Records Management Policy and Strategy

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Apr 29, 2019

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Records Management Policy and Strategy

Foundation Year Network

Policy

The Network’s Records Management Policy is:

  • To establish across the Network effective, efficient and economic records management practice for paper and electronic records and, where practicable, to standardise this across the Network to maximise the capabilities and efficiency of the information resource of the Network.
  • To manage records in accordance with current information access legislation (Data Protection and Freedom of Information).
  • To afford records storage conditions and protective measures appropriate to their significance (both long and short term), their allocated retention periods and legislative requirements.

The Policy forms an important component of a planned Network-wide information management framework for the Network which will bring together document management, records management, content management, knowledge management, information management and data management.

Strategy

We will fulfil the Policy through implementation of a Strategy which has the following objectives:

  • To develop and deliver Members training on records management.
  • To develop and disseminate policy and guidance for the development of effective, efficient and economic records management systems.
  • To co-ordinate and support the records management activities
  • To implement a formal project
    • Identifying and sorting existing records and information.
    • Identifying how long to keep records and then what to do with them.
    • Identifying and preparing records for permanent preservation in the Network Archives.
    • Destroying records (where appropriate).
    • Managing current paper and electronic records.
    • Information security.
    • Managing vital records.
    • Preparing closed records for storage.
    • Complying with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Challenges

To achieve effective records management it is essential that key underlying systems and protocols for paper and electronic records are embedded. We need to begin with the basics, such as:

  • Clearing out time-expired records.
  • Organising current business records so that they are clearly identified and are held in well-structured folders (paper and electronic).
  • Training Members in good records management practice.

Legislative Drivers

The Lord Chancellor’s Code of Practice on the Management of records under Section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 sets the framework of records management expectations on a public body if it is to meet its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act. Good records management is also fundamental to helping an institution to meet its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Key Risks

The key risks faced by the Network in relation to records management are as follows:

  • Failure to create appropriate records or to be able to retrieve records as needed.
  • Failure to manage electronic records.
  • Failure to effectively manage requests for information from the public under Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation.
  • Failure to dispose of records securely and in a timely manner in line with a retention schedule based upon legal and business requirements.

The realisation of these risks could lead to:

  • Business disruption or inefficiency, including ineffective use of Members time.
  • Action against the Network for failure to meet audit, regulatory, statutory or legislative requirements.
  • Reputational damage.
  • Unnecessary records storage and retrieval costs.
  • Security breaches.
  • Incomplete Network Archives.

These risks are being mitigated by the roll-out of effective, efficient and economic records management policy and practice across the Network in tandem with Data Protection and Freedom of Information policies and procedures.

Responsibilities

The Network has a corporate responsibility to maintain its records and recordkeeping systems in accordance with the regulatory environment. The Executive Committee Member with overall responsibility is the Secretary.

The Network’s Information Governance Manager is responsible for developing policy and guidance and promoting compliance with it.

All members are responsible for ensuring that Network records they create or receive are managed in line with Network policy and guidance. Members must involve the Network’s Information Governance Manager prior to the development of any new systems impacting upon the management of records in the Network.

Monitoring and Review of Strategy

Records management policy and procedure will be brought to Network Executive Committee for approval, as appropriate.


[1] ISO 15489:2001 defines records management as the “field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records”.


[1] The International Standard on records management (ISO 15489:2001) defines records as information “created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business”. This applies to all formats and media, both paper and electronic.

Document Version: 1.0

Date Adopted:

Chair’s Signature:

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