MANAGEMENT POLICY AND
ECGD: RECORDS MANAGEMENT GUIDANCE
The need for records 2
Aim of the Records Management Guide 2
Responsibility for Records Management 3
Classification of records 6
Divisional Storage – Paper Records 7
Archiving and Retention 7
Local Storage – Electronic Records 7
Linked Policies 8
Annex A – Glossary 9
Annex B – Divisional Liaison Record Officers 11
Annex C – Information Security 12
Annex D – Secure desk policy 16
Annex E – Desk Instructions 18
ECGD RECORDS MANAGEMENT GUIDE
1 This document is a guide to Records Management policy, practice and
procedure in ECGD. It deals with the creation, use, closure, archiving, destruction or
transfer to The National Archives (TNA) for permanent preservation of all official
records and the roles and responsibilities of staff for the management of ECGD
2 ECGD’s records fall into two main categories – paper and electronic. Unless
indicated, the guidance covers both formats.
3 The purpose of this guide is to ensure that there is:
a consistent approach to records management across ECGD;
compliance with legislative requirements, including the Public Records
Acts, Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act and the Official
The need for records
4 ECGD must keep records of its activities so that:
corporate knowledge, information and ‘tribal memory’ can be retained
business transactions are properly documented
an account of our actions can be made to Ministers, Parliament and
an audit trail is possible to trace proper authority for actions
any litigation can be easily responded to
an historical record of our business is available for posterity
Aim of The Records Management Guide
5 The Records Management Guide will help to ensure that records:
are present: that ECGD has the information that is needed to form a
reconstruction of activities or transactions that have taken place;
can be accessed: that it is possible to locate and access the
information (irrespective of format) by those who need to use it;
can be interpreted: that it is possible to establish the context of the
record: who created it, during which business process and how the
record is related to other records;
can be trusted: that the record reliably represents the information that
was actually used in or created by the business process, and its
integrity and authenticity can be demonstrated;
can be maintained through time: that these qualities of accessibility,
interpretation and trustworthiness can be maintained for as long as the
record is needed, perhaps permanently.
6 The Guide covers the:
roles and responsibilities of staff within ECGD for records
responsibility for the ownership of individual records within ECGD
throughout their entire life cycle;
classification of records;
access rights to individual records;
security of records to ensure that appropriate and adequate protection
is afforded to them throughout their life cycle;
relationship with TNA.
Responsibility for Records Management
7 The Departmental Records Officer (DRO) has overall responsibility for
records management in ECGD. The DRO is supported by a Deputy Departmental
Records Officer (DDRO). Their joint responsibility is to:
promulgate records management policy, practice and procedure in
ensure compliance with policy, practice and procedure, including
carrying out local audits and training;
review policy, practice and procedure and make changes as required;
liaise with TNA.
8 The DRO has responsibility for the management and control of all records
created and received within ECGD. This applies to all records, whether they are
unregistered papers, registered files, computer readable material (including e-mail,
automated office systems and back-up tapes) or any other material that may formally
constitute a record (see Glossary – Annex A). The DRO is accountable for the safe-
keeping, accessibility and retention of all ECGD’s records from the time they are
created or received by the Department until they are disposed of, either by
destruction or transfer to the PRO for permanent preservation. The DDRO manages
the Records Management Unit (RMU) and is also responsible to the DRO for the
ongoing organisation and maintenance of ECGD’s RMU in 45-49 Lambourne
9 Divisional Directors have local responsibility for ensuring that their Division
complies with this guidance. Specifically, the Director is responsible for ensuring that
formal records of activities are created when needed
records are maintained within a properly constituted file structure so
that they can be readily accessed
records are correctly classified in accordance with Annex C
a list of records (eg Secret files) that require controlled access is
maintained with details of staff who have access permission
a list of current paper files is maintained
a paper list of electronic files is maintained including access rights
the movement of records is properly controlled so that they can be
records are appropriately stored
on the completion of an activity, the record is closed and transferred to
categories of files are set out in a Divisional Disposal list with
appropriate Review or Destruction dates
in consultation with the RMU, records are destroyed or reviewed at the
ensuring that a complete list of live and destroyed records is
10 In practice, the Director will delegate responsibility for the above to a
Divisional Records Management Officer (DRMO). This role must be recognised in
the Personal Performance Plan of the individual and appraised in their annual
performance report. A description is at Annex B.
