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2019 Award Finalists
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Say hello to the 2019 Award finalists!

Each year the IRMS recognises excellence in the field of information management with our prestigious Industry Awards. These highly sought-after awards are presented at a glittering ceremony following our Gala Dinner, the centrepiece of our annual Conference. Here you can find out more about each finalist and why they made it through to the final membership vote! 

Professional of the Year:

Tim Turner:

Tim has been self employed for a very long time but had a large proportion of his income from Act Now – in a bit of a dramatic split, Tim went his separate ways and created course content from scratch. He has also provided some guides free gratis to the charity sector which have been invaluable to a sector which is extremely stretched and has been heavily fined by the ICO. Online he can come across as a troll but in person, he is nothing but the consummate professional. He is extremely knowledgeable and his courses are fantastic. He even created the uncertified DPO badge which took LinkedIn by storm. He has gone from nothing to something and whilst GDPR may have been a massive contributor, Tim brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise that is like no other.

Jenny Radcliffe:
Jenny is an amazing human being. From an early age, locked doors, high fences and the secrets kept by businesses, buildings and people, fascinated Jenny. She has spent a lifetime learning how to use the “human element” to gain access to the buildings, data and information. Her lifetime experience has a roller coaster of a tale which takes her from the mean streets of Liverpool in the 1980’s to the square mile of London’s financial district and beyond. Jenny has hid under desks and climbed walls, picked locks and dumpster dove. She has used some acting skills and quick thinking and has lived to tell the tale…just. Jenny’s journey has included breaching zoos, offices and funeral parlours, theme parks, banks and football matches, to helping respected businesses and organisations to protect themselves from the threat of malicious “people hackers.”
You might think that since Jenny has near on 35 years experience, she’d be due for retirement but the truth of the matter is that Jenny is still in her prime, she just happens to have been doing this kind of job since she was 7.
You might ask why now? Why nominate Jenny for this years professional award? Well recently, I’ve been enthralled in watching the current TV series of Hunted. Jenny has become so well versed in the field that she’s been hunted down to be a Hunted Intelligence expert sitting in the HQ tracking down the Hunted. Take a look and you’ll see her on TV. Jenny is taking the world by storm, using the television. Whilst the current series is being played on TV in January 2019, the work of recording did actually take place over the Summer of 2018 and therefore this is why she qualifies for the professional of the year. Whilst Jenny isn’t the usual candidate that would be nominated, she is in the field of Information Security and therefore, is exactly the kind of person the IRMS deserves to award given its not just all about records management. On top of her other work, Jenny is also the host of The People Hacker Podcast that can be found free of charge on her website.


Team of the Year:

RM, Information & Data Compliance Team, University of Warwick:
This self nomination is for the work that Henry McHugh and Mark Camilletti have undertaken as the Records Management function (the function) as part of the wider multi discipline Information and Data Compliance Team at the University of Warwick over the past twelve months.

The records management function was established at the University on 22 January 2018 and prior to this the function did not exist. As such the task that Mark and Henry undertook was to develop this function: including a dedicated policy, records retention schedule, business plan, guidance, training and communications that would establish the function as a valued part of the University’s administrative services. 

As the function reaches the first anniversary of its foundation much has been achieved and this nomination reflects not that it is ‘job done’ but rather how far it has come in the space of a year and the level at which its outputs are now utilised across the University because of its visibility and engagement with individuals and teams across campus. The function is also a founder (along with University of Leicester) and Co-Chair of the Higher Education Information and Records Management Group (an informal forum to discuss records and information management issues and share best practice across the University sector).

The following section of this nomination provides some specific examples of outputs the function has delivered since its creation one year ago.

University Records Retention Schedule (RRS) has been reformatted to include a contents page, hyperlinked section headers and a Version Control Document, which is designed to transparently record changes to record retention practices at Warwick over time.

Analysis of the coverage of the RRS in terms of capturing records utilised by departments across the University undertaken and work to assign information asset owners to sections of the schedule documented along with assessment of where gaps in its University wide coverage remain. Version 2.3 of the RRS saw a significant step forward in terms of the schedule’s coverage.

