RECORDS MANAGEMENT POLICY

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1 RECORDS MANAGEMENT POLICY Draft Final R Version: 1 Identifier: CCS Policy Section: Records Management Date Adopted: 17 July 2015 Review Date: July 2018 Author: Jenny Kennedy Review Officer: Deputy Chief Executive Officer

2 <Name of Policy 2 CONTENTS Version #: 00/00/2009

3 POLICY INTENT The purpose of this policy is to ensure the integrity and completeness of all information being managed by Tablelands Regional Council (the Council). SCOPE This policy applies to all staff who are responsible for dealing with public records. All such staff have a personal legal obligation under the Public Records Act 2002 (Qld) for the proper management of Council's public records. Individual responsibilities include, but are not limited to: Being aware of corporate information systems; Attending appropriate training courses provided; Ensuring that all documents created by the individual are registered; Asking for assistance when needed, either training or system related problems; Complying with all protocols for managing corporate information. BACKGROUND/SUPPORTING INFORMATION Section 7 of the Public Records Act 2002 states that: A public authority must a) make and keep full and accurate records of its activities and b) have regard to any relevant policy, standards and guidelines made by the archivist about the making and keeping of public records. All public authorities create records from their work processes, and keep them as evidence of these processes: as information about the business that supports management, analysis & future planning as audit trails for accounting and evidentiary purposes for use in disputes, litigation and legal protection to enable the public authority to meet its regulatory obligations AUTHORISATION This Policy is issued under the authority of the Executive Leadership Team. Version 1: 17/07/2015 3

4 POLICY STATEMENT The purpose of this policy is to establish a framework for the creation and management of records within Tablelands Regional Council. Council is committed to establishing and maintaining recordkeeping practices that meet its business needs, accountability requirements and stakeholder expectations. Council's records are its corporate memory, and as such are a vital asset for its ongoing operations, providing valuable evidence of business activities and transactions. Records management is therefore regarded as a core component of Council's functions. Council is committed to implementing best recordkeeping practices and systems to ensure the creation, maintenance, protection, identification and retrieval of accurate and reliable records. All practices concerning recordkeeping within Council are to be in accordance with this policy which provides the overarching framework for any other corporate recordkeeping policies, practices or procedures and Council's Records Management Program. RECORDS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM This is an identifiable organisational program directed towards achieving relevant corporate objectives. These objectives are that: Council maintains records to support its ongoing business activity and customer services, meeting accountability requirements and community expectations records are managed as efficiently and effectively as possible records are stored and able to be retrieved and used to in a way which meets Council's needs Council complies with all external requirements concerning its records and records management practices including legal obligations pursuant to the State Records Act, the Local Government Act and other relevant legislation. RESPONSIBILITIES Manager Knowledge and Systems Organisational Services In accordance with the Public Records Act 2002, the Manager Knowledge and Systems (by approved delegation from Chief Executive Officer) has a duty to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Public Records Act 2002 and associated regulations. Senior Officer Records Management Formal responsibility for the records management program has been assigned to the Senior Records Officer and this person will perform the role of the corporate records manager, which is to: prepare for the approval of the General Manager, records management policies for both physical and electronic records for the organisation as a whole prepare for the approval of the General Manager, corporate standards for recordkeeping and records management monitor performance of records users within all Groups against established standards provide advice on all records management issues to all Groups work with other accountability stakeholders, including auditors, RTI officers and executive management, to ensure that recordkeeping systems support organisational and public accountability Version 1: 17/07/2015 4