11 In any event, all staff must share responsibility for complying with this policy,
documenting business actions, decisions and transactions in ECGD’s official records
and ensuring familiarity with ECGD’s record management guidance and advice to
ensure the safekeeping of ECGD’s records.
12 The role of the RMU is to:
provide expert guidance and advice to all ECGD staff
maintain operational links with TNA
maintain a central index of all ECGD’s archived records
maintain a central index of all archived material which identifies dates
for the length of retention, and date of review leading to destruction or
transfer to TNA of all records irrespective of format
in consultation with the TNA, maintain a list of record categories which
are deemed to be of potential long-term interest for public records
purposes and therefore in need of permanent preservation
maintain up to date procedures for all activities associated with the
management of ECGD’s official records
carry out education, training and communication to staff of all matters
relating to records management
maintain all archived records
maintain records of material held in the Repository
13 Annually, the RMU will produce a report to ECGD’s Chief Executive about
records management issues.
14 Records, including files held in the Repository, are owned by Divisions, but
responsibility for their protection and safe keeping rests with the RMU. All material
that is archived is owned by the RMU.
Classification of records
15 As a rule, ECGD seeks to operate an ‘open’ policy with regard to information
about its business consistent with the Open Government Code of Practice, the
Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act and our own Business
Principles. However, there are certain records that must be classified. Such
information might include
staff issues that are private
commercial matters relating to business ECGD is supporting or
contracts we have entered into
advice to Ministers, particularly policy advice which is sensitive
diplomatic papers eg telegrams
16 Such records must be clearly marked with an appropriate security
classification. For example
Further information is at Annex C.
Divisional Storage – Paper Records
17 All active live paper records should be held within the relevant Division. In
order to minimise the use of accommodation in London and Lambourne House, live
files that are infrequently used should be held in the File Repository in the RMU.
18 Paper records must be stored in the appropriate storage furniture,
commensurate with the security classification allocated to the record. Broadly, where
the records have a classification of ‘Confidential’ or higher, they must be kept in
combination/barred cabinets. Otherwise, all records can be held in key lockable
cabinets and cupboards. Further guidance is available from the Deputy
Departmental Security Officer.
19 In accordance with ECGD’s secure desk policy, paper records should be put
away at night in the appropriate storage facility. Further advice is at Annex D.
Archiving and Retention
20 Divisions will be responsible for deciding the appropriate point to close a live
file. The Division must decide the appropriate period which should elapse before the
file is reviewed, to determine whether it should be archived for a further period,
destroyed, or if appropriate and subject to the advice of the RMU, it should be
permanently preserved with TNA. Once the file is closed, it must be transferred to
21 The DDRO and RMU staff will be responsible for the destruction of all ECGD
Local Storage – Electronic Records
22 Electronic records must be maintained on a Departmental Drive, normally the
G Drive not on the A or C Drives. The P Drive can only be used for information of a
personal, staff or management issue where the nature of the record is such that
access should be limited to the author of the record. There is a particular need to
ensure that an individual or series of e:mails on a particular subject which form part
of an overall set of records is retained either in paper form or in an accessible
electronic file. Emails that relate to cases should be cut/pasted into the relevant g
drive file(s). [Further work is currently being carried out in ECGD to improve the
design and use of directory structures and this guidance will be made more
comprehensive in due course.]
23 Generally, it is the intention to allow open access to records. However, it is the
responsibility of Divisions to decide who should have access to Divisional records,
including access to the relevant parts of the G drive in the case of electronic records
(as necessary protected by IDs and passwords), taking account of the classification
of the material contained. Divisions must keep up to date lists of files or those parts
of the G Drive where access is restricted and ensure controls are in place to adhere
to the restricted access. These should be reviewed when staff move in or out of the
24 Other policy, practice and procedures exist which touch upon the Records
Management Guidance. Hyperlinks to the relevant individual guidance on each of
these is below as follows
Information Security policy (BS 7799)
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Freedom of Information
Internet, Email Policy and Electronic Records Policy – Not yet available
Archive Store – Once records are no longer in active use and have reached the end
of their active life, they will be transferred to the Archive Store (either from the
Repository Store or direct from the responsible Division) for retention until they are
destroyed or transferred to TNA in accordance with the relevant Disposal List.
