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Title: Regulations Governing the Retention Periods and Destruction of Agency Records CH
Amended Date: 2017-01-05
Category: National Development Council(國家發展委員會)
Article 1
These Regulations were enacted in accordance with Paragraph 4 of Article 12 of the Archives Act (hereinafter referred to as the "Act").
Article 2
When a government agency sets record retention periods in accordance with Article 10 of the Act, it shall take into consideration the following:
1. The effect on national security, social development and the public interest.
2. The value of the records as historic material.
3. Preservation of legal evidence.
4. Evidence of administrative procedures.
5. Reference for academic research.
6. Distinctive features of the agency's organizational history and its operations and functions.
7. Protection of individual rights and interests.
8. Other important issues which must be considered.
Article 3
The retention period for the following records shall be permanent:
1. Those which relate to important systems, decisions or plans of the national government or the agency holding the records.
2. Those which relate to enactments, amendments or interpretations of important laws or regulations of the national government or the agency holding the records.
3. Those which relate to the organizational history or major activities of the agency holding the records.
4. Those which have been of important value to national development or the administrative undertakings of government agencies.
5. Those of important value as evidence of the administrative undertakings of the national government or the agency.
6. Those of important value as evidence of important properties of the national government, government agencies, groups or individual persons.
7. Those which have exerted important influence on the protection of the interests of the nation, government agencies, the public or individual persons.
8. Those of important technological value.
9. Those of important historical, social or cultural value.
10. Those pertaining to unusual matters that are materially newsworthy or are unique, special or representative.
11. Those for which permanent retention is required by law.
12. Other records pertaining to important matters with permanent preservation value.
Article 4
The retention period for temporary records shall be set at thirty years, twenty-five years, twenty years, fifteen years, ten years, five years or one year, but this requirement shall not apply to the following:
1. Records set out in the General Records Schedules enacted by the central archives authority.
2. Those records set out in Article 7.
3. Records for which a retention period of greater than 30 years has been set, and for which the central archives authority has given its consent.
4. Records regarding which applicable laws or regulations provide otherwise.
Article 5
When a government agency establishes its comprehensive records schedules based on the provisions of these Regulations, the General Records Schedules, and other applicable laws and regulations, it shall distinguish between different records retention periods and disposal methods.
With respect to the disposal methods referred to in the preceding paragraph, a government agency shall specify one of the following four methods for each records category: National archival records; Agency records to be retained permanently; Records to be assessed upon expiration; and Records to be destroyed in accordance with regulations.
A government agency shall implement its comprehensive records schedules, referred to in Paragraph 1 above, only after submitting them to the central archives authority for approval in accordance with the procedures set out in Paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Enforcement Rules of the Archives Act. This provision shall apply to amendments to records schedules, but not to amendments of the General Records Schedules.
Article 6
A government agency shall review its comprehensive records schedules at least every ten years, and may amend them as necessary.
Article 7
For a temporary record that has been converted to microfilm, electronic format, or some other format for the purpose of storage, the retention period for its original may be amended if the agency has filed information showing that retention measures have been adopted which ensure that the reproduced and stored record can be effectively accessed, and that the following conditions apply with respect to the record:
1. The retention period is 20 years or shorter.
2. The record is classified as one "to be destroyed in accordance with regulations."
A retention period amended in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not be shorter than one-half of the original retention period, and shall be rounded up to the nearest whole number.
After a retention period has been amended in accordance with the provisions of the first paragraph, once the central archives authority has approved destruction of the record's original, the reproduced and stored record shall be made available for access, and shall be retained for at least as long as the record's retention period as originally set. After the originally set retention period expires, once the plan to destroy the reproduced and stored record has been registered with the central archives authority, the original may be destroyed.
Article 8
In principal, an agency shall conduct the destruction of temporary records once every year.
At the expiry date, the archives division or the archivist in a government agency shall prepare a destruction catalog in the format required by the central archives authority for the relevant divisions to solicit their opinions. If a division considers it necessary to extend the retention period, it shall specify the number of years for extension and reasons for the extension.