5 ensure that those functions referred to in Section 5 which are performed by the Records Section are undertaken efficiently and effectively. Records Officer Records Management To Records Officer has responsibility to: ensure the consistent and timely management of Councils records. This covers the entire life cycle, from record creation, editing, retrieval and when appropriate, destruction. assist in the system maintenance of councils records management system. assist in the capture, maintenance and retrieval of information for internal and external customers, in accordance with legislative requirements. assist in the development and maintenance of procedures and polices with regard to the capture, maintenance and retrieval of information for all of Council's Record Management System including ECM. maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the records management system. adhere to 'Best Practice' archiving systems. provide ad hoc support and training of staff in the use of the records management system and other related products. Coordinator Information and Business Integration The Coordinator Information and Business Integration has responsibility for ensuring: the integrity of corporate electronic recordkeeping systems and the integrity and authenticity of information contained within them the corporate record keeping policies and practices are integrated with the organisation's broader information technology regime (including business systems and knowledge management) General Obligations for Records Users Council officers must follow council policy and authorised procedures to: ensure that all appropriate records, including electronic documents and electronic messages, are captured into Council's recordkeeping systems; and carry out any other records management functions. Council officers are to use the corporate recordkeeping system ECM to document all substantive official business, unless using an authorised specific purpose recordkeeping system. In this regard, care should be exercised in the titling of records which should be adequate to enable their future retrieval. Unless a system has been established to manage records in a fully electronic environment, Council officers must ensure any documents captured in ECM are also captured in physical form and placed on the relevant central file. Council officers are not to maintain individual or separate files or recordkeeping systems or unmanaged electronic records for the purpose of capturing, storing or accessing Council's corporate records. Unmanaged electronic records include the corporate e mail system, networked shared drives and PC hard drives. Council officers are to ensure they comply with the Corporate Style Guide as well as the Data Entry Standards Guide for ECM to ensure that consistency is maintained across the organisation. All formal documents generated within Council, including outwards correspondence, should bear a file reference number. The location of every file should be kept accurate and up to date in ECM at all times. Staff are responsible for recording location changes when passing a file to another staff member, either by recording it in ECM or by notifying a member of the Records Section. Version 1: 17/07/2015 5

6 Staff should minimise the number of files they keep at their desks and the length of time they keep them and should make effective use of the resubmit system instead. Files should not leave Council premises, except where normal administrative practice permits (e.g. building site inspections). Council officers shall not alienate, relinquish control over, or destroy records of Council without authorisation to do so. Council officers (other than Records staff) are not authorised to destroy Council records which are defined as State Records. Disposal of ephemeral or facilitative records, some draft documents and some working papers, and certain other classes of records is permitted as normal administrative practice. Council officers are to handle physical records with care and respect so as to avoid loss of or damage to the records and prolong their existence. Council officers shall refrain from accessing corporate records, whether physical or electronic, except in accordance with the functions of their position or those available to them as to any other member of the public. POLICY FOR SPECIFIC RECORDS MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS Creation and Control Records must be created in all instances where there is a need for Council or an individual to be accountable for, and/or provide evidence of, decisions made or actions taken. Records should be uniquely identified, classified and registered on the corporate records management system as soon as they are received/created. Records security requirements should be maintained in accordance with established procedures. The physical movement of records should be documented sufficiently to ensure that physical items can be located as required. The records management system should be monitored regularly to ensure that the identification and retrieval of information meets the needs of the organisation. Mail handling procedures should ensure that mail is dealt with in a timely manner and that the flow of correspondence throughout the organisation is as efficient as possible. Storage and Retrieval Records must be stored in conditions which ensure that they are accessible and retrievable in appropriate timeliness for the length of time they are retained. Records which are no longer required for the day to day access which have been identified as having a specified temporary retention period (via the general disposal authorities) should be removed from the working office area. To ensure their longevity, records which have been identified as having permanent or continuing value should be stored in conditions which satisfy minimum standards for permanent records. Records should be stored in conditions which take into account their physical characteristics, sensitivity, retention period and expected access rate. Version 1: 17/07/2015 6

