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Retention Policy



1)    Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that necessary records and documents of the Ardara Sweet Co. Ltd. are adequately protected and maintained and to ensure that records that are no longer needed by Ardara Sweet Co. Ltd or are of no value are discarded at the proper time.  This Policy is also for the purpose of aiding employees of Ardara Sweet Co. Ltd in understanding their obligations in retaining electronic documents - including e-mail, Web files, text files, online accounts, orders, customer information, PDF documents, and all Microsoft Office or other formatted files.

2)    Policy

This Policy represents the Ardara Sweet Co. Ltd’s policy regarding the retention and disposal of records and the retention and disposal of electronic documents.

3)    Administration

Attached as Appendix A is a Record Retention Schedule that is approved as the initial maintenance, retention and disposal schedule for physical records of Ardara Sweet Co. Ltd and the retention and disposal schedule of electronic documents.  

4)    Suspension of Record Disposal In Event of Litigation or Claims

In the event the Ardara Sweet Co. Ltd is served with any legal request for documents or any employee becomes aware of a governmental investigation or audit concerning Ardara Sweet Co. Ltd, Inc. or the commencement of any litigation against or concerning the Ardara Sweet Co. Ltd, any further disposal of documents shall be suspended until shall time as the legal advised to continue.





Record Type

Retention Period

Accounts Payable ledgers and schedules

7 years

Accounts Receivable ledgers and schedules

7 years

Annual Audit Reports and Financial Statements


Annual Audit Records, including work papers and other documents that relate to the audit

7 years after completion of audit

Annual Plans and Budgets

2 years

Bank Statements and Canceled Checks

7 years

Employee Expense Reports

7 years

General Ledgers


Interim Financial Statements

7 years

Notes Receivable ledgers and schedules

7 years

Investment Records

7 years after sale of investment

Internal Audit work papers and findings

7 years after completion



B.          CONTRACTS


Record Type

Retention Period

Contracts and Related Correspondence (including any proposal that resulted in the contract and all other supportive documentation)

7 years after expiration or termination






Record Type

Retention Period

Corporate Records (minute books, signed minutes of the Board and all committees, corporate seals, articles of incorporation, bylaws, annual corporate reports)


Licenses and Permits


Memorandums of Understanding





General Principle: Most correspondence and internal memoranda should be retained for the same period as the document they pertain to or support. For instance, a letter pertaining to a particular contract would be retained as long as the contract (7 years after expiration). It is recommended that records that support a particular project be kept with the project and take on the retention time of that particular project file.


Correspondence or memoranda that do not pertain to documents having a prescribed retention period should generally be discarded sooner. These may be divided into two general categories:


1.        Those pertaining to routine matters and having no significant, lasting consequences should be discarded within two years. Some examples include:


·       Routine letters and notes that require no acknowledgment or follow‑up, such as notes of appreciation, congratulations, letters of transmittal, and plans for meetings.

·       Form letters that require no follow‑up.

·       Letters of general inquiry and replies that complete a cycle of correspondence.

·       Letters or complaints requesting specific action that have no further value after changes are made or action taken (such as name or address change).

·       Other letters of inconsequential subject matter or that definitely close correspondence to which no further reference will be necessary.

·       Chronological correspondence files.


Please note that copies of interoffice correspondence and documents where a copy will be in the originating department file should be read and destroyed, unless that information provides reference to or direction to other documents and must be kept for project traceability.


2.        Those pertaining to non‑routine matters or having significant lasting consequences should generally be retained permanently.





1.        Electronic Mail: Not all email needs to be retained, depending on the subject matter.

·       Staff will strive to keep all but an insignificant minority of their e-mail related to business issues.

·       Staff will not store or transfer Northwest Foundation related e-mail on non-work-related computers except as necessary or appropriate for Foundation purposes.

·       Staff will take care not to send confidential/proprietary Foundation information to outside sources.

·       Any e-mail staff deems vital to the performance of their job should be copied to the staff’s thumb drive.


2.        Electronic Documents: including Microsoft Office Suite and PDF files. Retention also depends on the subject matter.

·       PDF documents – The length of time that a PDF file should be retained should be based upon the content of the file and the category under the various sections of this policy. The maximum period that a PDF file should be retained is 6 years. PDF files the employee deems vital to the performance of his or her job should be printed and stored in the employee’s workspace.

·       Text/formatted files - Staff will conduct annual reviews of all text/formatted files (e.g., Microsoft Word documents) and will delete all those they consider unnecessary or outdated. After five years, all text files will be deleted from the network and the staff’s desktop/laptop. Text/formatted files the staff deems vital to the performance of their job should be printed and stored in the staff’s workspace.

3.        Web Page Files: Internet Cookies

·       All workstations: Internet Explorer should be scheduled to delete Internet cookies once per month.


Northwest Foundation does not automatically delete electronic files beyond the dates specified in this Policy. It is the responsibility of all staff to adhere to the guidelines specified in this policy.





Record Type

Retention Period

Legal Memoranda and Opinions (including all subject matter files)

10 years after close of matter

Litigation Files

10 year after expiration of appeals or time for filing appeals

Court Orders


Requests for Departure from Records Retention Plan

10 years





Record Type

Retention Period

Consultant's Reports

2 years

Material of Historical Value (including pictures, publications)


Policy and Procedures Manuals – Original

Current version with revision history

Policy and Procedures Manuals ‑ Copies

Retain current version only

Annual Reports