What Is an Administrative Record?

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  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2019
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An administrative record is any kind of document related to the ways in which an organization is managed or run. Professionals keep administrative records so that they might have a history of operations, meetings, clients, and finances. In some cases, an administrative record might be required for legal purposes. These documents often are stored electronically. When official administrative records are required, however, professionals might print documents on paper that is watermarked or sealed to show that they are authorized records.

A business manager might use an administrative record to make financial decisions. For example, if he or she is planning how much to budget for a particular project, he or she might access records to learn how much was spent in the past. Financial administrative records also can be used in auditing processes that are performed internally for financial planning purposes or externally by regulatory agencies.

It is also common for an administrative record to be kept for the purpose of facilities management. In scenarios when a manager must oversee facilities to ensure that they are compliant with safety and health regulations, records can be helpful for proving that he or she took the necessary precautions. If an accident occurs at a facility, a manager can produce necessary administrative records to show that he or she is not responsible for any damages or instances of bodily harm.


An administrative record can be incredibly important when it comes to following a contract. If an individual is accused of behaving in a way that is contrary to the terms of a contract, legal action could ensue. In this case, administrative records can be used to prove an individual's innocence or guilt.

Administrative records are often used in cases when a business or agency is accused of operating in a way that is detrimental to environmental or public health or safety. In these cases, a judge might require that an organization submits its administrative record. A record, in this scenario, might be a paper trail that helps legal officials to understand steps an organization took. Judges can use these documents to determine if an organization was behaving maliciously or capriciously.

An administrative record can be kept by any professional in an organization who has access to information regarding managerial decisions. In some cases, managers and executives might hire assistants who keep records of meetings and actions performed. Work that is digitally tracked, such as financial transactions and data entry, also can be used in an administrative record.


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