Records Disposition Panel

How the Panel works

Minnesota Statute 15.17 specifies that, "All officers and agencies of the state, counties, cities, towns, school districts, municipal subdivisions or corporation, or other public authorities or political entities within the state...shall make and preserve all records necessary to a full and accurate knowledge of their official activities." The statute further delineates that the responsibility for any given agency's records lies with the chief administrative officer. Under M.S. 138.17 subd. 7 and M.S. 138.19, government entities must establish ongoing records management programs, keep record inventories, and create records retention schedules specifying retention periods and disposition by record type.

M.S. 138.17 establishes the Records Disposition Panel to direct the storage and disposition of the state's government records. The Panel, which was created in 1947, fulfills this directive through the review of proposed records retention schedules and one-time applications for the authority to dispose of records (commonly known as the PR-1 form). Schedules and applications are submitted to the Minnesota State Archives, which acts as Secretary to the Panel (M.S. 138.20).

The Panel is composed of the state Attorney General, the Legislative Auditor (in the case of state records), the State Auditor (in the case of local records), and the Director of the Minnesota Historical Society. In practice, members of the Panel have assigned designees to act in their stead. (M.S. 138.17). State Archives staff routes submitted materials to the Panel for review and handles all communication with submitters regarding the process. Panel members review schedules for legal, fiscal, and historical considerations, and can either approve as submitted or request changes and further review.

In its role as Secretary to the Panel, the State Archives maintains copies of approved and adopted retention schedules, as well as approved applications to dispose of records. These documents are publicly available; for more information about viewing these records, see the section on Accessing Records Retention Schedules.

The State Archives also provides general guidance to government entities on records management topics. The State Archives has several guidelines and standards published on its website. In particular, Preserving and Disposing of Government Records details the records management responsibilities of government entities, the process for creating/adopting/amending a records retention schedule, and other important aspects of records management.

Panel Members

In practice, records retention schedules and disposal applications are reviewed by the panel's designess. Here is contact information for the designees:

Attorney General Designee
Rita Desmond

Legislative Auditor Designee (for state records)
Maureen Garrahy

State Auditor Designee (for local records)
David Kenney

Director of Minnesota Historical Society Designee
Charles Rodgers

Minnesota State Archives
Secretary to the Panel

Relevant statutes


Accessing records retention schedules

The most current versions of general records retention schedules for entities such as townships, cities, counties, school districts, Minnesota district courts, and volunteer firefighters relief associations are available on this page. Also included are general records retention schedules for state agencies for areas such as human resources, finance, and state property management.

Current (dated 2003-present) records disposition files (approved records retention schedules, notifications of adoption of general schedules, and approved applications for the authority to dispose of records) are available for viewing by appointment at the State Archives at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul during normal business hours:

  • Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • To schedule an appointment, contact the State Archives directly at:
  • Email:
  • Phone: 651-259-3260

Records disposition files from 1947 to 2003 are available to the public in the Gale Family Library at the Minnesota History Center. More information about the library, including hours and contact information, is available on the Gale Family Library website. A digital finding aid is available to help researchers find the documents they would like to view.

Frequently Asked Questions