7 Retention and Disposal Council will take all reasonable steps to reduce the cost of storing records through the implementation of an appropriate disposal program. The program will include sentencing and the regular culling, transfer of secondary storage and/or archives and physical destruction of appropriate records in accordance with approved disposal schedules. Disposal of official public records is governed by the Public Records Act 2002 and must only be carried out in accordance with the appropriate General Disposal Authority. Records which are State Records may only be disposed of by a member of Council's Records Section in accordance with standard procedures which require the written authority of the relevant Manager. All staff who have dealings with records must be aware of their legal responsibilities relating to the disposition of Councils records. Disposal must be documented in such a way as to explain the rationale for the decisions made as well as provide sufficient evidence of the ultimate disposition of all records to adequately fulfil administrative and legal requirements. Regardless of any legislative authority to dispose of a record, Council will not destroy records relating to a matter where it has been notified of impending litigation, application under the Right to Information Act 2009 or other reason for legal discovery proceedings. Electronic Record Keeping The business processes and systems of Council must operate to capture records which provide evidence of all business transactions conducted electronically and to ensure that those records retain their integrity and are accessible for the length of time they are legally required and retained. Consideration of the maintenance and disposal of official electronic records will be incorporated into Council's Corporate and Information Technology planning. Council officers are required to adhere to adopted procedures and ensure that electronic mail messages are managed in a similar way to other mail. Disaster Recovery All reasonable steps are to be taken to ensure that Council's records are at minimal risk of damage or loss due to accident or disaster. Council will develop and maintain a disaster recovery plan which details all procedures to be followed in the event of a disaster. The plan will include all information necessary to implement the procedures. In the event of an accident or disaster Council will take all reasonable steps to ensure records are conserved according to current best practice. Ownership All records which are made or received by Council, or Council officers, during the conduct of Council's business are corporately owned by Council and, consequently, are subject to the record keeping practices and procedures of Council. The contractual agreement for any operation or service contracted out by Council must include a consideration of recordkeeping issues. Version 1: 17/07/2015 7

8 REVIEW It is the responsibility of the Deputy CEO, General Manager of Organisational Services to monitor the adequacy of this policy and recommend appropriate changes. This policy will be formally reviewed every three years or as required by Council. The success of this policy depends on effective monitoring and review mechanisms, to ensure the proper and continued use and relevance of a recordkeeping policy. Policy review should be undertaken at a set time after policy implementation, and continued on an ongoing basis. Policy review should: evaluate the policy document for comprehensibility and relevance; measure policy impact and results against initial objectives; look for unforeseen effects; survey organisational awareness of policy and contents; and monitor staff adoption and application of policy. review should aim to ensure that the policy continues to support business activities and processes, and recognise when the policy needs to be amended to coincide with workflow changes or recordkeeping developments. Monitoring and review mechanisms should be tailored to the organisation and integrated with normal business processes. Performance indicators should be identified at the initial stages of policy development to assess improvement over time. Staff monitoring should include supervision and self assessment, whereby staff are encouraged to monitor their own responsibilities and also identify any problems or shortcomings within the policy. An internal or external audit may also be desirable to provide an independent perspective on policy operation. REVIEW It is the responsibility of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer to monitor the adequacy of this policy and recommend appropriate changes. This policy will be formally reviewed every three years or as required by Council. This policy is to remain in force until otherwise determined by the Executive Leadership Team. Version 1: 17/07/2015 8

