Record Retention

Record Retention and the Right-to-Know Law

Record retention is key to successful implementation of the Right-to-Know Law. The RTKL is written with the idea that local and Commonwealth agencies are able to quickly and easily access their records. Many agencies struggle to meet the five business day response time because they have boxes and boxes of years-old (or decades-old) records and they may not even know what's in them.

The OOR recommends strongly that agencies review their records and keep them up-to-date in accordance with Pennsylvania laws that govern how long an agency must keep particular records.

The OOR doesn't have jurisdiction over record retention, although we get many questions related to how long records, such as emails, contracts, invoices, and audio tapes, must be kept. Please consult with the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission to find out how long you must keep records of your agency: PHMC Record Retention Information