The University Records Management page has been turned from an intranet page into an internet page thus ensuring that the RRS becomes a document that transparently demonstrates to third parties Warwick’s intention toward its records management obligations (e.g. in relation to demonstrating promotion of the storage limitation principle of GDPR).

Guidance on how to set a retention schedule at the University of Warwick produced alongside accompanying quick guide and both published on the University’s Records Management webpage.

Template for updating the reformatted RRS published with accompanying guidance note on the University Records Management webpage.

The University Records Management policy refresh has been developed over a longer period of time as the new function learnt about the requirements of the organisation and discussed the policy with internal stakeholders and records professionals from across the UK. The revised policy was approved by Steering Committee in October 2018 and is published on the Records Management Webpage.

Established a distribution list of key stakeholders that receive updates each time the Records Retention Schedule (RRS) or other guidance is updated. The list is 80 strong (and includes: Warwick Business School, Warwick Manufacturing Group, Warwick Medical School) and continually increases in number as the function meets with, and builds links with, Departments across the University.

The Records Management business plan developed by the function contains a target to have an item on Records Management in the staff newsletter each quarter. To date there have been items published on: records retention scheduling and top ten tips and the successful staff event ‘Protecting Information is Everyone’s Responsibility’.

As of December 2018 the records management top 10 tips document has been distributed at a recent induction event and over 250 copies distributed across the University (e.g. some posters are displayed on office walls in University House and in University Departments).

An internal staff Information Management Event was developed by the Records Management function (with the title ‘Protecting Information is Everyone’s Responsibility) and delivered on 12 December with internal speakers including: records management and the Data Protection Officer and external speakers working in the realm of information management from the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport and the Senior Civil Servant Head of the Government Knowledge and Information Management Profession.

The aim of the event was to further raise the profile of the wider discipline of information management (e.g. including: Data Protection, Information Security, Information Access, Records Management, Archives and Digital Preservation) at Warwick. The event was attended by 60+ staff and received positive feedback. The function has set up a Higher Education Information and Records Management Group in partnership with the Records Manager at the University of Leicester to consider issues affecting records management in the sector and to work collaboratively on developing guidance and establishing best practice. The first event was held at the University of Leicester on 10 October with a follow up event held at Warwick on 17 January. The next event will be a jointly held at The National Archives on 27 March in partnership with the Higher Education Archival Programme (HEAP) and on the theme of ‘Developing the Institutional Archive’. The function has been an active participant in providing feedback to JISC on their Higher Education sector wide records management guidance documents (at their request) and review of its sector wide RRS offering.

The above examples of work delivered by the Records Management function at the University of Warwick since it was created on 22 January 2018 is not exhaustive. It does not make reference to the business as usual enquires dealt with by the function or its commitment to its own continuous professional development. Nevertheless, as an overview of its achievements in one year, we would be grateful if IRMS would please consider the Records Management function at the University of Warwick for the Team Award 2019 on the merits of this submission.

The Information Governance Team, Veritau Group:
Established in 2009, the Veritau Group is a shared service providing a range of public sector assurance services, including internal audit, counter fraud, risk management and information governance. The Group is owned by six local authorities, including North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council. Our approach is designed to combine the best of private sector flexibility and innovation with public sector commitment. Our services are tailored to meet the specific needs of our clients and are designed to add value. 2018 has been a notable year for the Information Governance Team at Veritau.

As with most public sector IG teams across the country it has had to balance its usual day-to-day tasks with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation and the new Data Protection Act. However, whereas most IG services are focussed on one organisation Veritau’s IG team has supported its member councils and a handful of other public sector bodies, and launched a brand new Data Protection Officer service for schools across the north of England.

There have been two strands to the team’s daily business this year: the coordination of operational requests and ongoing strategic development at client organisations. In 2018, the team coordinated and managed almost 3500 individual FOI/EIR requests, SARs, Data Protection requests, and information security incidents. At the same time the team has been assisting clients with the development of their Information Governance strategies and the implementation of GDPR.