DDRO – The Deputy Departmental Record Officer. Directed by the DRO and
responsible for the local management of the RMU operation and the supervision of
DRMO – Divisional Record Management Officer appointed by the Divisional Director
for local records management issues.
Document – A document is taken to be a minimum unit of paper (or its electronic
equivalent) used by ECGD staff. Where not otherwise specified (see electronic
document below), a document includes paper and electronic formats.
DRO – The Departmental Records Officer. Responsible for the management,
control, safekeeping, accessibility and retention of all ECGD records.
Electronic Document – An electronic document is a document that has been
captured within the ECGD IT infrastructure, e.g. Outlook, P Drive, G Drive etc. It
therefore applies to documents generated both in-house and externally, scanned
images of paper documents and emails.
File – A file is a collection of documents – either a physical file of paper documents
or a notional collection of electronic documents with a common theme.
Local Storage – Documents, records and files that are stored locally with the
relevant Division responsible for their management during their active life.
Metadata – Data about data. It provides basic information such as the author of
work, date of creation, link to any related works etc.
Record – A specific piece of information produced or received in the creation,
conduct or deletion of an organisational or individual activity and that comprises
sufficient content, context and structure to provide evidence of an activity.
Remote Storage – Documents, records and files that are stored remotely from the
relevant Division responsible for their management during their active life.
Repository Store – Semi-active records that have yet to reach the point in time
designated for archiving, they will be transferred to archive storage once they are no
longer active and until such time as they are destroyed or transferred to TNA.
RMU – Records Management Unit, based at Unit 45-49, Lambourne Crescent,
Cardiff with the responsibility for record storage.
DIVISIONAL RECORDS MANAGEMENT OFFICER
Responsibilities of the Divisional Records Management Officer - DRMO
Each Division will have a DRMO appointed by the Director. The Director is
responsible for agreeing the duties of the DRMO consistent with Records
Management Guidance. This template can be used as the basis of a job description
which can be appended to a Personal Performance Plan.
On behalf of the Director, the DRMO is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of
Record Management in their area are carried out effectively. Specifically, the DRMO
maintain a current list of all live paper and electronic files/records
held within the Division
maintain a separate list of all current files classified ‘Secret’ and
maintain a current list of all live files held in the Repository in the
Records Management Unit
maintain a Disposal List that details closed files which must show a
review the live and closed file holdings at least every 12 months
and update records accordingly
ensure that files are appropriately stored according to the
classification of the records
ensure that IDS and Access permissions to the G drive are current
and kept up to date to reflect staff movements
ensure that the movement of paper files is properly controlled; in
particular, that the whereabouts of any file can be traced at any
ensure that files are closed at the appropriate time, and a
review/destruction date is agreed and the record sent to the RMU
liaise with the RMU, including visiting the RMU at least once a year
where records are expected to exceed 30 years, advise the DDRO
who will seek permission from the Lord Chancellor to retain for a
provide written instructions to staff associated with records
CLASSIFICATION OF RECORDS
Information security must be the concern of all staff. This note provides further
background and guidance with regard to the classification of records. However,
Information security is not a matter of simply complying with guidance and rules; it
involves all staff using commonsense and care, and having a basic understanding
and appreciation of what information security is about. The following paragraphs
should therefore be read with this in mind.
Civil Servants and the Official Secrets Act
All civil servants are subject to the terms of the Official Secrets Act under which it is
an offence to disclose to unauthorised persons any official information. A breach of
security could cause harm to the interest of the nation and have consequences far
more serious than can be envisaged by those immediately or partly responsible for a
breach of security. This can be the result of carelessness or lack of discretion as well
as by deliberate act. Staff will be liable to disciplinary action within the Department
and/or prosecution if there is a breach of the legislation.
