District Council of Yankalilla

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1 District Council of Yankalilla Elected Members Records Management Policy Strategic Reference File Reference Responsibility Revision Number Effective Date Last Revised Date Provide leadership, good governance, and efficient, effective and responsive Council services 18/067/229 Chief Executive Version 1.0 February 2014 February 2015 Minute Book Reference Date: 20/1/15 Page No: 8 Report No: 16.1 Next Review Date February 2017 Relevant Legislation State Records Act 1997 Local Government Act s99(1)(h) Freedom of Information Act 1991 (Commonwealth) Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth)Copyright Act 1968 Development Act and Regulations 1993 Related Policies Privacy Policy Records Management Policy and Procedure Related Procedures Australian Standards AS ISO 15489, Records Management General Disposal Schedule No.20 for Local Government Authorities in South Australia 1 Purpose and scope The State Records Act 1997 ( The Act ) governs the obligations and responsibilities of agencies, including councils, in relation to the management of official records. Under this Act Council has an obligation to maintain official records in good order and condition. Official records are made or received by the Council in the conduct of its business. Because Elected Members act as representatives of the Council, this means that any record created, sent, received, forwarded or transmitted by Elected Members in the performance and discharge of their functions and duties may be classified as official records. This policy specifies how Elected Members will deal with the official records that are received and generated as a consequence of their activities. It must be read in conjunction with Council s Records Management Policy and Procedure, which also applies to Elected Members. Version 1.0 Page 1 of 9

2 Council has certain legal obligations in relation to records management and records are themselves subject to legislation, such as the Freedom of Information Act 1991, Local Government Act 1999 and legal processes such as discovery and subpoenas. The records may also be required by Royal Commissions, the Ombudsman, the Courts, auditors and other people or bodies to whom or which they may be subject. 2 Definitions Council Business may include the provision of services, delivery of programs, development of policies, making of decisions, performance of Council functions and other similar types of transactions. Dispose of to dispose of an official record means to: destroy or abandon the record; carry out an act or process as a result of which it is no longer possible or reasonably practicable to reproduce the whole or a part of the information contained in the record; or transfer or deliver ownership or possession of or sell the record, or purport to do so, but does not include to transfer or deliver the record to the State Records Office or between the Council and another agency. 1 EDRMS - Electronic Document and Records Management System (Synergy) Is a service that enables people to exchange documents or messages in electronic form. It is a system in which people can send and receive messages through their computers. Each person has a designated mailbox that stores messages sent by other users. You may retrieve, read and forward or re-transmit messages from your mailbox. Record A record means: written, graphic or pictorial matter; or a disk, tape, film or other object that contains information or from which information may be reproduced (with or without the aid of another object or device). Official Record A record made or received by the Council in the conduct of its business, but does not include: a record made or received by an agency for delivery or transmission to another person or body (other than an agency) and so delivered or transmitted; or a record made by an agency as a draft only and not for further use or reference; or a record received into or made for the collection of a library, museum or art gallery and not otherwise associated with the business of the agency; or a Commonwealth record as defined by the Archives Act 1983 of the Commonwealth or an Act of the Commonwealth enacted in substitution for that Act; or 1 See definition in section 3(1) of the State Records Act Version 1.0 Page 2 of 9

3 a record that has been transferred to the Commonwealth. 2 3 Policy Statement All records of Council business, created or received, are to be indentified and managed as records of Council. Schedule 1 of this Policy provides guidelines for dealing with specific types of records. All records will be captured into Council s Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS). This policy applies to the records and information created and received by Elected Members. 3.1 Record Keeping Principles Accurately created and maintained records are important and necessary, because they serve as a history of the transactions and business processes of local government. They are a fundamental tool for providing evidence of public sector accountability and responsibility. It is for these reasons that legislation exists to ensure that official records are properly maintained and preserved for future generations. Some documents created or received by an officer or Elected Member of Council are official records and have substantial continuing value to the community of the District of Yankalilla and the wider community of South Australia. Records created or received in the course of Council activities are official records under the Act regardless of where they are created or received (eg home, private office, council office) or the means of transmission (eg fax, , courier, hand deliveries). Subject to the Act, Council is obliged to ensure that the official records in its custody are maintained in good order and condition. 3.2 Obligations of Record Users Records must not be intentionally damaged, altered, disposed of or removed from the Council without authorisation to do so. Records should be handled and managed so as to minimise damage and with a view to prolonging their life span. Records received or created irrespective of format, including electronic documents and electronic messages are to be captured into the Council s EDMS. Records must be readily accessible to meet business and accountability requirements. Electronic records are to be captured and maintained as functioning records by preserving their structure, context and content. In order to maintain their value as evidence, electronic records must not be altered or manipulated for as long as they are retained. Elected Members will only utilise Council systesm for official correspondence created or received in the conduct of their role in Council, i.e personal accounts will not be used. 2 See definition of "official record" in section 3(1) of the State Records Act Version 1.0 Page 3 of 9

