Records Management involves the maintenance, retention and disposal of records in compliance with good practice and relevant legislation (including freedom of information and data protection).
A Fife Council record is defined as information that has been created or received by the Council, either in the course of its business, or in order to provide evidence of its activities. It is important that records are retained for certain time periods for legal or business reasons.
Records can be held on a range of media, including text, sound, image, and / or paper. For example records may include items such as hand-written notes; emails and correspondence; plans; photographs; videos; and tape-recordings of telephone conversations. Increasingly records are being kept on electronic record and document management systems, for example SharePoint.
What's the difference between document and records management?
The goal of document management is efficiency. The goal of records management is compliance.
Document management involves the day-to-day capture, storage, modification and sharing of physical and / or digital files within an organisation.
- Reducing the number of lost or misfiled documents
- Providing faster search and retrieval of documents.
Helping to better organise existing documents
- Improving general work processes and organisational efficiency
- Reducing the amount of physical space used to store documents, such as file cabinets, boxes and shelving.
Records management establishes policies and standards for maintaining diverse types of records.
- Maintaining a records inventory of records held
- Applying required retention periods to stored items
- Identifying the owner (data custodian) for each record series
- Determining that a chain of custody and a proper audit trail both exist
- Applying legal holds to records where required
- Managing disposition (disposal of documents)
- Developing and implementing records policies and procedures - for both paper and electronic records
- Preserving records throughout their life cycle
The introduction of the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 places requirements on Fife Council to significantly improve the management of its public records. The Act requires us to prepare and implement a Records Management Plan which sets out our arrangements for the management of our records. See the publications below for more details.