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Management Guide (Destruction of Records)


Definition of Destruction

Destruction of records is the final stage in records management whereby records which are no longer worthwhile or needed in terms of administration, research or law are sorted and disposed of in accordance with the set procedures.

  1. Inactive records without any primary value for research, administration or law.

  2. Damaged records which can no longer be used.

  3. Records which have reached the expiry date for storage according to the Departmental Records Disposal Schedule and General Records Disposal Schedules as agreed upon between the National Archives and the department/agency concerned

  4. Financial records such as accounts, receipts, ledgers, vouchers and journals in accordance with Treasury Circular No 9/1986 (Amendment to Treasury Instructions 150).

The Need for Record Destruction

  1. To overcome space problem in the office.

  2. To save costs of equipment and space.

  3. To save time and energy in record retrieval.

  4. To create a systematic, effective and efficient records management system.

Record Destruction Procedure

1. Destruction of Records with a Disposal Schedule

  • Ensure that only records with a Disposal Schedule are destroyed after the completion of its period for storage.
  • Separate records to be destroyed from those that are still required for reference.
  • Ensure that records to be destroyed have a number and subject/title as in the Departmental Record Disposal Schedule, General Record Disposal Schedule or Record Inventory forms.
  • nform the National Archives of the number and types of records destroyed in terms of length/volume (pile measurement).

2. Destruction of Records without a Disposal Schedule

  • List the inactive records or those no longer in use in the record transfer list as in General Circular Letter No. 1/1997.
  • Submit the transfer list to the National Archives for evaluation.
  • Separate the records for destruction from those for storing as suggested by the National Archives.
  • Transfer the records for storage to the National Archives.
  • Obtain approval for destruction from the National Archives for records to be destroyed according to section 25 of the National Archives Act 2003.
  • Inform the National Archives of the records destroyed in terms of their length/volume (pile measurement) each time destruction of records is carried out.

3. Destruction of Financial Records

  • Apply for permission from the Accountant-General's Department and the National Audit Department in accordance with Treasury Circular No 9/1986 (Amendment to Treasury Instructions 150). A copy of the application must be submitted to the Director-General of the National Archives of Malaysia.
  • Inform the National Archives of the records destroyed in terms of length/volume (pile measurement) each time destruction of records is carried out.

Method of Destroying Records

  1. In accordance with Treasury Circular Letter Ref: KB 557/97/54 Jd. 4(47) dated 3 November 1993.

  2. By burning or using a shredder.

  3. In accordance with Security Instructions for classified records.

Penalty for Breaching the National Archives Act 2003

A breach of the provision in section 25 of the National Archives Act carries a fine of RM5000 or one year's jail or both according to section 25(5) of the Act.

Record Management

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