Records Management can be defined as the systematic control, organisation, access to and protection of information. From its creation, through its use, to its permanent retention or destruction.
Staff should familiarise themselves with the Code of Practice for Records Management issued under section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act
There are 3 basic stages in a records lifecycle:
- Creation or receipt
- Maintenance and use
Importance of Records Management
Information is one of the most important corporate resources the University has. The implementation of good Records Management practices will benefit the University in many ways, and is significant for a number of reasons.
- Improves the conduct of business in an orderly, efficient and accountable manner.
- Helps ensure the University is compliant with any statutory obligations.
- It supports and documents policy and managerial decision-making.
- It facilitates the effective performance of functions and activities throughout the University.
- It protects the interests of the University and the rights of students, staff, and stakeholders.
- It provides evidence of and establishes the University’s business, and cultural activities.
- It maintains a corporate memory for the University.
- It will make tangible savings in time and resources
Some of the benefits of effective records management are;
- Documents cost about £15 to file
- The average document is copied, either physically or electronically, nine to 11 times at a cost of about £10 per copy
- Retrieving a misfiled document costs about £80
- A filing cabinet costs £500 per year in floor space rental costs alone
- Most records in an office are not needed on a regular basis
- Four Filing cabinets uses the same amount of space as one desk
- Unused files in boxes take up less space than files in filing cabinets and can be stored in space unusable as office space
- 10% of staff time is spent finding information
- The fewer files there are, the quicker it is to find the one you want.
- Documented file locations save time consuming hunts around an organisation
- Timely records management is quicker than having occasional filing days
- Improved decision making based on past precedent in the records
- Effective use of resources
- Improved version control/audit trails removes doubts over authenticity of documents
- Information is accessible
- Control of information flow is better
Effective Records Manangent is a fundamental part of compliance with Data Protection and Freedom of Information Legislation. together with the associated Code of Practice for Records Management issued under section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act