Records and Information Management. General Manager Corporate Services

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1 Title: Records and Information Management Policy No: 057 Adopted By: Chief Officers Group Next Review Date: 08/06/2014 Responsibility: General Manager Corporate Services Document Number: Version Decision Number Decision Date History 1 08/06/2010 Adopted by COG Policy Summary To provide a framework for the creation and management of complete and accurate records of the business of City of Darwin ( the Council ). 2 Policy Objectives The objective of this policy is to outline responsibilities and obligations for all staff in respect of records of the Council under the Information Act, Local Government Act 2008, Local Government (Administration) Regulations and the Records Management Standards for Public Sector Organisations in the Northern Territory. 3 Background City of Darwin is committed to good governance and the achievement of local government aims as required by the Local Government Act The Council affirms that the promotion and practice of good recordkeeping is a key focus for meeting these outcomes. The Council is required by the Information Act to ensure that complete and accurate records of the business of the Council are created and managed for as long as required to support business, accountability and legislative requirements until their disposal in accordance with an authorised retention and disposal schedule. 1

2 These records provide evidence of the Council s functions and activities and form part of the public record. Through its commitment to effective recordkeeping policy, the Council acknowledges its recordkeeping responsibilities and accountability to government, clients, the local community and the public generally. This policy applies to all staff of the Council and to records of all business activities performed by or on behalf of the Council regardless of the media in which they are created or captured. All practices, systems and procedures pertaining to recordkeeping are to be consistent with this policy. 4 Policy Statement Approved Recordkeeping System The Council will maintain an Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) for the management of its records in all media (excluding records held in core business information systems). The key processes managed by this system will include: The capture and storage of authentic, reliable and useable records; Security and access to such records; and The disposal of records in accordance with the Council s authorised retention and disposal schedule. 5 Legislation, Terminology And References The Council s Evolving Darwin: Strategic Directions Towards 2020 and Beyond places a strong emphasis on demonstrating effective, open and responsible governance. Adopted strategies for effective governance include: Minimise exposure of the Council through effective risk management practices, and Develop contemporary management policies. Legislation and Standards The Council is required to comply with the recordkeeping requirements contained within the following legislation and standards: Information Act in particular Part 9, Records and archives management Local Government Act 2008 Local Government (Administration) Regulations in particular Part 5, Records All relevant legislation under which the Council has responsibilities Records Management Standards for Public Sector Organisations in the Northern Territory 2

3 Enforcement Offences under the Local Government Act 2008 and the Information Act include: Providing unauthorised access to the Council s records Destroying, damaging, concealing or removing records Mishandling, transferring control of, or altering records Providing false or misleading statements or false or misleading material Concealing or disposing of records to prevent access or correction Disclosing confidential information and improper use of confidential information Penalties under the Local Government Act 2008 and the Information Act range from 50 penalty units to 400 penalty units. Terminology Record Recorded information in any form (including data in a computer system) that is required to be kept by a public sector organisation as evidence of the activities or operations of the organisation, and includes part of a record and a copy of a record. Authentic An authentic record is one that is proven to be what it purports to be i.e. proven creation, receipt, transmission, use, and disposition and proven that there has been no unauthorised additions, deletions, alterations, use or concealment. Migration Strategy A strategy to move records from one system to another, or the process of changing records from one medium to another or from one format to another whilst maintaining the records authenticity, integrity, reliability and useability. Primary Records - The primary records as described under Part 5, Section 10(1) of the Local Government (Administration Regulations) are; minutes of meetings of the Council, Council Committees and Local Boards; minutes of meetings of electors; the register of interests of members of Council, Local Boards and Council Committees; Council's By-laws; Council's code of conduct; Council's annual budget and amendments to the budget; Council's annual financial statements; Council's annual reports; registers kept under Part 5 of the Local Government (Administration Regulations) Act; and 3