9 GLOSSARY Accountability The principle that individuals, organisations and the community are required to account to others for their actions. Organisations and their employees must be able to account to appropriate regulatory authorities, to shareholders or members, and to the public to meet statutory obligations, audit requirements, relevant standards and codes of practice, and community expectations. Active Records Records in frequent use required for current business. These records are usually stored in office space and equipment close to hand. Administrative Records These records include all aspects of the Organisation's internal administration, including budget and finance matters, general correspondence, staff matters, Ministerial and Parliamentary papers, accommodation and management information systems, and the Organisation's own agendas, minutes and business papers. Appraisal The process of evaluating business activities to determine which records need to be captured and how long the records need to be kept, to meet business needs, the requirements of organisational accountability and community expectations. Archive The whole body of records of continuing value of an organisation or individual. Sometimes called 'corporate memory'. Archives Those records that are appraised as having continuing value. Business Activity Umbrella term covering all the functions, processes, activities and transactions of an organisation and its employees. To support the continuing conduct of business, comply with the regulatory environment and provide necessary accountability, organisations should create and maintain authentic, reliable and useable records and protect the integrity of those records for as long as required. Records that document business activity are vital for supporting informed decision making, corporate memory and ensuring accountability. E mail containing evidence of business transactions such as: A directive or approval for a particular course of action Formal communications between internal officers or external agencies Final versions of reports Policy documents and Statements Formal minutes of Council Committees which are not captured in any other form e.g. hard copy format or faxes should be captured into the ECM recordkeeping system. This material is distinct from: Information only messages Duplicates or working copies / memos Private messages or personal comments between officers Version 1: 17/07/2015 9

10 which would not provide evidence or be required for accountability purposes. Classification The process of devising and applying schemes based on the business activities which generate records, whereby they are categorised in systematic and consistent ways to facilitate the capture, retrieval, maintenance and disposal. Classification includes determining document or file naming conventions, user permission and security restrictions on records. Council Officers Includes Councillors, members of staff of Council and delegates of Council. Disposal A range of processes associated with implementing appraisal decisions. These include the retention, deletion or destruction of records in or from recordkeeping systems. They may also include the migration or transmission of records between recordkeeping systems, and the transfer of custody or ownership of records. Documents Structured units of recorded information, published or unpublished, in hard copy or electronic form, and managed as discrete units in information systems. Electronic Mail (E mail) E mail is a computer based message sent over a communications network to one or more recipients. It may be transmitted with attachments such as electronic files containing text, graphics, images, digitised voice and video or computer programs. Electronic Messaging Electronic Messaging is a generic term encompassing all forms of electronically mediated communication. This includes electronic mail for text messages, voice mail, electronic document exchange (Electronic FAX), electronic data interchange (EDI), and multi media communications such as tele / video conferencing and videotext. It involves the electronic transmission of information as discrete electronic messages over computer based data communication network or voice messages over a telephone network. Evidence Information that tends to prove a fact. Not limited to the legal sense of the term. File Files are a collection of documents on a specific subject, located within a file cover, which show organisational activities through an identifiable sequence of transactions. Documents are arranged in chronological order, ie the most recent document is placed on top. File Census A report generated by the records management software package on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis detailing the current location of files, and this is verified by physically checking that files are at that location. Functional Records Records relating to the functional activities of the Organisation. Inactive Records Records that are no longer required for use by the organisation in the conduct of its activities and functions. Recordkeeping Version 1: 17/07/

11 Making and maintaining complete, accurate and reliable evidence of business transactions in the form of recorded information. Recordkeeping Systems Information systems, which capture, maintain and provide access to records over time. Record Means any document or other source of information compiled, recorded or stored in written form or on film, or by electronic process, or in any other manner or by any other means. Records Recorded information, in any form, including data in computer systems, created or received and maintained by an organisation or person in the transaction of business or the conduct of affairs and kept as evidence of such activity. Records Disposal Authority A systematic functional listing of records created by an organisation which plans the life of those records from their creation to their disposal. Records Management The discipline and organisational function of managing records to meet operational business needs accountability requirements and community expectations. Registration The act of giving a record a unique identity in a recordkeeping system. Semi active Records Records that are no longer frequently used by the organisation in the conduct of its activities and functions (ie once or twice a year) Public Record Means any record made and kept, or received and kept, by any person in the course of the exercise of official functions in a public office, or for any purpose of a public office, or for the use of a public office, whether before or after the commencement of this act (Public Records Act 2002). Storage The function of storing records for future retrieval and use. Tracking Capturing and maintaining information about the movement and uses of records. Transaction The smallest unit of business activity, uses of records are themselves transactions. Version 1: 17/07/

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