It has been important for us to understand how GDPR would affect our clients in terms of their service provision, and to ensure that any action plans would be manageable and proportionate. The main challenge was ensuring that our council clients were able to demonstrate compliance with the legislation and therefore able to fulfil the accountability principle which is at the heart of GDPR. This involved formulating specific action plans for each client. These action plans covered key areas including the completion of the Information Asset Register, the update of processor contracts and the review of policies and privacy notices.

It was also extremely important to us that GDPR was on the radar for corporate leadership teams and given adequate resourcing. We therefore worked to make sure that it was on the agenda at senior management meetings and was included as part of overall Council strategies and plans. Workshops and regular meetings were held for Information Asset Owners to inform them about the key changes under GDPR and to work through each stage of the action plan. In addition to all of the above, we also launched a brand new DPO service for schools.

The nature of our business means that we are able to provide high quality services to our public sector clients at extremely competitive and affordable prices. This was important for schools given the budget pressures they face and the fact that this was a new but otherwise unfunded statutory requirement. We decided that we would offer a Data Protection Officer service which, along with fulfilling the statutory requirements of a DPO included: the provision of template documents, access to a dedicated website, regular newsletters and communications, on site visits, themed workshops and access to training material.

In the run up to GDPR, the team conducted 50 ‘Introduction to GDPR Sessions’ across North Yorkshire which schools were able to attend. These sessions took the form of a GDPR ‘top ten’ and helped school leaders and business managers to understand what they should be focusing on. It also introduced them to the DPO requirements and what Veritau could offer. To date we have developed over fifty guidance documents or templates which have been extremely well received including: an Information Asset Register (with examples and guidance included), Privacy Notices for different categories of data subjects, Policy documents, Data Processor checklists and contractual clauses, DPIA templates, Security Incident reporting forms and training material for school staff. The initial estimate was that about 50 schools would sign up for the service. However, it soon became apparent that there was interest from across the north of England. The service was therefore quickly expanded and, to date, about 500 schools have signed up.

The team has recruited a number of additional members of staff to accommodate the increase in demand. The biggest challenge that we faced, as part of the new service, was visiting every school, for an initial face-to-face consultation. With the number of schools involved this really was a task that took an enormous amount of patience and planning – but each team member rose to the occasion and we successfully managed to visit the majority of schools whilst still performing our usual duties. To help deliver the service and to provide further added value, we now provide a ‘DPO telephone hotline’ and have recently launched an audit process to evaluate compliance with GDPR,

The team is also developing an interactive e-learning package specifically for school based staff.. The e-learning package provides all staff with an introduction to data protection legislation in a way that is understandable and engaging. We have tailored this specifically for the intended audience, making sure that all examples are school based so that users can relate it to their day to day activities. We plan to expand the suite of e-learning material this year with further specific themed modules. Feedback from the schools about the service has been very positive.

The team has also been busy developing their knowledge of the new legislation and gaining the relevant professional qualifications. Every team member now holds at least one BCS information governance qualification and further training is taking place. As an Investor in People, Veritau recognises the importance of training and development, and therefore sees this as a priority. The team are incredibly proud of what they have achieved this year. The company’s information governance service has grown enormously and this has only been possible through the hard work, dedication and determination of the team.

Information & Records Management Service, Houses of Parliament:
A team of 10 staff, the Information and Records Management Service (IRMS) delivers innovative, practical policies and solutions to help staff manage information more easily to support their work whilst at the same time ensuring Parliament meets its statutory obligations. Based in the Parliamentary Archives we are also responsible for identification and transfer of information with historical value, which will become the archives of the future.

Since mid-2017 we have been working on a partnership programme with the Parliamentary Digital Service to design, configure and roll-out Office 365 across the two Houses - that’s 183 teams, around 3000 people and over 200 SharePoint sites. One of the largest digital transformation programmes in recent years, the roll-out replaced multiple legacy document stores (including Meridio EDRMS, on-premise 2010 SharePoint sites, shared and personal drives) with state-of-the-art cloud technology.

Recognised early on as a critical supplier to the programme, our team were there every step of the way, from working with users to cleanse information prior to migration, designing document libraries and metadata tags to improve retrieval of information, to delivering training to super-users. By working so closely with the Digital Service on the delivery, we made sure this wasn’t simply a technology roll-out, but an opportunity to raise awareness of and compliance with information management across the board.

