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 record take include:

  • Paper documents;
  • Writings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound records, video images;
  • Electronic documents: e-mail messages; text messages;
  • Back-up tapes, disk, and 
  • 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.