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COUNCIL POLICY R180 RECORDS MANAGEMENT

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1. Scope The City of Mount Gambier Records Management Policy provides the policy framework for Council to effectively fulfil its obligations and statutory requirements under the State Records Act 1997.
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1. Scope The City of Mount Gambier Records Management Policy provides the policy framework for Council to effectively fulfil its obligations and statutory requirements under the State Records Act Good records management is of key importance to good governance. Records are vital ingredients in the support of the Council s ongoing business activities. The Council is committed to managing its records of continuing value and their timely transfer to State Records of South Australia. Under the State Records Act 1997, the City of Mount Gambier has an obligation to maintain the official records in its custody in good order and condition. Not only does this include obligations in relation to the capture, storage, maintenance and disposal of physical records but also records in electronic format including messages and social media. The Policy applies to all Council business including activities undertaken using electronic files or communications. It concerns records which are created, collected, processed, used, sentenced, stored and disposed of in the conduct of Council s official business. Electronic communications which are relevant to the information gathering, policy formulation or decision making processes of Council are part of the scope of this Policy. HP Records Manager (RM) is the corporate Electronic Document Records Management System (EDRMS). RM is designed to: enhance the retrieval of information; empower users to manage their own information; allow intellectual property to be shared within Council; meet legal and regulatory requirements for the maintenance of records; meet Australian Standards (AS ISO ) for the management of records.. Purpose The purpose of this policy is to outline and direct the practices of Council staff and Elected Members in relation to the management of the records of Council and the information contained within them. Council staff includes persons employed by Council, volunteers, trainees, work experience placements, independent consultants and contractors and other authorised personnel offered access to Council s resources. Council has an obligation under the Local Government Act 1999 and the Freedom of Information Act 1991 and other relevant legislation to create, manage and provide timely access to documents and records containing specific information. The management of records is a vital process that underpins and supports the business activities of the Council. Adherence to this Policy and Procedure Statement will ensure the City of Mount Gambier is able to: meet its legislative responsibilities; provide evidence of accountability; validate and support its decisions and actions; Page 1 of 9 protect the interests of its residents, Elected Members and staff; and is able to provide evidence for legal actions, investigations and related purposes. The Council is an agency under the State Records Act 1997 and, as such, is required to practice adequate records management as defined by the Across Government Adequate Records Management Standard and Framework. The Standard states Records management must be governed and planned in a strategic manner, incorporating the development and implementation of plans, policies and procedures. 3. Policy Statement The business activities of the City of Mount Gambier are to be documented, recorded and managed to protect the integrity, enhance the efficiency and preserve the history of Council. Business activities include decisions made, actions taken and interaction with clients. Records will be managed and maintained in accordance with the procedures associated with this policy. This policy applies to the records and information held by Council at all sites managed and occupied by Council, including records created and received by Council staff and Elected Members and should be read in conjunction with the Administrative Procedure Records Management. 4. Electronic Document & Records Management System The City of Mount Gambier s corporate electronic document and records management system is HP Records Manager (RM). The objectives of the electronic document and records management system are as follows: To ensure that the management of Council s information resources and records provide timely and comprehensive information to meet operational business needs, accountability requirements and community expectations. To ensure the preservation of Council s corporate memory through sound recordkeeping practices and accurate capture of information meeting legal, evidential and accountability requirements. 5. Roles & Responsibilities It is the responsibility of all Council staff and Elected Members to adhere to this Policy and associated Administrative Procedure. Council staff or Elected Members who do not comply with this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action under the relevant Code of Conduct, and/or subject to criminal or civil proceedings. Elected Members and staff should report breaches of this Policy to the Director - Corporate Services. Council s Responsibility Council as an entity is responsible for ensuring its business activities are documented and preserved. Council as an entity is responsible for: Ensuring its official records are captured and stored; Providing complete, accurate and reliable records of it functions and activities; Protecting its integrity and the interests of its staff, residents and ratepayers; and Providing a documented history of the Council. Page of 9 When collecting, using, storing and disclosing personal information, Council acknowledges that the National Privacy Principles contained within the Privacy Act set an appropriate standard for privacy protection and enables Council to achieve best practice consistency with those standards. Council will take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from loss, unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure and other misuse, and to maintain systems to ensure that all personal information collected is stored safely. Chief Executive Officer s Responsibility The role of the Chief Executive Officer as prescribed by Section 99 of the Local Government Act 1999 includes ensuring that records required under any legislation are properly kept and maintained. The Chief Executive Officer is also responsible for ensuring that Elected Members are aware of their records management responsibilities and that they receive the appropriate training and