We have also fully decommissioned the Meridio EDRMS. By making engagement with disposal a prerequisite of getting a new SharePoint site, we got approval to delete over 75,000 folders containing over half a million documents which were out of retention. Of the remainder, about 2.5 million were migrated to new SharePoint sites. In collaboration with the Parliamentary Archives’ Preservation and Access Team, we also successfully implemented digital transfer from the EDRMS to our digital archive of approximately 250,000 records. This is a significant achievement in a complex and high profile organisation, and will ensure the preservation of unique and significant records from the past decade for generations to come. Some of the records identified demonstrate Parliament’s response to era-defining events – like those of the Select Committee on Exiting the European Union – whilst records from ad-hoc Committees scrutinise issues as diverse as Artificial Intelligence, Political Polling and Sexual Violence in Conflict.

To the best of our knowledge, we are the first UK institution to deliver end-to-end digital records transfer to a corporate digital repository.

Lifetime Achievement:

Barry Moult:

Barry is originally from Stoke on Trent and started nurse training in the RAF in the early 1970s, working in Occupational Health through to the 1980s. He moved to Welfare Work for MoD in the later 1980s and moved into IT Training for a private company and for HMP Cardiff.

In 1997 Barry completed a return to nurse practice, working in A&E, and continued to work as a Nurse in A&E and senior clinical duties at nights and weekends. In 2000 Barry became the Data Protection Officer, and then the Information Governance Manager at West Suffolk Hospital.

Barry founded and Chaired the Eastern Region IG Forum since 2003 until 2018 and was Chair of the NHS Strategic Information Network (SIGN), again until 2018. He is a proactive locally, regionally and nationally in IG development. Barry prefers face-to-face training to e-learning and is an advocate of Information Governance Peer review.

He moved from West Suffolk Hospital to Colchester Hospital in February 2014 as Head of IG & Health Records and in 2018, he retired. He is now an independent data protection consultant and trainer. Barry has extensive knowledge assessing and implementing GDPR/Data Protection readiness programs. He is an excellent sense of humour and is a true gentleman.

This will be the third year running that Barry has been nominated for an IRMS award but this time he’s being nominated for the Life Time Achievement Award rather than the Professional of the Year. The reason behind this is that he has now retired from full time practice and has handed the chairing of the NHS group over and but still doesn’t know how to step back and not keep giving that bit extra to the community by doing part time training for Leadership Through Data, although I feel he won’t now be applicable for Professional of the Year from now on, and so this is potentially his last chance at an award.

Barry is an excellent chap and going on his long career in the information field, he thoroughly deserves this nomination and whilst Lifetime Achievement I feel is something that you have to have done something amazing in and be complete at, I think Barry not only deserves this for recognition of his life and current experience but will also will continue and will be debating with the funeral directors about SIROS and IAOs as they are putting the lid on his coffin. Please make Barry’s year by him being third time lucky. I commented to him that “This could be your year Barry” and he said “I’m not that lucky” - and I really hope he is.

Barry does not come with high flying qualifications, he is simply an honest Information Governance (IG) professional, with decades of NHS experience behind him, who for many years has been passionate about promoting Data Protection (DP) and IG to further the delivery of effective healthcare to the British population. He:

  • Formed and Chairs the 1st national Strategic IG Network Groups (SIGN) group, based in the East of England.
  • Manages an electronic forum of nearly 200 IG / DP professionals.
  • Has been and continues to be consistently pro-active in helping develop the NHS IG Toolkit / incident reporting replacement tool, the Data Security and Protection Toolkit, to ensure they are meaningful for end users and to support health and social organisations to manage their information in an effective way to deliver effective care at the point of treatment. · Regularly speaks on IG / DP at conferences to share his lifetime of knowledge.
  • Willingly challenges senior senior Managers/Directors in the NHS and beyond to try and make a positive national difference.
  • Receives contact from IG / DP colleagues nationally from all levels of seniority asking for advice, always responding generously with time and humour.
  • As former Chair of the national SIGN group has represented NHS IG to national bodies.