4 any other documents necessary for an understanding of the council's policies and operations. Registers The following registers under Part 5, Section 11 of the Local Government (Administration Regulations) are primary records of Council and must be kept by computer. a register containing copies of all documents executed under Council s common seal a register of correspondence addressed to, or sent by, the Council, and a register of the results of all elections and polls Reliable A reliable record is one whose contents can be trusted as a full and accurate representation of the transactions, activities or facts to which they attest and can be depended upon in the course of subsequent transactions. Secondary Records - Secondary records as described under Part 5, Section 10(2) of the Local Government (Administration Regulations) consist of documents other than primary documents generated or received in the course of Council's operations. Useable A useable record is one that can be identified, located, retrieved, presented and interpreted. The record should be capable of subsequent presentation and the contextual linkages should carry sufficient information to understand the business activities and transactions that created it. Other Documents / Publications Consulted Australian Standard AS ISO 15489:2002 Records management Archives New Zealand. (Revised June 2006). Continuum: Create & Maintain: A Guide to Developing a Recordkeeping Policy. Retrieved April 12, 2009, from Northern Territory Government, Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport (2008): Draft Records and Information Management Policy 6 Implementation and Delegation (Responsibilities) The Corporate Information Manager is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the EDRMS in all offices of the Council with technical support from the IT Section. User guidelines and business rules for the system are accessible on the intranet and through the Records and Information Management section. The Corporate Information Manager works with the managers responsible for core business systems to make sure that records are captured and maintained as 4

5 required in these systems. The Council s retention and disposal schedule includes records within core business systems. Recordkeeping Principles The Council requires that: All staff must create and maintain complete records of all business activity (these include the categories of primary and secondary records including registers of records as required by the Local Government (Administration) Regulations). Records must be captured into the EDRMS according to data entry standards and business rules. These guides are issued separately. Staff must not keep records of Council in separate, individual filing systems or on a hard drive or other storage device. All records must be classified in accordance with Council s business classification scheme. Staff must protect records by applying appropriate levels of security and access. Physical files must be kept in the designated areas unless required for specific purposes. The location of physical files must be kept up to date at all times within the recordkeeping system. No staff member can dispose of Council records unless authorised to do so. A retention and disposal schedule is developed and routinely assessed and applied. Vital records are identified and particular attention paid to their protection. A migration strategy is instituted for records of ongoing value to ensure they continue to be accessible over time. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for: Ensuring compliance with legislative requirements for recordkeeping; Ensuring that this Policy is communicated and implemented at all levels in the organisation; and Assigning responsibilities for recordkeeping. The Corporate Information Manager is responsible for: Ensuring that recordkeeping guidelines and procedures support the aims of this policy; Ensuring that recordkeeping policies, systems and procedures are communicated throughout the organisation; Ensuring that staff are sufficiently trained and supported in appropriate use of the recordkeeping system; Monitoring and auditing compliance; Ensuring that no illegal records disposal takes place; Regularly reviewing this policy; 5

6 Regularly reviewing procedures to ensure that they are relevant, useful and meet the Council s needs; and Ensuring that standard records management responsibilities are included within individual employees job descriptions. Each Manager is responsible for: Supporting the application of recordkeeping policies, systems and procedures throughout their departments and sections; Ensuring that appropriate staff are designated to assist with the implementation of recordkeeping procedures; Ensuring that staff are supported in relevant training and development; Ensuring that all new staff receive records management induction; Ensuring that no illegal records disposal takes place; Ensuring that standard records management responsibilities are maintained within individual employees job descriptions; and Ensuring that the recordkeeping practices in their department or section can stand up to external scrutiny. All staff are responsible for: Complying with this Policy and associated guidelines and procedures Creating full and accurate records of the activities, transactions and decisions carried out during the course of daily business activity; Ensuring that such records are maintained by being captured into the EDRMS and by handling records with care and respect so as not to damage them or compromise their integrity; Preventing unauthorised access to, or removal of records; and Ensuring there is no unauthorised destruction of records. 7 Evaluation and Review This policy will be implemented by the Records and Information Management section and reviewed every 4 years. Adherence to the policy will be measured through regular compliance checks and the effectiveness of the policy will be measured through consultation with middle managers and high end users of the EDRMS. 6

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