The destruction catalog in the preceding paragraph shall include the following items:
1. Year numbers, classification numbers and folder numbers.
2. The number of volumes.
3. Folder title.
4. Producers of the records.
5. The starting and ending dates of the records in the folders.
6. Retention periods. The original retention periods and the reasons for any revisions thereto.
7. Summary of the files.
8. Any other information specified by the central archives authority.
If the records are not cataloged at the folder level, but cataloged instead by item, the catalog shall include the following:
1. File numbers.
2. Folder title.
3. Subject matter.
4. Senders (receivers).
5. Receiving and sending numbers.
6. The creation dates for the files.
7. Retention periods. The original retention periods and the reasons for any revisions thereto.
8. Any other information specified by the central archives authority.
Article 9
Destruction catalogs may be provided to historic heritage agencies for approval for destruction. Records that have been approved for destruction shall be noted in the destruction plan and destruction catalogs.
After a retention period has been amended in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 7 and a historic heritage agency has approved an original for destruction, said original shall not be forwarded to the historic heritage agency until after the reproduced and stored record has been retained to the end of the originally set retention period and the plan to destroy the reproduced and stored record has been registered with the central archives authority in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 3 of Article 7.
Article 10
The destruction plan under Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Act shall contain the following:
1. The years of the records to be destroyed, and their quantity.
2. The storage place for the records to be destroyed.
3. The time, place and method of destruction.
4. Where a record's retention period has been amended in accordance with the provisions of Article 7, indicate the retention measures used to ensure that the reproduced and stored record can be effectively accessed.
5. Any other information specified by the central archives authority.
The "retention measures used to ensure that the reproduced and stored record can be effectively accessed" as referred to in Subparagraph 4 above shall include the following items:
1. It shall establish standard operating procedures for long-term retention of reproduced and stored records.
2. It shall set out a plan for remote backup of reproduced and stored records.
3. It shall assess: (a) the viability of media, software, and hardware; and (b) conversion procedures and their cost effectiveness.
4. Any other information specified by the central archives authority.
Both the destruction plan of the first paragraph and the destruction catalogs of Article 8 shall, in accordance with Paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Enforcement Rules of the Archives Act, be submitted to the central archives authority for approval.
Article 11
If the central archives authority considers it necessary to have records electronically stored as provided for under Paragraph 3 of Article 12 of the Act, the records may be microfilmed or stored by another method.
Article 12
Before archives approved for destruction are actually destroyed, they shall be stored together at a safe place, and care shall be taken during their transport to ensure safe delivery.
When destroying archives, the archives administration entity and the entity related to the archives shall appoint officers to supervise the whole process and shall pay due attention to environmental protection issues.
Article 13
The methods for destruction of records shall include the following:
1. Shredding or pulping.
2. Burning.
3. Breaking down into pieces from which it is impossible to discern the content of the record.
4. Pulverizing.
5. Demagnetizing.
6. Deleting electronic files or reformatting the medium.
7. Any other methods that can delete or destroy the content of records.
If necessary, any two or more of the aforementioned methods can be used in combination.
Article 14
Records may be destroyed right away under the following circumstances if the situation is urgent:
1. The records have deteriorated and are emitting toxic materials which seriously affect human health.
2. A war, riot or some other incident has occurred, and immediate destruction is necessary for the sake of national security or the national interest.
In the preceding circumstances, a government agency shall report the reason and the file numbers, file names, quantity, time, place and method of destruction and any other relevant details to the central archives authority for reference.
Article 15
If records are damaged by natural disaster or an unforeseen event and cannot be restored, after an appraisal the government agency shall report the reason and the file numbers, file names, number of destroyed archives and other details to the central archives authority for reference, after which the archives may be destroyed.
When records are damaged or lost due to a natural disaster or an unforeseen event, the government agency shall report the reason, time, place, scope and quantity of the lost records, and other related information and supporting documents, to the central archives authority for its reference.
Article 16
If a government agency finds that records have been destroyed illegally in any of the ways set out in Article 24 of the Act, it shall report the reason and the file numbers, file names, quantity, time, place and manner of destruction of the records and other details to the central archives authority for reference.
Article 17
After records have been destroyed, the reference number of the approval document and destruction date for the destroyed records shall be entered in the destruction catalogs, folder schedules and any other related catalogs. If they are stored on microfilm, in electronic format or any other form, their serial numbers shall be noted. If an entire folder of records has been destroyed, however, it is not necessary to specify this on the folder schedules.
Where the catalog for a destroyed record has already been submitted to the central archives authority, the relevant notations shall be made and the catalog shall be resubmitted.
Article 18
Catalogs for destroyed records shall be permanently retained together with the letter approving destruction.
Article 19
These Regulations shall be implemented from the date of issuance.
Web site:Laws & Regulations Database of The Republic of China