Records Management. 1. Introduction. 2. Strategic Plan Desired Outcomes

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1 Records Management Classification: Policy Name: First Issued / Approved: Last Reviewed: Council Policy Records Management 13/9/2011, CCS August 2014, Cl February 2015, C10054 Next Review: February 2017 ECM tracking number: Responsible Officer: Relevant Legislation: Related Policies: 1. Introduction General Manager Corporate Services State Records Act 1997 Freedom of Information Act 1991 Local Government Act 1999 Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 n/a 1.1 The State Records Act 1997 governs the obligations and responsibilities of Councils in relation to the management of official records. Under this Act, the City of Burnside has an obligation to maintain official records in its custody in good order and condition. Not only does this include obligations in relation to the capture, storage, maintenance and disposal of hardcopy records but also records in electronic format. 1.2 Effective records management is of key importance to effective governance. Records are fundamental in the support of the Council s ongoing business activities. Council is committed to managing its records of continuing value and their timely transfer to the State Records Office. 1.3 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, 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. Strategic Plan Desired Outcomes 2.1. Delivery of good governance in Council business Cost-effective, leading edge technologies that deliver efficient council services to benefit the community. Page 1 of 12

2 3. Our Approach 3.1. Regularly review, update and adopt leading governance, risk management and administrative practices Utilisation of technology to deliver timely and cost-effective services. 4. Legislative Requirements and Corporate Policy Context 4.1. State Records Act 1997 Records created or received in the course of Council activities are official records under this Act regardless of where they are created or received (e.g. home, private office, Council office) or the means of transmission (e.g. fax, , courier, hand deliveries). This includes all records created or received by an Elected Member during their term of office that relate to their work as an Elected Member Freedom of Information Act 1991 The Freedom of Information Act 1991 gives a legally enforceable right of access by members of the public (subject to certain restrictions) to corporate records held by government agencies and councils. Official records of Council may be accessible to an applicant under this Act Local Government Act 1999 Under section 99 of the Local Government Act, 1999, the CEO must ensure that records required under any legislation are properly kept and maintained Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 established the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Office for Public Integrity (OPI). The primary objectives of these bodies are to identify, investigate and or refer cases of corruption, misconduct and maladministration in public administration. Confidentiality of information in connection with a matter that forms or is the subject of a complaint, report, assessment, investigation, referral or evaluation under this Act must be maintained in accordance with this Act Whistleblowers Protection Act Interpretation Under Part 7 of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993, the identity of an informant will be maintained permanently as confidential despite any other statutory provision, or common law rule, to the contrary. Confidentiality will remain in all circumstances, unless the Whistleblower consents to his/her identity being disclosed, or disclosure is otherwise required so that the matter may be properly investigated. Page 2 of 12

3 For the purpose of this Policy: 5.1. CEO Chief Executive Officer 5.2. Continuing Value records of continuing value are those that contain information that is of administrative, legal, fiscal, evidential or historical value to the Council 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 Council Staff includes persons employed by the Council, volunteers, trainees, work experience placements, independent consultants and contractors and other authorised personnel offered access to the Council Administration s systems or processes Disposal Schedule a systematic listing of records created by an organisation or agency. General disposal schedules cover functions common to a number of agencies, such as Local Government. General disposal schedules include retention periods that are to be applied to records 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. It does not include transferring or delivering the record to the State Records Office or between the Council and another agency Normal Administrative Practice (NAP) NAP provides for the normal routine destruction of drafts, duplicates and publications, with the test that it is obvious that no information of more than transitory or temporary value to the Council will be destroyed. Material that can be disposed of under NAP comprises items of a temporary or transitory nature created, acquired or collected by Council staff or Elected Members in the course of their official duties. Such material has no ongoing value and is not usually incorporated into the Council s records management system Official Record a record made or received by the Council in the conduct of its business Record a record means: Written, graphic or pictorial matter 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) Page 3 of 12