4 3.3 Records Security The security of all Council records is crucial, as records provide evidence of business transactions, support decision making and ensure public accountability requirements are met. Records in all formats should be stored to prevent unauthorised access, destruction, alteration or removal. File storage units should be locked overnight wherever possible to prevent unauthorised access. Amongst other risk management considerations this reduces the possibility of damage by water or fire in the event of a disaster. If an Elected Member believes that a record forwarded to the Records Management Officer for incorporation into the record keeping system is of a highly sensitive or confidential nature, he or she should advise the RMO of that view. It will be at the discretion of the RMO as to whether such information will then be treated as confidential and access to those records restricted. 4 Elected Members Procedure Any correspondence received by an Elected Member which relates to administrative or operational matters and requires action by a Council officer is to be forwarded to the Records Management Officer for processing. Electronic correspondence can be forwarded to Council via All such correspondence will be classified and registered into Councils EDRMS, the relevant workflow will be attached and the correspondence forwarded to the appropriate council officer. The Elected Member to whom the correspondence was originally directed will be kept informed of progress and provided with a copy of any written response. 4.1 Destruction of records Official records must only be disposed of in accordance with the General Disposal Schedule No.20 for Local Government Authorities in South Australia. A copy of GDS 20 can be accessed through the State Records website at Transitory or temporary records, or records that are personal or private in nature, may be destroyed in accordance with normal administrative practice. Only records that have been identified as non-official and of no continuing value to the Council can be destroyed by individual Elected Members. These are identified in The Records Management Policy Section Records Capture, and in Schedule 1 below. Elected Members should contact the RMO for assistance with the destruction of such records. Elected Members who do not comply with this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action under the relevant Code of Conduct, and/or subject to criminal or civil proceedings. 5 Further information This policy will be available for inspection at the Council office listed below during ordinary business hours and provided to interested parties as per Council s Fees and Charges Register. Copies are available to be downloaded, free of charge, from Council s internet site: District Council of Yankalilla Version 1.0 Page 4 of 9

5 1 Charles Street Yankalilla 5203 Phone: (08) Fax: (08) Grievances Any grievances in relation to this policy or its application should be forwarded in writing addressed to the Chief Executive of Council. Version 1.0 Page 5 of 9

6 Schedule 1 Elected Members for Official Records How to Deal with Specific Kinds of Records The following descriptions and actions relate to some common records which elected members may generate or deal with and will assist them in assessing whether correspondence (including s) and other documents constitute official records under the State Records Act Diaries/Appointment Books/Calendars (including electronic diaries) Diaries, appointment books and calendars are generally used to record appointments. They may also be used to record messages and notes, some of which may only be an aide memoire of a routine nature, and some of which may be of significance to the conduct of local government business. GDS20 specifically requires Mayors and CEO diaries to be retained permanently. The Mayor s diaries, appointment books and calendars have continuing value and are to be forwarded ton Council for incorporation into Council s Records management system at the end of the calendar year to which they pertain. 2 Drafts and Working Papers A draft record is the preliminary form of any writing in electronic or paper formats. Draft records include outlines of addresses, speeches, reports, correspondence, file notes, preparatory notes, calculations and earlier versions of the draft. Drafts may or may not be circulated to other elected members or Council staff for comment or revision. Working papers are documents, background notes and reference materials that are used to prepare or complete other documents. Drafts of addresses, speeches, reports, correspondence, file notes that are not circulated to other elected members or staff. Drafts circulated to other elected members, where only editorial or typographical changes have occurred ; and Working papers that do not relate to significant decisions or actions, or contain significant information, and where the final document has been forwarded for capture into the local government s record keeping system have NO continuing value and may be destroyed when reference to them ceases. However Drafts which document significant decisions, reasons and actions or contain significant information that is not contained int the final form of the records for example - Drafts which contain significant or substantial changes or annotations (other than editorial changes); Version 1.0 Page 6 of 9