ECGD staff – additional commercial information
In addition to matters of national security, staff must also safeguard records arising
from the receipt of commercial information.
A large proportion of official records do not require security protection (although this
does not mean that contents may be freely discussed or made available outside of
ECGD) and are known as UNCLASSIFIED material. In the interests of good
information security, other records must be properly classified. Undergrading leads
to unnecessary risks being taken; overgrading causes unnecessary storage and
security problems. Furthermore, lack of care in classification can bring security
procedures into disrepute. Staff must judge the appropriate security classification for
Definitions of information security classifications
The 4 current security classifications relate to information and material the
unauthorised disclosure of which would, for
a RESTRICTED be undesirable in the interests of the nation;
b CONFIDENTIAL be prejudicial to the interests of the nation;
c SECRET cause serious injury to the interests of the nation;
d TOP SECRET cause exceptionally grave damage to the nation.
Interpretation of security classifications
It should be noted that these 4 security classifications all relate to “the interests of
the nation”. This is a cardinal point in deciding whether a security classification is
needed at all. There is, of course, certain information in the economic, political and
commercial field which would be contrary to the interests of the nation to disclose
and information which needs protection because disclosure would lead to political
embarrassment or hamper good government would also fall within the scope of
these classifications. The examples given below are for illustration.
These markings are for use in the grading of material that, while not CLASSIFIED,
requires protection other than on national security grounds. These markings and
their respective significance are:
RESTRICTED - STAFF
For all material relating to staff matters in general or to individual officers
(notably annual staff reports, disciplinary and other personnel matters) the
disclosure of which would be a breach of confidence and would cause
RESTRICTED - MANAGEMENT
For papers concerning the management and control of the Department, the
contents of which are not for general dissemination;
RESTRICTED - COMMERCIAL
For commercial information which, whilst not requiring protection in the
“interests of the nation” would cause administrative embarrassment or
difficulty if disclosed. Commercial concerns are likely to use the word
“confidential” for material in this category;
RESTRICTED - POLICY
Policy which is at the stage of being formulated which may be sensitive and/or
advice to management, other Government Departments and Ministers where
the subject is sensitive or not for disclosure to the public
Authority to classify
The authority of staff in ECGD to classify material is as follows:-
RESTRICTED AND PRIVACY MARKINGS - PB3 or above
CONFIDENTIAL - PB10 or above
SECRET - PB10 or above
TOP SECRET - Director or above
General rules for classifying and regrading
The appropriate security classification should appear at the centre of the top and
bottom of every page of a classified document. The classification of a document
must not be changed without reference to the originator, unless the information
contained in the document has become generally known or is such as may be
regarded or declassified on the happening of a specified event or at a named date.
When regrading a document the old classification and the amendment should be
signed and dated by the officer responsible and a note made of any documentary
authority for it.
Microfilm and Microfiche
The security classification of microfilm and microfiche should be shown in the middle
of the top and bottom of each frame, so that it is clearly visible when the data is
projected on to a viewing screen or copied on to paper.
Microfiche should carry eye-readable identification and overall classification
markings on the title strip. The markings should be such that they transfer legibly to
any copies made.
Magnetic tapes and cassettes
Magnetic tapes should have clearly legible identification and overall classification
markings on labels fixed to the front flange of the tape spool and the edge of the
A cassette containing magnetic tape should have the identification and classification
markings applied to both the front and back faces and the spine of the protective
Guidance on marking computer documents (including punched paper tape, floppy
disks etc) is set out in the “Guide to Computer Security” (copies held by HRD and
Assistant Departmental Security Officer). The general rules for storage and
transmission of documents apply equally to computer documents.
CDs and Floppy Disks
Disks should be appropriately classified in accordance with the material contained in
them. These should be stored in an appropriate location consistent with the security
classification of the material held on them. They should be held in a lockable
container. Arrangements should be put in place to track their movement.
