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21 October 2005 - Wales Group Meeting

The RMS Wales group met in Llandrindod Wells on 21st October 2005 at Powys County Council. An introduction to the days proceedings were made by group Chair Lucy Burrow, with the first presentation coming from Helen Curtis and Mark Gingell of Worcestershire County Council. Entitled 'Information Audit Project - The Worcester Way', Helen and Mark described the pre audit status of the Modern Records Unit:

  1. 12 staff
  2. Received 51 cu.m semi current boxed records
  3. Destroyed 31 cu.m semi current boxed records
  4. Retention schedule last updated 1996
  5. Disparate departmental systems
  6. Wholesale duplication
  7. Incomplete identification of potential historical records

After outlining the drivers for the audit the presentation then described the objectives of the audit:

  1. incorporation of DIRKS methodology
  2. create a user friendly disposal schedule
  3. create a functional classification scheme
  4. future EDRM programme
  5. knowledge of information holding
  6. better record management
  7. meeting of compliance obligations

A key area to the success of the audit would be gaining senior management support. Background work was undertaken prior to the audit including identifying the correct people to see. A pain free audit interview technique was developed which required interviews at work desks, request to see current records arrangements and trying to solicit any hidden storage areas!

A database was constructed to tabulate interview findings and this was incorporated into the final report. In raising the profile of the Modern Records, submission of the audit findings led to unexpected outcomes such as an increased willingness of staff to forward records for storage; past destruction date records identified; improved arrangement for easy destruction; better relations with other departments, gaps identified in staff skills. One of the lessons learned from the audit was the importance of getting the message across with regards to corporate records management. The team are now marketing the service to district councils, schools, careers departments and the probation service. The importance of undertaking the audit is highlighted in the awareness given to staff of the needs for good records management particularly when the step change comes on the implementation of an EDRM system.

The next presentation came from Anthony Sawyer, the Senior Archivist of Herefordshire Council. Entitled 'EDRMS and Herefordshire Council', Anthony managed to integrate Russian Space Exploration with Records Management! Initially giving an overview of the council, Anthony described the drivers and the business case for implementing EDRMS. Citing the then risks to the project Anthony described such issues as the lack of available funding, change management implementation, failure to meet staff expectations and the lack of departmental resources as being crucial in the delivery of a successful project. The requirements on the purchase of the EDRMS were then discussed in detail including gathering of requirements; receiving presentations by suppliers; request to participate questionnaire; supplier selection criteria and tender scenarios. Anthony completed his presentation by describing the requirements of an EDRMS system within the context of the ESCR requirements.

This presentation was an uplifting and positive view of small steps that can be taken along the long road to EDRMS procurement.

The next meeting was provisionally set for 27th January 2006 at Aberystwyth University.

WERIM Presentation (PPT, 93.5 KB)

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