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Working Group 21 is currently working towards transitioning from a Working Draft of the Technical Specification to a Consolidated Draft in the upcoming months. This Working Group is dedicated to further refining the guidelines and recommendations related to disposition. Their efforts aim to enhance the understanding and implementation of effective records management practices, specifically in relation to disposition. By moving towards a Consolidated Draft, the Working Group intends to provide a more comprehensive and cohesive resource for organizations seeking guidance on managing their records and carrying out disposition activities.

The Technical Specification should include guidelines about retention periods, disposition processes and authorities, and destruction requirements. Currently, no SC11 publication provides practical guidelines for the disposition of records.

Disposition is a crucial part of records management. It helps organizations save money and time by getting rid of records that are no longer needed. It also ensures compliance, reduces risks, and preserves important information.

Disposition refers to the various processes involved in making decisions about retaining, destroying, or transferring records. These decisions are usually documented in disposition authorities or similar documents. Disposition can occur when a record is received or created, when the status of a record changes, when records lose their value, or for long-term preservation and archival purposes.

To effectively manage records, organizations must follow a structured approach outlined in ISO 15489-1. This approach requires them to have a documented plan for retaining and disposing of records. It should be considered during the appraisal of records, the development of retention schedules, and the design of records systems. Disposition should be integrated into regular business activities and aligned with the organization's records requirements.

Having efficient and authorized systems and processes in place for disposition promotes accountability, efficiency, and good governance. It ensures that records are managed appropriately for various purposes.

This draft assumes that the requirements for disposition are identified during the appraisal process, as described in ISO/TR 21946:2018. Appraisal involves analyzing business functions, processes, context, and risks to determine records requirements. It should ideally be done when records are created, either by annotating physical records or using metadata in electronic records management or business systems. The results of the appraisal lead to decisions about retention and disposition, which are documented in disposition authorities or similar documents.

The draft does not provide guidance on how to design or implement appraisal processes. For that information, you can refer to ISO/TR 21946.

Implementing a disposition authority involves carrying out the actions identified during the appraisal process. This includes reviewing whether it is permissible to dispose of records, actually dispose of them, and documenting the disposal.