What is an RDA?

A Records Disposition Authorization (RDA) is a mechanism for scheduling of consistent retention and disposition of similar types of records related to state agency programs. An RDA provides legal authorization to dispose of records governed by the RDA in an appropriate, uniform manner.
Records management for state agencies is regulated by Wisconsin state law. The records retention requirements for state agencies are governed by Wis. Stat. § 16.61 and apply to "public records" as defined in Wis. Stat. § 16.61(2)(b)​.
Records unique to a specific government unit require the creation of a RDA which must be approved by the Public Records Board (PRB).  RDAs, approved by the PRB and signed by the state agency's official, are considered policy within the agency.  Agency-specific RDAs are used to manage records that are not covered by a General Records Schedule.

RDAs are key records management tools for state agencies which:

  • Provide agency program areas with uniform guidelines for the retention and disposition of records common to a business function or program.
  • Ensure business or program areas retain records as long as needed in order to complete the transaction of business on behalf of the State of Wisconsin, and to meet legal, audit, archival, and other State of Wisconsin and/or federal requirements.
  • Provide business or program areas with legal authorization to dispose of eligible records on a regularly scheduled basis after minimum retention periods are met.
  • Promote the cost-effective management of records.