4 5.10. Sentence the act of applying relevant disposal schedules to records Temporary / Transitory Record A record is transitory or temporary in nature if it is of little or no continuing value to the Council and only needs to be kept for a limited or short period of time, such as a few hours or a few days Vital Record - those records that are essential for the ongoing business of an agency, and without which the agency could not continue to function effectively. The identification and protection of such records is a primary object of records management and disaster planning. 6. Policy 6.1. This Policy relates to official records of the City of Burnside Further to clauses 5.7 and 5.8, an official record may be in the form of but not limited to: Disks and tapes Voice messages Photographs and films Closed-circuit television (CCTV) Faxes, letters, reports, memos, notes s Webpages Social media posts Maps 6.2. The following are not official records: Unofficial drafts, rough notes and calculations not intended for further use Unsolicited promotional material from external source (eg. catalogues, price lists) System printouts or photocopies of records used for personal reference purposes only Unimportant phone messages / notes / with compliments slips which only hold short term value (hours or days) Electioneering material. Page 4 of 12

5 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 (for example, a simple delivery docket or transmission slip) 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 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 A record that has been transferred to the Commonwealth. 7. Records Management System 7.1. The Records Management System aims to ensure that the management of the Council s information resources and records management system provide timely and comprehensive information to meet operational business needs, accountability requirements and community expectations It ensures the preservation of the Council s corporate memory through sound record keeping practices and the accurate capture of information to meet legal, evidential and accountability requirements. 8. Legal obligations on Individuals 8.1. Council staff and Elected Members must not intentionally damage, alter, dispose of or remove official records of the Council without authorisation to do so under the State Records Act Council staff and Elected Members are required to handle official records with care and respect in a sensible manner to avoid damaging records and with a view to prolonging their life span. Council Staff and Elected Members must ensure that official records in any format including electronic document and electronic messages, which they personally create, send or receive are captured into Council s electronic document records management system in the format that they were created or received. Personal record keeping systems for the capturing of official records are prohibited. Records must be readily accessible to meet business and accountability requirements Staff members of the Records Team are required to follow authorised procedures in carrying out records management functions 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 be inviolate. That is, they cannot be altered or manipulated for as long as they are retained Council Staff or 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. Elected Members and staff should report breaches of this Policy to the CEO. 9. Responsibilities and Accountabilities Page 5 of 12

6 9.1. All Council Staff and Elected Members need to be aware of record keeping requirements that affect the performance and exercise of their duties and functions. The record keeping obligations of Council Staff and Elected Members include the following: CEO The role of the CEO of the Council, as prescribed by section 99 of the Local Government Act 1999, includes ensuring that records required under any legislation are properly kept and maintained Manager, Information Systems is responsible for: overseeing the work of the Team Leader Records; working with Managers and Executive Management Staff to ensure record keeping systems support organisational and public accountability; overseeing the management of official records in accordance with the State Records Act 1997; and ensuring that records management policies, procedures, standards and training programs are implemented Records Team, led by the team leader: is operationally responsible for the efficient management of Council s official records (physical and electronic), incorporating sound record keeping principles and records management best practice guidelines; is responsible for the effective management and system administration of the Council s electronic document records management system; and assists Council staff and Elected Members in fulfilling their record keeping responsibilities and provides advice and training throughout the implementation of this policy, procedures and strategies Managers and Supervisors are: responsible for supporting and monitoring staff record keeping practices, as set out in this Policy; and responsible for creating and capturing, and supporting the creation and capture of, records by their staff as part of functional business processes Council Staff are required to: Page 6 of 12

