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ARA-8.14 - Scanning Standards for Bureau Records

Administrative Rules Adopted by City Council (ARC)
Policy number


Administrative Rule Adopted by City Council



The purpose of this policy is to establish minimum quality standards for scanned images of paper documents, when those images constitute official City records. The standards are intended to ensure the ongoing legibility, authenticity and accessibility of the scanned images.


The City of Portland Charter, [Section 2-504(a) 3] charges the City Auditor with responsibility for the “Maintenance of all official records, including records of the various bureaus, records regarding the City Charter and City Code, and all other records regarding City business.”


1. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) will be applied to all scanned text documents.

2. Accessibility features will be applied to all documents to maximize access for individuals with disabilities.

3. All scanned documents with a retention period of longer than 10 years will be made PDF/A compliant – part of ISO 19005-1 and 19005-2 standards for longevity.

4. System calibration and performance

a. The records will be scanned in order to render an exact duplication of the original.

b. The following Original Page Size Specifications will be followed:

i. Pages that are 11" x 17" or smaller will be scanned at their original size, front and back, excluding blank pages.

ii. For pages that are larger than 11"x17" consult Archives/Records Management.

5. The following default image standards will be applied to scanned images:

a. Standard word processing and spreadsheet documents, invoices, PowerPoint presentations etc. (Retention period < 30 years) – 300 dpi

b. Standard word processing and spreadsheet documents, invoices, PowerPoint presentations etc. (Retention period > 30 years) – 400 dpi

c. Photographs – 600 dpi

d. Architectural drawings and maps – 600 dpi


1. Bureaus will ensure that scanner and software settings are set to comply with this policy for any scanned images that constitute official City records.

2. Archives and Records Management will provide information and training to help bureaus meet the conditions established in this policy.


Ordinance No. 182637, passed by City Council April 1, 2009 and effective May 1, 2009.

Administratively renamed ARA-8.14 on December 6, 2022

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