SECURE DESK POLICY
A secure desk policy has been in operation in ECGD since November 1996. The
policy seeks to ensure that all business/policy related files and working papers,
including internally generated documents, which would be difficult to reproduce, are
‘secured’ at night in suitable storage furniture. Guidance on the storage of classified
material is provided in this Guidance Notice at Para.19 Security. Restricted and
unclassified material should be held in the Storwal cupboards/cabinets and desk
storage furniture provided. By way of illustration, the following lists provide a guide
to what should and should not be made subject to the policy:
All working papers.
All internally generated correspondence.
All work-related files, including underwriting case files, policy files, claims files
Security Not Required
Incoming mail not dealt with on the day of receipt – due, for example, to annual leave
– should also be made secure overnight. Someone within the Division/branch
should be designated to deal with mail in the absence of other staff. The tops of
bookcases, cupboards and filers should similarly be cleared of relevant material at
night by the responsible individuals. Final responsibility will rest with the last person
to leave the division at the end of the day.
It is appreciated that in some areas in particular this may put a strain on existing
storage resources. Staff should however ensure, where necessary, that a thorough
review of storage requirements is undertaken at regular intervals. Anything no
longer required should be disposed of in the approved manner. Files to which
access is required at 24 hours notice or more should be sent to the RMU Lambourne
Crescent in Cardiff for remote storage. Any questions on the need for retention or
disposal of files should be directed to your own Divisional Records Management
A breach of the policy is regarded as a disciplinary matter, in principle, and as such
is dealt with in the usual way. Monitoring of the policy is carried out by Facilities
Management staff in London and Cardiff, with support in Harbour Exchange from our
Custody Guard service.
If staff have any queries on the operation of the secure desk policy in their area,
please liaise with the Departmental Records Officer (DRO) on ext 7171 or (5)8511.
ECGD: RECORDS MANAGEMENT GUIDANCE: DESK INSTRUCTIONS
1 REVIEW AND DISPOSAL PROCEDURES
1.1 Disposal List
2 FILE CREATION
2.1 Setting up new files
3 FILE MANAGEMENT
3.1 Branch Filing
4 SPECIFIC PROJECTS
4.1 Setting up Files and referencing documents for Specific Projects
5 ARCHIVING ARRANGEMENTS
5.1 Archive Files
5.1.1 File Details
5.2 Safe Custody Documents
6 DEPARTMENTAL ARCHIVING DATABASE – LAMPlite
6.2 File Search
6.2.1 The Search Bar
6.2.2 Add Condition
6.3 Request Facility
8 ELECTRONIC RECORDS
8.2 ECGD Procedures
DEPARTMENTAL RECORD MANAGEMENT: DESK INSTRUCTIONS
For operational reasons, ECGD needs to ensure effective control of its records and
must comply with the Public Record Acts 1958 and 1967. The 1958 Act spells
out what is required and the 1967 Act reduces the closure period from 50 years
to 30 years.
The reviewing of all records is crucial to the effective running of the Department.
To ensure that the reviewing procedures are properly carried out, the Department
has an appointed Departmental Record Officer (DRO), based in London and Deputy
Departmental Record Officer (DDRO) based in Cardiff, contact names can be found
in the telephone/office directory. The DRO is responsible to the Chief Executive for
the care of all records from the time they are created until they are destroyed, or
transferred to The National Archives, (TNA) at Kew.
1 DIVISIONAL REVIEW AND DISPOSAL INSTRUCTION
1.1 The Disposal List
Disposal lists must be authorised in writing by the Director, countersigned by
the DRMO, and ratified by the DRO.
A disposal list is used to control the review and destruction process for all ECGD
This document can be used as helpful guidance that can be called on when files are
to be archived. It should detail all registered file categories. For example, general
files, country policy, Policy, Safe Custody etc it must reflect dates when files should
be reviewed/destroyed, by either showing a 1st Review, 2nd Review or
Destruction date, or: in some cases whether files are to be earmarked for transfer
to The National Archives (TNA).
This document will be subject to an annual assessment of Review/Destruction dates.
This will be prompted by a minute from the DRO asking DRMOs to carry out the
assessment. However, a review may not always be necessary, and in such cases
the DRMO should advise the DRO accordingly.