This award would be a fitting tribute to his IG achievements over many years in healthcare IG, and the very high esteem in which he is held by many professionals in the fields of both IG and healthcare.

Julia Jones:

Julia Jones has made a lifelong contribution to the information management community. During a forty year career, she has held a diverse range of posts across the UK in libraries, information services, digital sciences and archives.

Graduating from the Polytechnic of North London in 1978, she received that year’s only first class degree in Librarianship. Following a spell at Luton Public Library, she moved on to Kings and Emmanuel College Libraries at Cambridge University. In 1984 she moved into information management for the first time, taking the information manager job at the prestigious Turing Institute, serving members of the Institute, Strathclyde University staff and students and large corporate clients. Here she put her librarian skills to excellent use by building a library from scratch. Alongside the library, she designed a unique and comprehensive bibliographic database with abstracts for Artificial Intelligence which could be searched full-text - quite cutting edge for the mid 1980s! Additionally, access to the database became a source of revenue for the Institute.

After 3 years at Turing, Julia moved to the Building Design Partnership as the Information and Business Computing Manager, where she established libraries at 8 offices, as well as an information service and supported the practice in its attainment of ISO2001. She also managed the team that rolled out Microsoft Office across the organisation.

In 1991, she moved into consultancy, working as Manager of Research and Information Services at McKinsey, simultaneously earning her MBA as a part time student. At Egon Zehnder International, an executive search company, she was Director of Research, designing and and deploying a CRM system, including completion of a project to digitise and upload all candidate files. It was also here that she held her first data protection role, with responsibility for policy and compliance. For three years between 2002 and 2004, Julia was Head of Science, Technology and Innovation at The British Library, where she oversaw a major change programme focused on improved service in the Science Reading Rooms, restructuring of a large team and streamlining processes.

Julia had a complete career change in 2004, trying her hand a running a pub and raising a family simultaneously. The landlady’s life was not really for her (although her daughter loved it and became the youngest member of the British Institute of Inn-keeping at aged 18). In 2005 Julia returned to her previous professional life, this time as an Information Architect at DSTL in Porton Down, Wiltshire, where she was responsible for developing the architecture for the organisation’s electronic document and evidence management system.

From DSTL, she was recruited to Whitehead Mann LLP, as Head of Research and Information where she undertook a strategic review of knowledge and document management processes and resources, oversaw the database management, information services and research associates teams and introduced better management information for the organisation. She once again took on responsibility for data protection policy and compliance.

Julia has spent the last decade of her career in the public sector, first at The National Archives (TNA) in Kew, then at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). At TNA she spent six years as Head of Information Management and Practice, where she streamlined processes, doubling the capacity for handling intake of records from government departments and public bodies. Some IRMS members will know Julia from this period of her career either through her advocacy for good information management, through the many stakeholder groups and seminars that she ran or was involved with or perhaps through joint consideration of FOI requests for documents held at TNA.

From 2015, she spent three years as Head of Information Management at IICSA, developing the Inquiry’s strategy, policy and governance around information and again overseeing the information architecture that now stores IICSA’s corporate records. In 2018, she became the Data Protection Officer for an organisation processing a very high proportion of personal data across its information set. She attained a BCS certification whilst establishing a small data protection team and prepared the Inquiry for the implementation of GDPR. Julia retired in December 2018, closing a career spanning 40 years, across public and private sectors. Her CV includes almost all elements of the information management profession. Yet Julia is much more than an impressive CV.

In the 10 years that I have known her, and particularly in her final roles at IICSA where I worked closely with her, she has been a source of knowledge, expertise and wisdom. Her wide experience has benefited countless people, evidenced by the endless stream of current and former colleagues who seek her advice and friendship over coffee or lunch.

She has been a constant supporter of better information and records management throughout her long career, frequently speaking at conferences to highlight the vital work that our profession does. She has been involved in many professional bodies such as IRMS, CILIP and NGLIS and willingly shares her knowledge with anyone interested in expanding their own understanding.

She is wholly deserving of the recognition that comes with the IRMS Lifetime Achievement Award.

