Records Inventory and Disposal

Service Information

The Local Records Act (50 ILCS 205) regulates the preservation or disposal of the records of all units of local government in Illinois.

What is a Record? 

A record is any information which functions as evidence of activities or evidence of intentions within an agency or organization.

Examples of formats that a record can take include:

  • Paper documents
  • Writings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound records, video images
  • Electronic documents such as e-mail and text messages
  • Back-up tapes and disks
  • Other digital-based recordkeeping systems that provide input/content for other business records and raw data in electronic repositories

It is essential that departments obtain a Retention Schedule from the Local Records Commission in accordance with the Illinois Local Records Act. 50 IL205/4, defining how long agency information must be kept.

Disposition or Destruction of Records

Before disposing or destroying Cook County records, each Cook County department must adhere to the following process:

  • Departments must provide an inventory of department records to the Cook County Records Manager and the Illinois Secretary of State's Office.
  • The Illinois Local Records Commission reviews the inventory creating an Application for Authority to Dispose of Local Records.
  • After approval the state will provide the department’s records retention schedule.
  • Each year, departments must follow that schedule to submit a Certificate of Disposal to the Cook County Records Manager.
  • The state must approve the disposal certificate prior to the destruction or disposal of the records.
  • Each departments Records Point of Contact must work with the County Records Manager for the proper process of disposing of records.