7 make records to support the conduct of their business activities and create records that would not otherwise be created; capture internal, incoming and outgoing official records into Council s electronic document records management system as soon as practicable; learn how and where records are kept within Council; ensure that Council records are not destroyed without authority from the Records Team; ensure that records are not lost; and be aware of records management policies, standards and procedures Elected Members must: make records to support the conduct of their Council activities and create records that would not otherwise be created; forward official records to the Records Team for capture into Council s electronic document records management system; not lose records; and be aware of records management policies, standards and procedures Elected Members should: 10. Confidentiality not use personal addresses to send/receive s in the conduct of Council business while acting in their capacity as an Elected Member Sensitive Information Employees have different levels of access to sensitive information that is the property of Council Responsibility is assigned to individual staff members to ensure information of sensitive nature is preserved in confidence A confidentiality clause must be included in all staff contracts of employment Confidentiality agreements must be signed by Information Systems staff. Page 7 of 12

8 10.2. Private and Confidential Addressed Mail Subject to clauses and , the Records Team will open and process all Private and Confidential addressed mail. Council mail stamped as Private and Confidential may still be a corporate record and remains the property of Council. If deemed a corporate record, it will be scanned and registered by Records staff and assigned the appropriate level of security in Council s electronic records management system If mail is received and opened in readiness for processing and it then becomes evident that it is from the Ombudsman or ICAC/OPI and addressed to an Elected Member: Records staff must: not look at any of the material; not process the item (other than recording its receipt in general terms); and place it within another envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL: CEO office only and ensure its safe delivery to the CEO The CEO or their assistant must contact the Elected Member, inform them of the mail and make arrangements for the Elected Member to attend at Council offices to collect same On attending in response to , the Elected Member will be taken to the Records staff who will facilitate the processing of the mail into the records system by the Elected Member without the staff reading the contents The Elected Member may then remove the mail to deal with it themselves, but must return the original item to the Records staff in due course If mail is received and opened in readiness for processing and it then becomes evident that it is from the Ombudsman or ICAC/OPI and addressed to a Council staff member, concerning an Elected Member: Records staff must: not look at the material beyond the point at which the elected member is identified; not process the item (other than recording its receipt in general terms) and creating a confidential case in the records management system which enables the matters at to be attended to; and Page 8 of 12

9 forthwith contact the addressee and arrange for their prompt processing of the mail into the confidential case in the electronic records system by the addressee without Records staff reading the contents The addressee may then remove the mail to deal with it themselves, but must return the original item to the Records staff in due course The CEO must ensure that written procedures and contractual arrangements with staff are in place to ensure that confidentiality in relation to Ombudsman and ICAC/OPI matters is rigorously maintained Mail regarding personal affairs should be sent to a personal address Exceptional Circumstances For Dealings with Council Documents Outside of Usual Record Keeping Practices Notwithstanding the above, the Council recognises that there may be rare and exceptional circumstances where, having regard to the sensitive and confidential nature of a Council document that whilst it is necessary to store the document, it is not appropriate for it to be stored in accordance with the Council's usual record keeping practices. This may be particularly relevant for official records relating to a staff recruitment process or an investigation pursued under the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012; the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 or the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 and particularly where the matter may contain information relating to the personal affairs of an individual In any event, the Council must and will ensure that the documents are retained in accordance with its statutory obligations under the State Records Act 1997 Council will therefore retain legal possession of the documents and they will be maintained in good order and condition, and will only be disposed of in accordance with General Disposal Schedule Where exceptional circumstances arise, the staff member (or Elected Member as the case may be) who is responsible for the relevant document(s), may obtain consent from the CEO to lawfully deal with the documents outside of the usual record keeping practices identified in this Policy. In giving consent, the CEO must have regard to the general nature of the document(s) and the manner in which it is/or they are proposed to be retained, and further, must be satisfied that there is good reason as to why the document(s) should not be captured within the Council's official record keeping system. The CEO is not necessarily required to review the document for this purpose It may be appropriate for certain documents to be stored outside of the Council's offices at external premises including those of a consultant who has assisted the Council with the matters to which the document(s) relate. The storage of documents outside of the Council's offices (in Page 9 of 12

