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Before any record is destroyed at the end of its retention period, there must be written authorization from the division that transferred the records.
- The Archives and Records Office (ARO) receives a notice of destruction from the Federal Records Center in San Bruno for records that have met the legal retention.
- ARO notifies the Records Liaison Officer from the originating division of the records which are up for destruction and requests authorization.
- It is critical that divisions respond to the request within two weeks of receiving notification from ARO. Maintaining records past the legal retention can make them discoverable in litigation.
- The only exceptions to keeping records longer than the retention are for legal and audit requirements, or for R&D records that are needed for future research. The Archives and Records Office requires a justification in writing as to why the records cannot be destroyed.