Supplier of the Year:
Me Learning Ltd:

In January 2018 the Information Governance Officer at The National Church Institutions (NCIs) of the Church of England (CoE) began evaluating training providers, to deliver GDPR training to both the NCIs themselves; and to the wider Church. The CoE has well in excess of 100,000 volunteers, clergy and employees. The seven NCIs are the central bodies that support the day-to-day work of churches across England and have around 500 permanent and fixed-term employees. Across the country, the Church’s regional organisation comprises 42 dioceses, 45 cathedrals and 42 diocesan bishops’ offices. And there are then approximately 12,000 parishes, with 16,000 churches.

We weren’t keen on face-to-face training because it is expensive, and often not the most effective method of training. We wanted e-learning because, as well as being more cost-effective, we liked the fact that people can complete modules in their own preferred time and can stop and start, improving the response to a mandatory training requirement. We also wanted a final test, and quizzes embedded in the learning, and something that allows for a diverse and wide-spread organisation to deliver standardised learning. A specific requirement was the need for “tiered” learning that allows different configurations of learning and time commitment for different employees at different levels of responsibility, from basic to advanced, so that learning can be targeted to the role. This would mean learners get just the right material to do their jobs, and money is not wasted on over-licensing.

When we reviewed what was available, Me Learning stood out head and shoulders above others. Courses came with five levels of role-based learning, a precise content outline and learning objectives, plus clear definitions of appropriate audiences. The GDPR courses had also been produced in conjunction with a law firm so we felt that the quality of courses could be assured and having previewed the material it was clear they had done their homework. Once we had contacted Me Learning, the account manager met with us in London, and we were given access to demo versions of the courses in February 2018.

The CoE as a dispersed organisation, had many localised needs, and when the course content was circulated to stakeholders, they responded with a set of changes and personalisation to target the courses directly to the Church’s needs. Not only was Me Learning able to accommodate this personalisation, it was achieved without disrupting an ambitious timeline.

The GDPR legislation came into force on May 25th, 2018, by which time training had to be under way. It meant that Me Learning had just eight weeks to build and personalise the NCIs portal, customise the content and carry out testing before going live. In the case of the much larger wider Church programme, deadlines were as short as four weeks. There was no room for error – but the deployment was seamless and on schedule. We were also able to negotiate with Me Learning to get all 5 levels of the training for the same low cost per head, rather than having to spend £100’s of pounds for the more intensive, 5-hour courses.

The NCIs licences cover employees, volunteers, trustees, contractors and agency staff. Usage is unlimited, meaning that within 12 months, employees are free to use as much content as they want, provided we approve it, and learners can go back over what they have already done. Access is via one of two branded Church of England portals – the NCIs and the wider church. For the NCIs the Learning and Development team act as account administrators, which means we can add new starters, allow people to take more modules, run reports, or take off leavers ourselves. The NCI system went live in late April, and every member of staff, including senior managers was asked to complete the relevant course. Doing e-learning was new to the NCIs, and it improved take-up and responsiveness.

The tailored bite-size modules meant that staff could build training around their schedules and could access it in the office, on the train or at home, ensuring a better rate of completion. The courses also count towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD). By the end of July 2018, we had achieved a completion rate of over 97%. Providing the same training to the wider Church was more challenging, because as independent entities the dioceses etc are free to select their own training. However, we negotiated a framework agreement, at the same low cost per head for all 5 courses, which included multiple payment methods, so that individuals or dioceses could purchase as many or as few licenses as they wished. This allows dioceses to bulk buy licenses and have learners uploaded by Me Learning but it also means a vicar in a parish can sign-up and pay for an individual license directly.

Me Learning designed and set up a bespoke portal for the wider church, that GDPR e-learning was made available in a first use of on-demand online structured learning on this scale in the CoE.

By early July 2018, 19 Church bodies (made up of cathedrals and dioceses) as well as hundreds of parishes had opted in to the portal. This figure has continued to increase, and by late 2018 over 1,800 learners had been trained. We experienced was exceptional customer service. We found that having a single point of contact with Me Learning through the account manager invaluable; he was immediately responsive to queries, he met with us as often as we needed, and he co-ordinated all of the bespoke work we required.

