to all Ministries/Departments of Government of India, to ensure that there is uniformity in retention schedules of records, relating to establishment, personnel and housekeeping matters and work of common nature.
The National Archives of India is responsible for formulation of guidelines on Records Management and vetting of Records Retention Schedules for records pertaining to substantive functions of all Ministries/Departments/Offices/PSUs of Government of India.
Public Records Act 1993 (69 of 1993) Clause (e) of subsection (1) of section 6 and the Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure (Edition 12th 2012) (para 111(1)(d) and 111(2)) stipulates that every Records Creating Agency would compile a Retention Schedule for Records pertaining to substantive functions of their organization in consultation with the National Archives of India, which has to be vetted by the National Archives of India before its implementation.
Records pertaining to substantives function of a Records Creating Agency (RCA) include records related to the functions which are peculiar (specific) to that particular agency. Therefore, the Retention Schedule for records pertaining to Substantive Function of each Records Creating Agency would be according to the records created by it.