Records Management Policy
Effective Records Management is vital to the delivery of the department’s
services in an orderly, efficient, and accountable manner. This helps ensure
that we have the right information at the right time to make the right decisions.
It will provide evidence of what we do and why, therefore protecting the
interests of the Secretary of State and the department’s staff as well as all
who interact with the department. Records, and the information they preserve,
are an important corporate asset.
We aim to balance our commitment to openness with the responsibilities we
have to protect certain kinds of information. We will therefore create and
manage records efficiently, make them accessible where possible, protect
and store them securely, and dispose of them safely at the right time.
To support this policy we will ensure that our staff have appropriate records
management training. We will provide supporting standards, procedures and
guidelines and monitor compliance with them. We will review our policy on a
biannual basis and keep it up to date
The department’s records management policy is governed by the Lord
Chancellor’s Code of Practice on the management of records issued under
section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – see
The underlying principle of records management is to ensure that a record is
managed through its life cycle from creation or receipt, through maintenance
and use to disposal.
Our records management policy and procedures are designed to meet the
requirements of the Public Records Act 1958 and are in line with the advice
and guidance issued by The National Archives. The broad principles we work
to are as follows:
- Anything, in any permanent or recorded form, that is created or
received in the course of the department’s work should be considered
part of the public record.
- Everyone in the department is responsible for the effective
management of the records they create or receive in their work.
- Information that meets the criteria to be kept as part of the
Department's formal record keeping system – because it is business
critical information, part of an audit trail or required to explain our
decisions and administrative actions – should be filed in the
appropriate record keeping system.
- Electronic documents that need to be kept, must be placed in
Approved File Plans (AFPs) on the department’s electronic
communications system, and not held in other ways.
- Only business critical and other key papers that cannot be saved
electronically in AFPs, as well as all records marked with a security or
privacy classification above Restricted, should be stored on registered
- Records should be disposed of only in accordance with the procedures
set out in guidance produced by Records Management Branch (RMB)
and with the authority of the Departmental Records Officer (DRO).
- Disclosure of official records must comply with our security standards,
and meet the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004, the Data Protection Act
1998, and be in accordance with copyright laws, commercial
confidentiality and professional privilege.
Who does this policy apply to?
This policy applies to all employees of the central Department for
Transport, contractors, consultants, and secondees who have access to
records, wherever those records are located. The policy and the detailed
guidance that are available to staff, aims to ensure that all staff are aware
of their obligations to manage records in an effective and efficient way.