If DRMOs find that during the year review or destruction dates applied are found to
be inappropriate they can be amended subject to discussions with the DRO or
DDRO. Any agreed amendment will be notified to The National Archives (TNA) for
approval prior to implementation, if this is appropriate.
For the Business Group in particular, disposal lists should reflect standard periods
for Review/Destruction dates. For example the Underwriting Case files would be
referenced as follows: -
Unissued cases - Destruction - 2 years after last action
Issued cases - Destruction - 7 years after last repayment date
Generally when setting review dates, it will be useful to apply the following
criteria: 1st Review will be 5 years from the last paper on file. However, if at
the time of archiving the 5 years have elapsed the DRMO must decide whether
the file requires a further period of review i.e. 5 years, if this is the case this
will be shown as a 2nd review date. If it is decided the file has been inactive for
several years, and therefore there is little point in retaining further, a
destruction date can be given.
2 FILE CREATION
2.1 Setting up a New File
Divisional reorganisations and procedural changes over the last few decades have
made file styles, numbering and divisional references erratic. This makes archive file
searches and retrieval on the Archiving database, LAMPlite potentially very difficult.
Therefore against this background, it is hoped that by adopting a standard file
referencing procedure this will go some way to alleviate future problems.
It is recommended for the majority of all case files set up, that one file number is
used e.g. Facility number. Furthermore, it would be helpful if the file status is
reflected e.g. ISSUED, UNISSED (for BG) or Pot Loss, fully recovered etc (for RD).
The file title should include all other relevant information e.g. Exporter,
Bank/Borrower, Country Project Name etc. All other files which fall outside of case
file category, should reflect the registered file number or series, main heading and
individual subject matter all of which will be mandatory details e.g. File
Number, Main Heading, Subject description, File part number, Open/Closed dates,
Review or Destruction date.
Where file covers do not show these details labels must be used and these can be
obtained from Stationery. It will also be necessary to number each of the documents
as the file grows.
It is the responsibility of the DRMO to ensure that written instructions are available to
enable staff in their area to be aware of the divisions individual requirements on this,
and other record management procedures.
3 FILE MANAGEMENT
3.1 Branch Filing
It is often the case that files have been held for long periods of time within Divisions,
and are sent for Archiving at a very late stage, generally with Review dates, which
follow no particular procedure. The life of a Branch file can generally be easily
determined and should be reflected in a Branch Filing List (paper or database). In
most cases there should be no reason to hold files for an indefinite period. It is
important to remember that it is not always automatically necessary to archive a
file. Branch files can be disposed of at source once they have outlived their
usefulness e.g. those that have been set up to hold details of internal branch
meetings, general correspondence etc. Certainly there can be no value to the
Department in retaining such files for any longer than necessary. Files that are
destroyed at source must be referenced as such on the Branch Filing List.
The following guidance is provided to ensure good file management.
- Divisions can dispose of their files by using the paper recycling bins
located on most floors. The Branch Filing List should be amended to
show that the file has been destroyed at source.
- Most files should generally be closed after 10 years from the date file
was opened and a new part given. If files are found to have been
inactive for several years these too should be considered for
storage in either Archive/Repository.
Files closed can be retained in the Division, depending on available
storage space, or sent to the Records Management Unit in Cardiff.
However, it is not considered good Record Management practice nor
cost effective for files to be retained in divisions. If files are sent for
Archive storage, they must show a Review, or Destruction date using
the guidance set out in the Disposal List. For Repository a B/F date of
usually no more than two years must be given.
- Where file covers are used, files should be closed when they
reach 1½” thickness. However, where binders are used, these
should be closed when they no longer a reasonable size, and
have become unmanageable. A new part should then be opened.
Files that are considered to reflect a significant change to the Departments
procedures. For example, setting up or ceasing of guarantees or certain other
information relating to the history of the Department, changing status, or where
ECGD is shown as taking the lead on specific topics, must be considered as
potential cases for National Archives retention. These should be marked
appropriately, with a Review date of 25 years from the date the file was closed. In all
such cases advice should be sought from the DDRO and/or the DRO.