7 - Drafts relating to the formulation of legislation, legislative proposals and amendments; - Drafts relating to the formulation of policy and procedures, where the draft provides evidence of the processes involved or contains significantly more information than the final version; or - Drafts of legal documents (contracts, tenders etc) and Working papers which document significant decisions, reasons and actions, or contain significant information (even if that information is not contained in the final form of the document) have continuing value are to be forwarded to Council for incorporation into Councils Records management system. 3 Duplicates Duplicates are exact reproductions or copies of records Duplicates or records issued to an elected member by Council for information or reference purposes only, eg Council and Committee meeting agendas, copies of Acts and Regulations; and Duplicates of internal or external publications issued or received for information or reference purposes (eg annual reports, brochures, trade journals, price lists) have NO continuing value and may be destroyed when reference to them ceases. However Duplications or records received by an elected member and sourced by outside Council that are relevant to furthering the business activities of Council have continuing value and are to be forwarded to council for incorporation into Councils Records management system. 4 Messages Messages may be sent or received via a range of methods, such as telephone and voice mail, , post it or sticky notes, faxes, pieces of paper, transmission reports. Messages may be sent or received on a variety of matters. Some message will have continuing value, if they are considered significant to the conduct of council business. Others, such as those very routine in nature will only have temporary value. Routine or simple administrative instructions, such as edit corrections, distribution lists for informational purposes, file creation requests and social invitations and messages; Original messages that have been transferred or transcribed into appropriate formats for incorporation into Councils record keeping systems and Messages that do not relate to the business functions of Council have NO continuing value and may be destroyed when reference to them ceases. Version 1.0 Page 7 of 9

8 However Messages which contain information relating to the business function of Council such as directives, proposals, recommendations, definitions or interpretations from an elected member to another party or vice versa and Messages that are part of an actual business transaction itself, or have policy/procedure implications or are otherwise identified as being significant to the conduct of Councils business have continuing value and are to be forwarded to Council for incorporation into councils Records management system. 5 Photos and Other Digital Images Photographs may have been taken to record significant events or activities or to provide evidence in support of certain claims or actions. Photos and other digital images which record significant Council events or activities or provide evidence in support of an action or claim have continuing value and are to be forwarded to Council for incorporation into Councils Records management system. Note: It is only necessary to retain those photos etc which show the best example of each event or activity. Duplicate copies of those showing similar views are not required. 6 Telephone and Other Verbal Conversations Elected members may have telephone or other face to face conversations at any time on a variety of matters. Some conversations may involve the relay of information, or involve matters of significance to the conduct of local government business. These conversations should be documented in an appropriate format (eg file note). Other conversation may only be very basic or routine in nature, such as the issuing or receiving of basic instructions or information, and need not be documented. Documentation of conversations involving the exchange of routine or simple administrative instructions or information. Original notes of significant conversations that have already been transferred or transcribed into appropriate formats for incorporation into Councils record keeping system and Documentation of conversations that do not relate to the business functions of Council have NO Continuing value and may be destroyed when reference to them ceases. However Version 1.0 Page 8 of 9

9 Conversations which relate to the business functions of Council involving the issuing of directives, proposals, recommendations, definitions or interpretations from the elected member to another party or vice versa; and Conversations that are part of an actual business transaction itself, or have policy/procedure implications, or otherwise identified as being significant to the conduct of Council s business have continuing value, should be documented in an appropriate format, and forwarded to Council for incorporation into Council s Records management system. 7 Electioneering Material Electioneering materials or records created or received by an elected member in regard to electioneering are private records of the elected member, and do not need to e forwarded to Council. 8 Confidential Documents/Records If an elected member believes that some of the documentation forwarded to Council for incorporation into the record keeping system is of a highly sensitive or confidential nature, the elected member should advise the Records Administration officer (via Such information will be treated as confidential and access to those records restricted. 9. Records Capture Electronic records, such as s should be copied or forwarded upon creation or receipt to These records will then be captured into the corporate Electronic Document Records Management System (EDRMS) Synergy. (2) Elected Members should not be retaining hard copy original documentation. All original hard copy documentation including records handed to elected members must be forwarded to the Governance Officer at Council Meetings or Workshops as soon as practicable. These records will then be captured into the corporate Electronic Document Records Management System (EDRMS) Synergy Version 1.0 Page 9 of 9

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