We were impressed with the company’s flexibility, responsiveness and patience and were very pleased with the breadth and depth of content. Me Learning’s willingness to help us personalise the look and feel and even some of the specifics of courses, their friendliness and professionalism in going the extra mile, and their ability to do all of the work in an exceptionally short timescale makes them our Supplier of the Year.

Automated Intelligence Ltd:

This company is a market leader in providing an innovative suite of tools to enhance Microsoft 0365 products into intuitive, fit for purpose and easy to use and understand solutions for all information professional and organisations.

In my experience, working with Local Authorities, there is often little understanding amongst employees of what O365 is, and how it can enhance their working life in terms of compliance and collaboration. Automated Intelligence provides a unique toolset which can be easily translated into transparent useable benefits – easily understood by anyone. The core features of their products which support records and information management are as follows: A de -duplication and migration tool. Most local authorities are drowning in duplicated, redundant and obsolete data - up to 82%. AI’s data analytics tool supports the cleansing and migration of data, all with metadata remaining intact. This is imperative for records managers, EDRMS and SharePoint search. Without this capability, searching for data in a new system is impossible.

In addition to this, retention and disposal cannot be applied to the creation date as the migrated data only shows the date migrated and the migrator – as opposed the original author. AI’s email integration tool is a big success with organisations. The ability to drag and drop core email records into a classified file plan provides a real ‘WOW’ factor. Additionally, the ability to take documents offline to work without WIFI and the automation of retention and disposal applied to emails ticks every box – not only for employees, but also records managers. Everyone can access the new corporate file plan from their Outlook email, i.e. there is no need to go into SharePoint as you can access everything from your Inbox.

Give employees the right way or the easy way – they will always choose the easy way. AI’s Outlook integration is the EASY WAY!

C&V Data Management Services Ltd:
C&V Data Management Services are a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) offering records management storage, digitisation and shredding services primarily in the Midlands area. They have worked with the Department of Health and Social Care for a number of years, after we inherited a contract as part of the NHS structural changes in 2013.
They have a real understanding of records management, good information governance practise and the ability to respond rapidly when we have urgent requirements. They demonstrated this in responding to an urgent requirement we had to secure the information assets in a building that had been sold, when the final walk-through of the building identifying a number of records remaining in filing cabinets and locked rooms. We didn’t have the resources to tackle this ourselves, so turned to C&V. They understood the urgency of the requirement, and mobilised a project to secure, index and store every record and piece of paper that remained in the building. We hadn’t had the opportunity to visit the premises ourselves, we had only been presented with photographs giving an indication of work that needed to be done. The work undertaken by the team at C&V demonstrated not only that they could respond quickly, but that they could create order out of chaos.
The project involved not only securing assets, but also collating them into sensible collections of files and records – showing that they not only understood what needed to be done, but were able to bring their understanding of our business sector and the language used (not least the number of acronyms the business uses!). They did this without having to rely upon our team – being able to trust them to complete the task to a high standard, and without much supervision or direction from us is a real bonus. Balancing this with keeping us appropriately updated with progress is no mean feat for any supplier. At the conclusion of the project we had in excess of 4500 paper records all in good order, appropriately indexed. The quality of their work in applying descriptions and retention recommendations has exceeded our expectations. Faced with a similar issue some months later, C&V were the natural choice for us to use.
We recognise they are not a huge company, and it is a real testament that they can seemingly ‘drop everything’ to respond to our urgent requirements, but having no appreciable impact on their delivery of their everyday business. As a company, we have found that they really understood our drivers and what is important to us. They offer their skills and knowledge in the field of records management freely, making suggestions on how we can get best value from our contract – in suggesting actions that would make us pay less, or offer a better understanding of the content that we hold with the other services that they provide.
I have been genuinely surprised when James Stoute reflected on a news story and asked whether it would have an impact on our work, and whether there was anything they could do to assist. Having any supplier on the front foot, scanning the horizon for future opportunity and a genuine willingness to help is always gratefully received by a busy records manager! C&V do what they do very well, with competitive pricing and high quality standards they offer great value for money.
As an SME, they are naturally focused on customer satisfaction – which gave me no hesitation to recommend them to colleagues in other organisations who needed to undertake indexing of some boxes of archiving material. C&V deserve a nomination for the high quality work that they do for us.