10 circumstances where the Council maintains lawful possession of them as the relevant owner of the documents) does not contravene the Council's obligations under the State Records Act Accordingly, this practice may be permitted by the CEO under this Policy provided that the CEO is satisfied that the documents: Will be maintained in good condition in a safe and secure manner; Will not be disposed of; and Will be produced to the Council upon request Where a consultant is engaged by the Council to undertake core functions of the Council on its behalf, it is recognised that the Council's record management obligations extend to records generated by the consultant. In these circumstances, legal possession (and therefore ownership) of the records remains with the Council regardless of where the records are kept. Where appropriate, the Council will ensure that its consultant agreements make appropriate provision for such record management practices The Council will maintain a Register of all documents that are not stored in accordance with its usual record keeping practices. The Register will contain the following detail: 11. Records Security A general description of the document; The staff member (or Elected Member) responsible for the document; The manner in which the document has been stored; Council's disposal obligations with respect to the document; and The date on which the CEO's consent was obtained under clause above The security of all Council records is crucial, as records provide evidence of business transactions, support management decisions and ensure public accountability requirements are met. Records in all formats should be stored securely to prevent unauthorised access, destruction, alteration or removal Council Staff and Elected Members are responsible for the safe custody of all files and documents that are allocated to them. Sensitive or confidential information should be placed in a secure storage area when not in use. When the action has been completed the file/documents should be returned to the Records Team for storage. Page 10 of 12

11 11.3. 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 Council records are not to be stored at home or left in cars unattended as they could be lost or damaged or stolen Vital records should be stored in protective or fire resistant conditions with suitable access conditions Confidential records must be stored in locked storage cabinets which are accessible only by authorised persons. 12. Retention General Disposal Schedule All official records received or created by Council will have General Disposal Schedule 20 applied to them and be retained for the required period Official records are to be sentenced at the point of receipt or creation, or as soon as practical General Disposal Schedule General Disposal Schedule 21 provides authority for Council to dispose of temporary source (paper) official records once they have been rendered into digital format by the process of scanning and capturing into Council s electronic document records management system General Disposal Schedule 21 complements General Disposal Schedule 20 and any specific operational records disposal schedules. It is only to be used in conjunction with other current, approved and implemented disposal schedules issued by State Records Where General Disposal Schedule 21 is applied to Council records, source records will be retained for a period of at least 12 months Operational Records Disposal schedules Operational Records Disposal Schedules will be developed, approved and applied should circumstances arise where records are not able to be sentenced under the General Disposal schedules. 13. Destruction Methods Official records must only be disposed of in accordance with authorised disposal schedules for Local Government Authorities in South Australia Transitory records, or records that are personal in nature, may be destroyed in accordance with NAP. Page 11 of 12

12 13.3. The Records Team is responsible for coordinating the destruction of Council s official records in accordance with the State Records Act 1997 and relevant disposal schedules. The only records that may be destroyed by individual Council staff or Elected Members are those which are identified as non-official records in accordance with this Policy The destruction of records must be complete destruction so that no information is retrievable. Records in physical format should be destroyed by shredding or pulping. Records in electronic format should be destroyed by reformatting, rewriting or degaussing. The use of the delete function in software packages is not sufficient to destroy electronic records, as deleted data is still able to be recovered. 14. Records Retrievals 14.1 In accordance with the records retrieval procedure, retrieval of records from offsite storage, including State Records, must only be carried out by the Records Management Team. 15. Availability 15.1 This Policy is available to be downloaded free of charge, from Council s website and/or may be inspected without charge at the Civic Centre during ordinary business hours. A copy may be purchased for a fee in accordance with Council s Fees and Charges Schedule. City of Burnside Civic Centre 401 Greenhill Road, Tusmore SA 5065 Telephone Fax Office hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm (except public holidays). 16. Further information 16.1 For further information about this policy please contact: Manager Information Systems City of Burnside 401 Greenhill Road Tusmore SA 5065 T Page 12 of 12

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