4 SPECIFIC PROJECTS
4.1 Setting up Files and Referencing Documents for Specific Projects
Wherever possible and practical in the event of a specific project being set up, it
will be the responsibility of the Divisional DRMO setting up the project to maintain a
record of the original minutes, correspondence etc. Each file cover with original
documents must be marked MASTER FILE, and papers contained therein-stamped
original. Copies circulated should also be marked COPY. Stamps maybe ordered
If a Project reflects a significant change in ECGD structure, Policy material
generated should be dealt with as set out under Specific Projects, and should be
marked for the attention of the DDRO and/or the DRO for review as it maybe
possible that these will be considered for possible transfer to The National Archives.
Those responsible for Departmental Meetings: material generated i.e. minutes and
papers should be stamped, as original and the file cover must be marked as
It will therefore not be necessary for copy recipients to send their files for Archiving,
these can be held until the project is concluded and either destroyed immediately or
be retained by their owners for a suitable period and destroyed.
5 ARCHIVING ARRANGEMENTS
5.1 Archive Files
Files that are to be archived, must be placed loose in a cardboard box (available
from the Post Room), Blue boxes must also be put into cardboard boxes (two blue
boxes only). A note from the originator should be put into the cardboard box, with
the following details: NAME, DIVISION, and EXTENSION NUMBER
For Health and Safety reasons the weight of the cardboard box should not exceed
12.5 kilograms. (Approx. equivalent to a full box of photocopying paper)
On receipt at the Records Management Unit, details will be taken from the file covers
and will be replicated on the archiving database LAMPlite in the following format e.g.
- File number
- File title
- Market – If appropriate
- File open/closed
- Review/destruction date
It is possible that some Divisions will want a file to be referenced in a specific way.
The DRMO must send a minute with the appropriate files; this should set out the
specific details. The format should be set out as follows:
- File number
- File title
Instructions must state that the details will replace those shown on the file
Files will be checked on receipt at the Records Management Unit, to ensure that all
appropriate information is available prior to input on the Archive database, LAMPlite.
If any details are missing, files will be returned to the sender for amendment.
The newly archived files will appear on the LAMPlite system usually the day they are
received in the Records Management Unit.
Files that are returned from the Records Management Unit when requested will have
an Archiving label put on the front cover. This must never be removed.
It will be the responsibility of the DDRO to send details of files to DRMOs, which are
due for 1st or 2nd review, this should occur at quarterly intervals. It will be the
responsibility of the DRMO to consider whether the files should be:
- Returned to the Records Management Unit for destruction immediately
or, allocated a second review date as set out in the Disposal List.
- If the file has previously been given a review date, this is considered
the second review stage and the file must be returned with a
Destruction date only. The usual exceptions will be IDA, RD files.
5.2 Safe Custody Documents
Documents deemed, as Safe Custody will generally be originally signed
These documents must be placed in an envelope, with the following mandatory
details clearly shown on the envelope.
- Facility/Deal or any other relevant file number
- Market –if appropriate
- Review/Destruction date.
The package, including a completed Safe Custody Documents form, should then be
sent to Records Management Unit, where a unique package number will be
allocated. Details on the envelope will be replicated on the database LAMPlite. A
copy of the Safe Custody package form will be returned to the sender with the
package number. For retrieval purposes, the package number, prefixed by SCD, will
be input in the file number field on LAMPlite.
Requests for retrieval of Safe Custody Documents from the Archive Storage Facility
can be made, by using the Request facility on LAMPlite.
When a review date has been reached, details of the SCD will be passed to the
appropriate DRMO who, with RD and GCO DRMO, will establish if the SCD can
be destroyed. In the event that activity has arisen on a case, it will be
necessary for the DRMO to advise Records Management Unit of a 2nd Review
date. The archiving database will be amended.
6 DEPARTMENTAL ARCHIVING DATABASE – LAMPlite
This is the Departments Archiving Database, which is managed at the Records
Management Unit, Cardiff. DRMOs and their appointed team members have
access to the records only on a browse (search), and request basis. Only the
Records Management Unit can create new records and make amendments.