education. Director s / Manager s / Team Leader s Responsibilities All Supervisors are responsible for adherence to this Policy and associated Administrative Procedures by staff within their department. They are also responsible for ensuring staff receive records management training relative to their roles and responsibilities. Supervisor s are charged with the responsibility of ensuring their staff: Are formally introduced to the Records Management Policy and associated Administrative Procedures Undertake records management training as part of their induction process Have access to the knowledge, software and tools that support the Records Management Policy and associated Procedures Have recordkeeping responsibilities included in job and person specifications, performance management agreements and/or contracts and agreements Capture Council s Intellectual Property (e.g. knowledge that may cease once a staff member leaves) Supervisors are responsible for supporting and monitoring staff recordkeeping practices as defined by this Policy and associated Administrative Procedure and supporting the capture and creation of records by staff as part of normal business practices. Council Staff and Elected Member Responsibilities All Council staff and Elected Members need to be aware of and comply with recordkeeping requirements related to the performance and execution of their duties and functions which include: creating records that adequately reflect the business they conduct including, where relevant, decisions made and actions taken; protecting and caring for records in their possession; not removing, destroying or deleting Council records without proper authority to do so; Page 3 of 9 ensuring all official records form part of the record holdings of Council; ensuring all official records are captured within Council s EDRMS or the appropriate business system; and recognising that the records they create and receive in the conduct of Council s business are the property of Council and must be afforded the care and protection identified in this Policy and associated Administrative Procedure. In order to meet the above requirements, Elected Members are responsible for ensuring that they forward to Council staff for inclusion in Council s EDRMS any records deemed to be official records regardless of their format including hardcopy, and social media. Senior Records Officer Responsibility for Council s records management system is assigned to the Senior Records Officer. The Senior Records Officer is operationally responsible for the efficient management of Council records (physical and electronic) incorporating sound recordkeeping principles and records management best practice guidelines. The Senior Records Officer is responsible for the effective management and system administration of the Council s EDRMS. The Senior Records Officer is responsible for: ensuring that official records are managed in accordance with the State Records Act 1997; establishing records management policies and procedures for the Council as a whole; establishing corporate standards for recordkeeping and records management; measuring performance of Council business units against these standards; providing consulting services to Council staff and Elected Members; developing corporate electronic records management strategies; working with other managers of information resources to develop coherent information architecture across the Council; working with other accountability stakeholders, including FOI officers and executive management staff, to ensure recordkeeping systems support organisational and public accountability; and providing Council staff and Elected Members with appropriate training and tools to allow them to meet their records management responsibilities. 6. Confidential Records If a staff member or Elected Member believes that a record forwarded to Records staff for incorporation into the recordkeeping system is of a highly sensitive or confidential nature, he or she should advise Records of that view. It will be at the discretion of Records staff as to whether such information will then be treated as confidential and access to those records restricted. Page 4 of 9 7. Records Security The security of all Council records is crucial, as records provide evidence of business transactions, support management decisions and ensure public accountability requirements are met. Records in all formats should be stored securely to prevent unauthorised access, destruction, loss, alteration or removal. Council staff are responsible for the safe custody of all hardcopy files and documents that are allocated to them. Sensitive or confidential information should be placed in a secure storage area when not in use. When no longer required the file/documents should be returned to Records for storage. File storage units should be locked overnight wherever possible to prevent unauthorised access. Amongst other risk management considerations, this reduces the possibility of damage by water or fire in the event of a disaster. Council records are not to be stored at home or left in cars unattended as they could be lost or damaged or stolen. Vital records should be stored in protective or fire resistant conditions with suitable access conditions. Confidential records must be stored in a secured environment whether they are in hardcopy or electronic form. 8. Disposal of Records Official records must be disposed of in accordance with the General Disposal Schedule 0 (GDS 0) for Local Government Authorities in South Australia. The Senior Records Officer is the only person with the authority to dispose of official records. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for approving destruction of records at the City of Mount Gambier. Unauthorised or illegal destruction under the State Records Act 1997 carries penalties of a $10,000 fine or up to years imprisonment, which may be placed on an organisation or an individual. Only records that have been identified as non official and of no continuing value to the Council can be destroyed in accordance with Normal Administrative Practice (NAP). Council staff and Elected Members should contact Records staff for advice or assistance with the destruction of their non official records if required. Disposal of Council records will take place annually or as required. During this process records will be sentenced and sent to offsite storage for archiving or destroyed as per SRSA requirements. Method Destruction Archiving Description A list of records due for destruction will be signed off by the Senior Records Officer in conjunction with specified Review Officers prior to being submitted to the CEO for approval and confidential destruction in accordance with Administrative Procedure Destruction of Official