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Archives & Records Management

Office of the City Auditor

phone: 503-865-4100


1800 SW 6th Ave, Suite 550, Portland, OR 97201

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Terms & Definitions

Office of Record – the bureau or office responsible for maintaining the City’s record copy for the entire retention period. 

Public Record For the purposes of retention a public record is defined by Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 192.005(5):

(5) "Public record"
   (a) Means any information that:
      (A) Is prepared, owned, used or retained by a state agency or political subdivision;
      (B) Relates to an activity, transaction or function of a state agency or political subdivision;
      (C) Is necessary to satisfy the fiscal, legal, administrative or historical policies, requirements or needs of the state agency or political subdivision.

Record Copy – the single copy of a document, often the original, which is designated as the official copy to be preserved for the entire retention period.

Record Series – The individual categories in the records retention schedule.  Each category represents a collection of files, documents or electronically stored information kept together (either physically or intellectually) because it relates to a particular subject or function, results from the same activity, documents a specific type of transaction or has some other relationship arising out of its creation, receipt, maintenance, or use.   

Records Management – the field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records (ISO 15489-1:2001)

Retention Period – The length of time a record must be kept to meet the City's administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical requirements.

Vital Records –  records which are essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an agency during and after an emergency; and also those records which are essential to protect the rights and interests of that agency and of the individuals directly affected by its actions.