Records Management FAQs and Information

1. What is a Record?

2. What is Record Management?

3. The importance of Records Management.

4. Who is responsible for Records Management?

5. Records Management and Freedom of Information Act.

6. Records Management and Data Protection.

7. The Record Retention Schedule

8. Why is the RSS necessary?

9. Electronic Records.

10. How Records Management can help you.

11. Contacts.

 

1. What is a Record?

They are the outputs that record each and every business and administrative transaction of an institution and details about its students, members of staff and all its external contacts. The activities of the University are documented predominantly by the records it produces. They also form the University's collective memory that must be available beyond the memory or working life of any single member of staff.

2. What is Record Management?

Records management is a process for the systematic management of all records and the information or data that they contain. It incorporates the practice of identifying, classifying, providing access to archiving, and sometimes the controlled destruction of records.

The record’s life-cycle is one of the key concepts in Records Management. Information has a series of phases from creation to final disposition, either through a controlled destruction process or being added to the long-term or permanent record (the archive) of the University:

3. Why is Records Management important?

Information is one of the most important corporate resources the University has. The implementation of good Records Management practices benefits the University in a number of ways:

  • Improves the conduct of business in an orderly, efficient and accountable manner.
  • Ensures the University is compliant with statutory obligations and standards, ensures that it adheres to professional and ethical responsibilities and minimises litigation risks– we are required to produce certain types of record and retain them for a certain length of time. Failure to retain certain records and destroy others can make the University liable to litigation.
  • Supports and documents policy and managerial decision-making.
  • Facilitates the effective performance of functions and activities throughout the University.
  • Provides evidence of and establishes the University’s business, and cultural activities.
  • Preserves the corporate memory for the University and prevents loss of information.
  • Increases productivity and reduced time spent searching for needed documents – records management usually leads to more effective filing and indexing methods, making records easier and quicker to find.
  • Facilitates efficient and effective use of physical and server space.

4. Who is responsible for Records Management?

All University staff who use records in their work have some records management responsibility. This includes the need to adopt good practice in creating and maintaining records.

The Head of  Governance and Compliance has overall responsibility for the management of records.

5. Records Management and Freedom of Information Act.

Certain records must be retained for a specific length of time to comply with legislation.

The University recognises its corporate responsibility under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to provide for a general right of access to information held. The Freedom of Information Act establishes two related rights:

  • The right to be told whether information exists, and
  • The right to receive the information (subject to exemptions)

The Act sets out strict timetables for compliance with requests - records management is essential to the process of responding to requests for information.

6. Records Management and Data Protection.

Most confidential material is subject to the Data Protection Act. Under the act the individual handling or processing confidential data is personally responsible for the proper disposal of such data.

The purpose of data protection legislation is to ensure that personal data is not processed without the knowledge and, except in certain cases, the consent of the data subject, to ensure that personal data which is processed is accurate, and to enforce a set of standards for the processing of such information. Data subjects have the right to check the validity of the data held about them by Bangor University.

7. The Record Retention Schedule.

The Record Retention Schedule is an essential tool for the efficient management of records. It lists all the records each department creates or maintains, specifying how long each type of record must be retained for, and states the relevant citations relating to Acts of Parliament, Statutory Instruments or regulations where applicable.

The importance of the records needs to be assessed at series level and a retention / destruction period needs to be agreed at both departmental and organisational level

8. Why is the Record Retention Schedule necessary?

The Record Retention Schedule;

  • Ensures records are kept for as long as they are needed and destroyed when no longer needed / useful.
  • Provides standards and consistency in record keeping across the University.
  • Reduces organisational costs – saves space and storage costs because records are either moved to the Archives Department or confidentially destroyed.
  • Ensures compliance with audit requirements.
  • Identifies records of long-term value to secure them from accidental destruction.
  • Identifies duplicates of records.

9. Electronic Records.

Electronic records require all the same care that should be applied to records on paper or captured on microfilm. The management of electronic records should follow the same principles as the management of paper-based records.

10. How the Records Management Team can help you.

  • Provide advice on all aspects of record-keeping.
  • Advise on implementing the Retention Schedule to your records.
  • If you are unsure of the legal, administrative or archival retention requirements for particular information please contact the Head of Governance and Compliance for advice.

11. Contacts.

Gwenan Hine, Head of Governance and Compliance, is responsible for legal compliance issues within the University. These include:

  • Records Management.
  • Data Protection.
  • Freedom of Information.

Email : gwenan.hine@bangor.ac.uk

Lynette Hunter, Archivist / Compliance and Records Manager

Email : iss419@bangor.ac.uk