Records. Records will be sentenced, boxed and archived. A register will be maintained for reference and retrieval purposes. Records are initially sent to the Records Shed at the Depot with consignments of permanent records transferred to SRSA on an as required basis. Page 5 of 9 9. Digitisation and Disposal of Source Records General Disposal Schedule 1 (GDS 1) for the management and disposal of source documents and digitised versions after digitisation will be applied by Records to digitised records managed in RM and their source documents in conjunction with the GDS 0. Once source documents have been digitised by rendering into an open and enduring format (PDF, JPG or TIFF) the digitised version will be managed as the corporate record within the system. The location of source documents will be recorded in the metadata of the digitised record and source documents will be retained for a minimum of 1 year or as determined by its business use. Source documents will be day batched with the exception of: Permanent source documents will be filed in hardcopy permanent files after digitisation. Source documents of records deemed to be vital records will be stored in the strongroom after digitisation and will be retained according to the GDS 0. Source documents required for business use will be kept by the relevant section for an agreed period prior to being transferred into custody of Records for destruction in accordance with this Policy and the GDS 1. Access to day batched temporary source documents and permanent source document files will be controlled by Records. 10. Legislation & Related Documentation The State Records Act 1997 governs the obligations and responsibilities of the City of Mount Gambier in relation to the management of official records. Under this Act, the Council has an obligation to maintain all official records in its custody in good order and condition. Not only does this include obligations in relation to the capture, storage, maintenance and disposal of physical records but also records in electronic format. Council has certain legal obligations in relation to records management and records are themselves subject to legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act 1991, and legal processes such as discovery and subpoenas. The records may also be required by Royal Commissions, the Ombudsman, the Courts, auditors and other people or bodies who may have authority or rights to access records. Relevant Legislation / Standards State Records Act 1997 Local Government Act 1999 Freedom of Information Act 1991 Copyright Act 1968 Development Act and Regulations 1993 Evidence Act 199 (as amended) Electronic Transactions Act 000 Australian Standards AS ISO 15489, Records Management Page 6 of 9 11. Definitions Continuing Value records of continuing value are those that contain information that is of administrative, legal, fiscal, evidential or historical value to the Council. Council Business may include the provision of services, delivery of programs, development of policies, making of decisions, performance of Council functions and other similar types of transactions. Council Staff - includes persons employed by Council, volunteers, trainees, work experience placements, independent consultants and contractors and other authorised personnel offered access to Council s resources. Dispose of to dispose of an official record means to: destroy or abandon the record; carry out an act or process as a result of which it is no longer possible or reasonably practicable to reproduce the whole or a part of the information contained in the record; or transfer or deliver ownership or possession of or sell the record, or purport to do so, but does not include transferring or delivering the record to the State Records Office or between the Council and another agency. Ephemeral/Transitory Record A record is transitory or ephemeral in nature if it is of little or no continuing value to the Council and only needs to be kept for a limited or short period of time, such as a few hours or a few days. Normal Administrative Practice (NAP) Normal Administrative Practice provides for the routine destruction of drafts, duplicates and publications with the test that it is obvious that no information of more than transitory or ephemeral value to the Council will be destroyed. Material that can be disposed of under Normal Administrative Practice comprises items of an ephemeral or transitory nature created, acquired or collected by Council staff or Elected Members in the course of their official duties. Such material has no ongoing value and is not usually incorporated into the Council s recordkeeping system and is not considered destruction of official records. Record A record means: written, graphic or pictorial matter: or a disk (magnetic or optical), tape, film or other object that contains information (in any form) or from which information may be reproduced (with or without the aid of another object or device). Official Record An official record is a record made or received by the Council in the conduct of its business. This means that because Elected Members and staff of the Council act as representatives of the Council, any record created, sent, received, forwarded or transmitted by Council staff Page 7 of 9 and/or Elected Members in the performance of their functions and duties may be classified as official records. An official record does not include: records that are merely transitory, ephemeral, personal or private in nature will fall outside the definition of official records ; a record made or received for delivery or transmission to another person or body (other than an agency) and so delivered or transmitted; or a record made by an agency as a draft only and not for further use or reference; or a record received into or made for the collection of a library, museum or art gallery and not otherwise associated with the business of the agency, or a Commonwealth record as defined by the Archives Act 1983 of the Commonwealth, as amended from time to time, or an Act of the Commonwealth enacted in substitution for that Act; or a record that has been transferred to the Commonwealth. 1. REVIEW & EVALUATION This Policy is scheduled for review by Council in May 017; however, will be reviewed as required by any legislative changes which may occur. 13. AVAILABILITY OF POLICY This Policy will be available for inspection at Council s principal office during ordinary business hours and on the Council s website Copies will also be provided to interested members of the community upon request, and upon payment of a fee in accordance with Council s Schedule of Fees and Charges. Page 8 of 9 File Reference: AF11/1738 Applicable Legislation: State Records Act 1997 Local Gover
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