[Last update: 18 March 2009]
Introduction to Council of Europe Disposal Schedules
The schedule applies to records regardless of medium or physical format, created or stored by the Department either at departmental or individual staff member level. It comes into force on the date of signature. The original document is kept in the Council of Europe Archives. A copy is kept by the Service Archive Contact person and by the Archive correspondent.
The purpose of the schedule is to distinguish documents that should be retained permanently from those which should be destroyed after a certain period.
The original document is signed by the Head of Service, the Archive Correspondent, the Service Archive Contact person and the Head of Archives.
Disposal schedules promote control over the records of an organisation, enable records managers to dispose of records promptly when their retention period has ended, and ensure the retention of the minimum volume of records consistent with effective and efficient operations. The retention of too many records is expensive in staff, time, space and equipment.
The Service Archivist in cooperation with the Archive correspondent is responsible for ensuring that disposal action specified in the schedule is undertaken and that the schedule is regularly monitored to ensure that it is up to date.
Structure of the schedule
The disposal schedule distinguishes documents that should be retained permanently from those which should be destroyed after a certain period.
The first column describes the category of document.
DUA (Durée d’utilité administrative)
The second column indicates, in years, the “length of administrative value” of the series. This should take account of any legal requirements regarding retention as well as the length of time that the documents need to be kept in the Department for reference purposes.
The third column indicates the disposal action to be undertaken at the end of the DUA. This will be one of the following types:
D destruction, after the approval of the Head of Archives and Head of the Service concerned
C permanent preservation in the Council of Europe Archives
T permanent preservation in the Council of Europe Archives after selection according to previously agreed criteria.
S permanent preservation in the Department
The fourth column gives practical information concerning the management of the documents.