Innovation of the Year:

Local Government Accelerator:

The creator, Michele Noad, has worked tirelessly in delivering full information management programmes with local authorities in England, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Stepping out on her own in 2015, she has developed a model which public authority employees really relate to. She is passionate about supporting public bodies achieve compliance and delivery of information transformation.

Her model has been fully endorsed by PRONI (the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland). She is also working closely with, and delivering her model for digital transfer with, Local Records Offices and Archives in England (South West Heritage Trust and The Berkshire Records Office).

She is also very driven in updating the Local Government Classification Scheme for England, and for NI by working in collaboration with some of the IRMS members there. The New Classification she has produced has been modernised and is fit for purpose for a model Local authority. Michele’s endorsed model has simplified the delivery of Information Asset Registers Corporate Classified File Plans Retention and Disposal Schedules Permissions, security and access utilising Active Directory as the key control A technical information architecture to contain all the above.

However, the real innovation is where Michele has been tireless in her search for a technical solution to translate her ideas and model into a tangible easy-to-use solution Michele has such a wealth of understanding in how Local Government employees work; she wanted to make better use of existing applications (i.e. O365 licences) and replace the current high-risk networks drives into a SharePoint as a full EDRMS. She approached Microsoft and a variety of other suppliers to translate her model into a fully functioning EDRMS. When others could not see the potential in her model, I saw that the benefits of translating her information architecture, permissions and workflow into a new Functional file plan and full EDRMS.

I started working with Michele, exploring her ideas in August 2017, and we developed her ideas into Local Government Accelerator. This is a really easy way for Local Government to replace drives with EDRMS in SharePoint. Her next ambition is to work on what she has named the Digital Appraisal Centre – whereby the transfer of Digital Records from councils is possible as part of the information lifecycle. Her model includes this innovation, and she has been working with technical experts within PRONI to bring this to life.


Hackney Council & MySociety FOI Request Service

Hackney Council receive over 2000 Freedom of Information Requests annually with a 14% increase year on year. We worked in partnership with mySociety to develop a front end FOI request service that points to existing published information where it is available. This has the potential to help Councils to reduce their costs relating to answering requests and increase their compliance with FOI legislation. In turn this benefits society by improving transparency. As we shall outline below the service has already removed the need for at least 40 FOI submissions, and at the current rate should save a minimum of £12,000 each year.

All of the outputs of this work are being shared free of charge publicly. The code is open source, available on GitHub , the user research has been shared on our user research library and our updates on our ongoing project are being shared on Pipeline. Discovery and Prototyping To find out how we might improve the FOI service, we started with discovery and prototyping to explore how we could:

  • help users better submit clear and valid requests
  • integrate this request form with other sources of information (including with a disclosure log) to try and help users find what they need more quickly and conveniently
  • integrate with case management services so that queries are answered quickly and information published openly wherever possible
  • use information from previous requests to speed the allocation of a particular request to a specific council service
  • support compliance with current legislation As well as prompting with previous FOI responses from a new disclosure log, we also wanted to include relevant links to other topical or frequently requested information, drawn from other data sources within the council.

We hoped that this could have a number of benefits:

  • Helping the person submitting the FOI get their answer more quickly
  • Reducing the number of requests that would otherwise have been sent to the council
  • Encouraging more proactive, structured publishing of data by the council.

After testing a clickable prototype, we went on to develop a solution in line with all of the points above. The result is a front end request service that provides:

  • Contextual advice: we wanted to give users advice about how to write a good FOI request, but as per one of the principals above, we decided to reveal these tips as a user is writing their request.
  • Suggested content : also related to the same principal above, we wanted to show users content that may answer their question before they submit their request to try and reduce requests for already published information.

We added in a “Before you continue” page that is intended to show both previous FOI requests from a disclosure log and links to published information on the website that are judged by the system to potentially answer the user’s request.

For any questions or queries please contact the awards panel at
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