“Help – This RDA is Outdated!”: How to Determine if Your State Agency Records Disposition Authority (RDA) Needs Revision

Records and recordkeeping practices change naturally over time as state agencies evolve. Records Disposition Authorities, or RDAs, require regular revision to accurately reflect the records that your agency creates and the retention requirements for those records.

RDAs can require revision for various reasons. Below are some of the most common reasons: 

(1) New state and/or federal laws have increased the scope of your agency’s work. As a result, your agency creates new records which are not described in the RDA. Note: Records not currently described in the RDA are ineligible for records destruction.

(2) New state and/or federal laws have modified the required minimum retention of certain record series in the RDA.

(3) The agency was restructured, and divisions were transferred from another state agency. New records are therefore being created which are not described in the RDA.

(4) The agency was restructured, and divisions were transferred to another state agency. Records presently described in the RDA are no longer created by your agency.

RDA revisions are not required for changes to the agency’s organization or leadership that do not affect the agency’s functions. Examples of changes not meriting RDA revision include divisional restructuring that does not affect the agency’s functions, or a change in agency director.

Contact the ADAH Records Management Staff

Agencies seeking an RDA revision should contact Records Management staff to schedule an in-person introductory meeting or conference call. This meeting/call will introduce the parties involved and help define the scope of the RDA revision before beginning work on either end. Please be mindful that due to the time required to revise an RDA and the high demand for revisions, Records Management staff may be unable to undertake your agency’s revision immediately.

Contact one of the following staff members to discuss RDA revision:

Coming Up

Stay tuned to the For the Record blog for two upcoming posts on the state agency RDA revision process:

  • An Overview of the State Agency Records Disposition Authority (RDA) Revision Process
  • A Detailed Guide to the State Agency Records Disposition Authority (RDA) Revision Process

It’s That Time Again! The 2018 State Agency Annual Records Disposition Authority Implementation Report

The Alabama Department of Archives and History is responsible for working with state agencies on managing their records. This year, we have developed a new online method for reporting your state agency’s 2018 records management activities. Each agency is required to complete this process by January 15, 2019. The new reporting method involves three easy steps:

1. Access the State Agency Annual Records Disposition Authority Implementation Report (it’s best to use a Chrome web browser since this document was created using Google forms). This form contains seven sections of questions about your records management activities, including records destroyed; electronic newsletters, bulletins, and annual reports created; and permanent records transferred to ADAH during the 2018 fiscal year. If your agency did not file a report in previous fiscal years, you can use this same Google form to submit those past reports—just be sure to fill out separate forms for 2018 and any other year you wish to submit.

2. Send a copy of your 2018 destruction notices to Rebecca.Jackson@archives.alabama.gov.

3. Send electronic copies of newsletters, bulletins, and agency annual reports to Kathleen.Brennan@archives.alabama.gov.

Once you complete these three simple steps, you will receive a PDF copy of your completed Annual RDA Implementation Report from ADAH within 30 days of your submission.

If you want to see if your agency has submitted the necessary reports for the past five years, you can check your agency’s compliance at the ADAH State Agency Annual Report Log. After January 15, 2019, you can use that same link to view your agency’s status for FY2018.

When you access the Google form, you will only see one section of questions at a time. If you would like to see all the questions at once to guide your submission process, you can download a PDF of the full questionnaire here: State Agency Annual RDA Implementation Report Preview Of Questions.

Also, when you enter your fiscal year into the Google form, please enter “2018” rather than “FY18” or any other derivation of 2018.

As always, if you have questions about the annual reporting form, please contact Rebecca Hebert at becky.hebert@archives.alabama.gov.