Records Management Flowchart: 1. Create/receive 2. Use 3. Retain 4. Destroy/archive

Records Management is a systematic, organized, planned and controlled process of managing or tracking the life cycle of records. A record can be a tangible paper object or it can be in digital or electronic format. Records management addresses the four phases of the life cycle of records:

  1. Creation or receipt of a document or communication that meets the criteria of being a record.
  2. General usage and maintenance of a record.
  3. Retention based on approved records retention/disposition schedule.
  4. Disposition - destroy or transfer for archival preservation according to approved records retention/disposition schedule.

All City of Madison employees have responsibilities and requirements for managing public records.


  • Contributes to the smooth operation of your agency's programs by making the information needed for decision-making and operations readily available.
  • Helps deliver services in a consistent and equitable manner.
  • Facilitates effective performance of activities throughout an agency.
  • Protects the rights of the agency, its employees, and its customers.
  • Provides continuity in the event of a disaster.
  • Protects records from inappropriate and unauthorized access.
  • Meets statutory and regulatory requirements including archival, audit, and oversight activities.
  • Provides protection and support in litigation.
  • Improves office efficiency and productivity.
  • Supports and documents historical and other research.
  • Frees up office space by moving inactive physical records to storage facilities.
  • Frees up server space by getting rid of ROT - redundant, outdated, or trivial files and documents.