FAQ: Administrative Value for State Agency Records

State agency records may have several different types of value at their creation. Some, like budget records, have fiscal value and might be subject to audit. Others, like contracts, have legal value and might be subject to litigation. Some, like annual reports and agency policies, have historical value and might be archival. And many others, like memoranda, procedures, tracking materials, and so on, have administrative value and might be necessary to “the execution of the activities that caused the record to be created and during an audit of those activities” (SAA 2005).

Administrative value is defined as “the usefulness or significance of records to support ancillary operations and the routine management of an organization” (SAA 2005). In other words, records with administrative value are those that you need to have on hand to conduct your daily business. Administrative value ends when you no longer have use for that record in your day-to-day operations, but even if the administrative value of a record is nil, that record may still have value to the organization fiscally, legally, or historically.

Many record types hold only administrative value, and you will find most of these on the Agency Management schedule. Some good examples include Organizational Charts (RC No. 112.S), Contact Lists (RC No. 122.S), Tracking Materials (RC No. 125.R), Information Sharing Materials (RC No. 134.S; includes internal memoranda, newsletters, bulletins, and the like), and Logistics Materials (RC No. 135.S; includes routine notices, task lists, and arrangements). Note that all of these examples are scheduled to either be retained “until reference value ends” or “until superseded/obsolete,” after which they are eligible for destruction.

For record types in the Functional Schedule for North Carolina State Agencies (2018) that are to be retained “until reference value ends,” defining the length of time that a record holds administrative value is key to consistent records management. Thus, for many record types that hold merely administrative value, the functional schedule disposition instructions include a blank for agencies to set their own policy:


The end of administrative value is also the trigger for the appraisal for records whose disposition instructions are “permanent (appraisal required).” We’ll be blogging about the appraisal process for “permanent (appraisal required)” records in a future post, so stay tuned. And be sure to check out our other FAQs on destruction logs, transitory records, the record copy, reference copies, archival custody, triggers for retention, and security storage.

Questions?? Contact your records management analyst.


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  1. Pingback: FAQ: Permanent (Appraisal Required) | The G.S. 132 Files

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