Search and subsequent request for appropriate files can be actioned in several
6.2.1 The Search Bar
This can be found at the top left-hand side of the screen, usually under the
icons. Type in either the file number or name. Select the Search button.
6.2.2 Add Condition
This button can be found alongside the Search bar. When selected, a drop
down box will appear with WORD and PHRASES shown in blue. Select the
down arrow alongside, and then select ‘BY FORM’. A box will appear
showing empty fields. Select the appropriate field, and enter the details.
Select ‘OK’, then ‘SEARCH’. Alternatively, when the WORD AND
PHRASES drop down box appears, enter a couple words in each of the
empty fields, select OK, and then SEARCH.
6.2.3 Request Facility
Once the appropriate record is found, there will be a Request button, which
can be used and should show details of the requestor, these details cannot be
amended. The ‘OK’ button can then be selected for the automatic despatch
of the request to the Records Management Unit in Cardiff. The file status will
change on LAMPlite to show that the file has been requested, and it will not
be possible for the file to be requested by any other person. When the
Records Management Unit has received the request the status will change
once again to show the file is ‘OUT ON REQUEST’.
Before a search is made, it may be useful to the requestor to know whether
the file is available. Against each record on the LAMPlite view, there is a
dedicated ICON, which at a glance show the status of the file. Descriptions
can be found by selecting the ICON key under the search bar. For security
reasons, it will not be possible to request files that are outside the
requestors own Group. For example, GCO will not be able to select FCD
file records. If one Division needs to see another’s file it will be the owning
Divisions responsibility to request the file through LAMPlite, and on receipt,
ensure that a record is kept of where the file has gone. However, in cases of
urgency, and where the owning divisional staff are not available to request a
file for onward transmission to another Division, confirmation of file release
from a Line Manager of the owning Division, can be sent by email to the
Records Management Unit. Under no other circumstances will files be
If Divisions encounter difficulties in locating files on the LAMPlite database,
any member of Records Management Unit can be contacted for help.
The concept of the Repository is to allow files deemed as “live” working files to be
stored at the Records Management Unit in order to release expensive floor space
Harbour Exchange. It is intended that such files should be sent for storage for a
minimum of 6 months or a maximum of 24 months.
Repository may be used to store a range of appropriate material. For example
Brochures, working files with BF dates etc. In these instances it is advisable
to initially discuss with the DDRO at Cardiff.
Prior to selecting this method of storage, files sent to the Repository should be
allocated either 6 month – 12 month bring forward date (B/F). Once this date has
been reached. DRMOs will be notified in writing that a decision is required i.e.
whether the file is to be returned, destroyed or moved into Archives storage.
The procedures for sending files to the Repository will be the same as for Archiving.
Any files received for the Repository that are deemed not suitable will be queried by
the DDRO. Files requested from the Repository, via the LAMPlite database will have
a red label attached, which should not be removed. If a decision is taken to archive
the file, it must be returned, with a covering minute from the DRMO, advising that the
file is being transferred into Archives and a review/destruction date must be
8 ELECTRONIC RECORDS
Whilst paper is still the most common medium for records, usually as an assembly of
documents, electronic media are increasingly used instead. This is because most
offices now store and transmit information electronically.
Electronic transactions are no different in nature from their paper counterparts: they
need to be recorded, captured in fixed form, maintained and made accessible as
records. The role and purposes of record keeping in the electronic environment are
the same as the paper world. Information is often created, collected or received in
today’s office systems environment without being subject to the procedures or rules
governing good record management. For instance e-mail messages and other
electronic documents are often transmitted without the benefit of built in rules for
routing or filing. Concerns have been raised that electronic records of government
decision making and transactions that support government activities, especially
those in electronic form, are difficult to identify, track and access.
8.2 ECGD Procedures
In ECGD, decisions on how best to manage electronic records (as opposed to
electronic documents) has yet to be made but discussions with the DRO are
underway. However, staff should, in the meantime, generally be aware that
whatever document is created electronically, these should be referenced
appropriately in folders. However, until the debate on Electronic Record
Management has been concluded, paper will continue to be the primary source
of information and it will be prudent for important information to be printed to
paper and filed.