Records Retention Guidelines

The City of Arcata follows the California Secretary of State’s Local Government Records Retention Guidelines.

In 1968, the California legislature passed the California Public Records Act (P.R.A.) (Government Code section 6250, et seq.) which is modeled after the federal Freedom of Information Act and details what government information is and is not available to the public. In general, all records are open to the public except 28 specific exemption categories listed in P.R.A. section 6254. The P.R.A. applies to all records in whatever form maintained by state or local public agencies.

The Secretary of State established the Local Government Records Program to provide guidelines for local government records retention and to provide archival support.  Other attempts at standardization include the California Association of City Clerks' 1998 list of common local government records and recommended retention periods. The goal of the State Archives, in compliance with Government Code section 12236, is to consolidate information resources and provide local government with a single source for archival and records management support and guidance.