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21 June 2006 - Scotland Group Meeting

"Preparing for success : foundations of good records management"

The meeting took place in University of Dundee, Baxter Conference Suite.

Dr David Duncan, Secretary of the University of Dundee, welcomed the group. Pat Whatley, Director of the Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS) then presented the new course offered by the University: MSc Records Management and Information Rights. The course starts in September 2006 and is entirely taught online, with course materials, tasks and discussion boards available through Blackboard. There are two main entry dates: September and January. 3 levels of qualification are possible: certificate, diploma and masters. Payment is per module, and the maximum duration is 5 years, depending on the individual uptake of modules. Applications are now taken for the September intake. For more information, please contact CAIS on 01382 384095 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The first session looked at the Espida Model, presented by James Currall and Peter McKinney from the espida project team. The Model, funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), is a tool to assess the intangible benefits of a proposal for a new system, product, procedure, when tangible benefits may not be high enough to warrant financial backing. The main concept revolves around "value" and how it depends on perspective. In this context it is not about money. James Currall emphasised that compliance is not the driver for projects concerning Records/Information Management, as it depends on the risk of being caught and the penalty applied. This was later argued by one participant who indicated that a high-investment project in their organisation received backing because of the emphasis of compliance which could be gained through the project. The group then split into smaller groups and worked through the model with an example of their choice. This provided plenty of interaction and networking amongst group members. A lively feedback discussion between group members and the espida team ensued about the positives and negatives of the Model. A copy of the Espida presentation is attached at the end of this report. More information can be obtained about the Model at www.gla.ac.uk/espida/.

After lunch, a highly interactive session was lead by Elizabeth Parker, Emmerson Consulting, on retention schedule. After explaining that there were different terms used for the same concept (retention schedule, disposition schedule, disposal schedule), and therefore different definitions, examples of retention schedules from various private and public organisations were discussed to try and reach agreement on which one was the best example. A list of features for structure, content and format was drawn up. However the conclusion was that the structure, contents, and format of a schedule is a tool which must suit each organisation's needs. This is probably the reason why so many different ones exist. It is not possible to produce a generic one. The session benefited from great participation from all members. A summary of the discussions can be found attached at the end of this report.

Finally, the day closed with an input from Sarah Hutchison, Head of Policy and Information, OSIC, following the submission of the RMS Scotland Group comments submitted as part of the "Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - 1 year on consultation" and her subsequent reply. Sarah Hutchison welcomed the opportunity to strengthen the link of OSIC with the records managers community, and expressed the hope that this was only the beginning as regular contact would be very beneficial. She informed members that the group that authored the S61 Code of Practice is to be reformed, lead by the Deputy Keeper of Records Peter Anderson. She also informed the group that OSIC can make representations to Parliament to change legislation. However this must be based on evidence.

Heather Jack, Director of HJBS Ltd, gave the vote of thanks which closed a very interactive meeting.

Sponsorship:

Our thanks go to McPherson Document Solutions for sponsoring the event. Based in Glasgow McPherson Document Solutions supply documents management and document scanning solutions to companies, local authorities and service providers throughout Scotland and the UK for 30 years. They offer full service solutions in the field of document management and document scanning. For more information, visit their website www.trmcpherson.co.uk.

Edith Pringault-Adam

21 June 2006 RMSSG Event Agenda (DOC, 202.5 KB)

espida RMS Scotland presentation 21 June 2006 (PDF, 950.6 KB)

Records Retention & Disposition Schedule 21 June 2006 (PDF, 16.1 KB)

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