Programme and Project Records UK

Description of Business Function

The function of assessing the organisation’s business programmes and projects. Please note this excludes projects related to Estates and Facilities.

Basis of Retention and Disposition

For final records evidencing business programmes and projects this is based on evidence and reference purposes, aligning to the relevant limitation period (e.g. 6 years) under contract / tort for which a legal action may be brought in respect of project delivery or outcomes.

Working papers, such as drafts, are kept after a document is finalised in case of their need to support corrective changes or questions about the development of a document (unless required longer for proof of process); there may also be internal audit considerations.

At the end of the retention period, disposition decisions would depend on whether there is any current or pending Legal, Compliance or Tax Hold to which they relate as well as any enduring reference value or evidence of process.

Re-usable reference materials / graphics / photographs are kept indefinitely

Retention Rules Per Record Type

Record Type Minimum Retention Period Rationale
Budgets Project End + 6 years; Drafts are kept for 3 years (unless required longer for proof of process) In case of any potential legal action that may arise
Business Cases Project End + 6 years; Drafts are kept for 3 years (unless required longer for proof of process) In case of any potential legal action that may arise
Project Initiation Documents (PIDs) Project End + 6 years In case of any potential legal action that may arise
Project Plans Project End + 6 years; Drafts are kept for 3 years (unless required longer for proof of process) In case of any potential legal action that may arise
Reports Project End + 6 years; Drafts are kept for 3 years (unless required longer for proof of process) In case of any potential legal action that may arise
Key Correspondence Project End + 6 years; Drafts are kept for 3 years (unless required longer for proof of process) In case of any potential legal action that may arise

Citations

Please also see Projects records retention and disposal schedule published by The National Archives http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/information-management/sched_projects.pdf

Limitation Act 1980, s. 5, Time limit for actions founded on simple contract, “An action founded on simple contract shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued”.

Limitation Act 1980, s.2, Actions founded on tort, “An action founded on tort shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued”,

There are similar limitation periods within the The Limitation (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 – 6 years for a simple contract within section 4, and 12 years for an instrument under seal within section 15, and 15 years for Overriding time limit for negligence actions not involving personal injuries in section 12.

The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, Negative Prescription, s. 6, Extinction of obligations by prescriptive periods of five years, “(1)If, after the appropriate date, an obligation to which this section applies has subsisted for a continuous period of five years— (a)without any relevant claim having been made in relation to the obligation, and (b)without the subsistence of the obligation having been relevantly acknowledged, then as from the expiration of that period the obligation shall be extinguished”

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