Benefits of Records Management

‘Records contain information that is a valuable resource and an important business asset. A systematic approach to the management of records is essential for organisations and society to protect and preserve records as evidence of actions’ (ISO 15489 - 1:2001, Clause 4).

Effective information and records management provides a number of business benefits for Fife Council, these include:

Ensures legislative and regulatory compliance

Records management enables us to comply with information legislation including: Public Records (Scotland Act) 2011, Data Protection Act 1998, Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. In addition, it supports our audit and reporting requirements allowing us to provide accurate and appropriate information to regulatory bodies.

Supports consistent and equitable service provision

Records provide authentic evidence of business transactions and activities; this supports the application of corporate policies and standards, demonstrates accountability and through comparison, assessment and review, supports service reform.

Reduces operating costs

Controlled creation of records and appropriate application of retention schedules reduces duplication and the storage of unnecessary records. This saves storage space and management costs (both physical storage for paper records and server space for electronic information).

Reduces risk of litigation

Being able to produce appropriate legally admissible evidence of our activities reduces the risk of legal action against the Council and supports our case when we need to take action against others.

Safeguards vital information

Risk management, business continuity, and disaster recovery are all supported by effective records management. It also ensures that additional protection is applied to information where required, for example to maintain confidentiality, security, privacy and integrity.

Supports agile decision making

Records management ensures that the right information is available to the right person at the right time and in the right format. Employees and managers are able to respond quickly and appropriately because they have the information that they need (accurate, up-to-date and complete) without having to spend significant time and resources retrieving the required details.

Improves efficiency and productivity

According to the National Records of Scotland ‘in an unmanaged records environment, up to 10% of staff time is spent looking for information’. Records management makes it easier for employees to retrieve the information they require, saving time and effort which can be spent on other tasks. Knowing which information we hold and where it is located helps employees respond quickly to information requests. This applies equally to information that we no longer hold as well.

Supports development and implementation of new information management technologies

It is much easier to assess the requirements and compatibility of new systems such as SharePoint and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) if our information and records are well managed. This also applies to new ways of working, for example the use of data sharing portals, cloud computing and mobile technology.

Protects the rights of employees, customers and other stakeholders

Good records management provides reliable and recallable evidence of the Council’s business transactions and activities which creates a foundation to support the legal, financial, political and ethical rights of individuals, partner agencies and other bodies.

Preserves corporate memory and supports both historical and future research.

Corporate memory is the accumulated body of data, information, knowledge and learning created in and by an organisation during its lifetime. To be useful, corporate memory has to be accessible and retrievable; this requires effective records management.

Link to NRS: http://www.nas.gov.uk/recordKeeping/recordsManagement.asp

 

 

Meic Pierce Owen, Records Manager 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 05 30 Contact Meic Pierce Owen online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT
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