Detroit Public Media Record Retention Policy


The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Act) seeks to enhance corporate governance and to ensure the accuracy of financial reporting. The Act creates new measures that deal with financial reporting, conflicts of interest, internal ethics, and destruction of litigation related documents. Although, as a not-for-profit entity, Detroit Public Media is not governed by the Act, Detroit Public Media recognizes the objectives of the Act, and is adopting this statement of intent, and creating the following policy to establish guidelines for its retention of corporate records.


Detroit Public Media will establish and maintain a written document retention and periodic destruction policy in accordance with state and federal requirements. The policy will include guidelines for handling electronic files and voicemail, as well as backup procedures, archiving of documents, and ongoing monitoring of compliance with such guidelines. Detroit Public Media employees are prohibited from altering, covering up, falsifying, or destroying any document (or persuading someone else to do so) to prevent its use in an official proceeding (e.g. federal investigation).


The following guidelines are intended to outline general record retention and destruction requirements for Detroit Public Media. Paper/manual records will be kept in a safe place and in such a manner that in the event of a fire or similar catastrophe will be able to be reconstructed. Confidential files will be clearly designated as such, and kept in restricted storage areas. Periodically, important documents will be transferred from active files to inactive or long term storage. Electronic files will follow the same general storage pattern as paper/manual files. Electronic files will be backed up to another media for longer term, permanent retention.

Retention periods are summarized below for general corporate documents. Each operating department of Detroit Public Media will maintain, as appropriate, additional subsidiary record retention schedules in support of their business. Detroit Public Media retains records in a public inspection file in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission. This public inspection file is maintained in the office of the Station Manager. Moreover, Detroit Public Media retains records in accordance with the requirements of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Document Description and Retention Period (yrs.)

  • Accident reports and claims (settled cases) - 7yrs.
  • Accounts payable ledgers and trial balances - 7yrs.
  • Accounts receivable ledgers and trial balances - 7yrs.
  • Annual reports - P
  • Audit reports of public accountants - P
  • Bank deposits - 3yrs.
  • Bank statements and reconciliations - 3yrs.
  • Cash books - P
  • Checks (cancelled); see exceptions below - 7yrs.
  • Checks (cancelled) for important payments (e.g. taxes, property purchases, contracts, etc.), to be retained with related supporting papers - P
  • Commission records - 7yrs.
  • Contracts and leases (current) - P
  • Contracts and leases (expired) - 7yrs.
  • Copyrights - P
  • Correspondence (legal and important matters only) - P
  • Correspondence (general) - 3yrs.
  • Correspondence (routine) with customers or vendors - 1yr.
  • Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale - P
  • Depreciation schedules - P
  • Donor records - P
  • Duplicate bank deposit slips - 3yrs.
  • Employee personnel records after termination - 7yrs.
  • Employment tax returns - 7yrs.
  • Expense reports - 7yrs.
  • Financial statements (end of year) - P
  • Financial statements (other months besides end of year) - 7yrs.
  • Garnishments - 7yrs.
  • General ledgers and end of year trial balances - P
  • Grant records - P
  • Incorporation records - P
  • Information returns - 7yrs.
  • Insurance claims and settlements - 10yrs.
  • Insurance policies and supporting records (current) - P
  • Insurance policies and supporting records (expired) - 3yrs.
  • Internal reports (miscellaneous) - 3yrs.
  • Inventories of products, materials, supplies, assets - 7yrs.
  • Invoices to customers and from vendors - 7yrs.
  • Licenses and permits - P
  • Minutes books of trustees, including bylaws and charter - P
  • Patents - P
  • Payroll records - 7yrs.
  • Personnel employment applications - 3yrs.
  • Personnel injury claims - 11yrs.
  • Personnel settlements - 11yrs.
  • Personnel attendance records - 6yrs.
  • Personnel benefit records - 8yrs.
  • Personnel earnings records - P
  • Property appraisals by outside appraisers - P
  • Property records (including costs, depreciation, blue prints) - P
  • Purchase orders (except Accounting Department) - 1yr.
  • Purchase orders (Accounting Department copy) - 7yrs.
  • Receiving documents - 1yr.
  • Requisitions - 1yr.
  • Royalty records - 7yrs.
  • Sales records - 7yrs.
  • Subsidiary ledgers to the general ledger and trial balances - 7yrs.
  • Tax returns and other supporting documents - P
  • Time records - 7yrs.
  • Trademark registrations - P
  • Voucher registers - 7yrs.
  • Video tapes ?
  • Voice mail

P = Permanent

Revised 10-16-09