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UCD Records Management and Freedom of Information

Aonad Bainistíochta Taifead & Saoráil Faisnéise UCD

University Records Management Policy

1. Introduction

The information that University records contain serves as evidence of functions executed and activities performed, and comprises a valuable source of knowledge as to how and why decisions are taken. Given that good quality records are of value to any organisation, their effective management is necessary to ensure that the records maintained are authentic, reliable, and complete and to ensure that they are protected and preserved as evidence to support future actions, and to ensure current and future accountability.

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2. Official Records

All records created and received in the course of its official business constitute the official records of University College Dublin.

3. Records Management

Records management is the application of controls to the creation, maintenance, use and disposal of records, elements of which include correspondence and forms management, records classification, files management, retention scheduling, disaster planning, vital records protection, the administration of inactive records storage, the management of record conversion programmes, archival preservation activities and destruction of records. Good records management is of special significance in the context of the University's functions, where the maintenance of academic records is a core activity.

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4. The rationale for records management

Effective records management allows the University to create and maintain records that enable it to:

  • conduct business in an orderly, efficient and accountable manner;
  • deliver services in a consistent and equitable manner;
  • support and document policy formulation and managerial decision-making;
  • provide consistency, continuity and productivity in management and administration;
  • facilitate the management of risks to the safe-keeping of records and provide continuity in the event of disaster;
  • meet legislative and regulatory requirements, including audit, oversight and archival activities;
  • provide protection and support in litigation, including the management of risks associated with the existence, or lack of evidence of, organisational activity;
  • ensure that adequate records are made of all the core activities;
  • protect the interests of the University and the rights of students, employees, clients, agents and present and future stakeholders;
  • support and document current and future research and development activities, developments and achievements;
  • maintain corporate and institutional memory

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5. Objectives of the records management policy

5.1
The purpose of this records management policy is to ensure the creation and management of authentic, reliable, complete, and usable records, capable of supporting the University's functions and activities for as long as they are required.

5.2
The objectives of the policy are to:

  • support records management within the University;
  • support organisational compliance with legislation and University regulations;
  • ensure the preservation of records of permanent value.

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6. Scope of the policy

6.1
The records of the University consist of recorded information, regardless of format, created or received by University officers and employees in the course of performing official functions on behalf of the University and held as evidence of its organisation, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, and internal or external transactions. Records can be in any physical form or medium, including paper or electronic.

6.2
All records created or received by the University and its officers and employees in the course of their official duties are the property of the University and subject to its overall control and must be created, maintained, used and disposed of in accordance with procedures and guidelines approved by an appropriate University officer.

6.3
All records created and received by the University or its officers and employees in the course of their official duties, must be retained as long as required to meet legal, administrative, financial, and operational requirements of the University.

6.4
All records created and received by the University and its officers and employees in the course of their official duties must be disposed of in a manner that safeguards the confidentiality of the information they contain.

6.5
All records created and received by the University and its officers and employees in the course of their official duties that are permanently preserved must remain accessible to authorised officers and employees.

6.6
This policy supports the provision of a structure for the ongoing application of records management in University College Dublin, consisting of a records management implementation plan, a records classification scheme, a University records retention schedule, and a procedures manual, to include the management of electronic records.

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University College Dublin
October 2004