Freedom of Information (1997 and 2003)
What is FoI? The Freedom of Information Act was passed in 1997 (amended in 2003) to ensure open and accountable government. Any citizen can request information from a range of government departments and public bodies. The body must then supply the information, charging only a “reasonable cost” for obtaining it.
How does FoI affect my organisation? If your organisation is a public or semi-state body, it will probably have been brought under the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. If this is the case, good records management procedures are virtually obligatory, including a clearly stated destruction policy. The Information Commissioner has stated as follows: ‘I take the view that the FOI Act imposes on public bodies a duty to ensure that their record management systems are capable of enabling them to meet their obligations under the Act. In my view, public bodies should also have stated record management policies which set out the standards in relation to the creation, maintenance and destruction of physical and electronic records. Destruction should only take place in accordance with a clearly stated destruction policy…’ (Case 99046, July 2000)
How can Eneclann help my organisation with regard to FoI? Our team of Records Management staff are familiar with all the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. We can help implement Records Management procedures (including retention schedules and destruction policies) in your organisation that will meet all these requirements. We have worked with a number of government bodies in this regard, including FÁS, the Health and Safety Authority and the Arts Council.
Data Protection (1998 and 2003)
What is Data Protection? Under the Data Protection Act of 1988, amended in 2003, all Irish people are entitled to know what information is held about them in electronic format.
How does the Data Protection Act affect my organisation? If your organisation is a Data Controller or Data Processor within the meaning of the Act, the organisation should be registered with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. This includes organisations such as solicitors’ firms, doctors’ practices, direct mail companies and banks. Many firms that should be registered under the terms of the Act are not yet registered. If any person requests information from your organisation that is held in electronic or hard copy format about themselves, you are obliged to supply it.
How can Eneclann help my organisation with regard to Data Protection? Eneclann is Ireland’s leading firm of Records Management specialists. Our staff are well-versed in all aspects of the Data Protection Act, and can advise on your organisation’s obligations in this regard. We can advise on the introduction of Records Management procedures and policies that would be efficient and effective, as well as ensuring that you do not retain unnecessary data in electronic format.
What is ISO 15489? ISO 15489 is the international standard for Records Management developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation, and launched in October 2001. Experts from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia developed ISO 15489 to ensure that a common standard was established for Records Management.
How does ISO 15489 affect my organisation? According to the International Organisation for Standardisation: ISO 15489 is aimed at individuals responsible for setting policies, standards and guidelines for information management within organizations including records managers, archivists, special librarians, knowledge management professionals, database managers, business administrators and individuals within organizations who are responsible for the oversight of record keeping practices. Therefore, any Records Management procedures implemented should aim to meet the criteria set out in ISO 15489 to ensure the best efficiency of your organisation’s record keeping.
How can Eneclann be of help to my organisation with regard to ISO 15489? Eneclann’s Records Management staff are familiar with all the requirements of ISO 15489. We can help with the requirements and implemention of Records Management procedures that will meet these criteria, and train staff in ensuring their effectiveness.
What is BS 5454? BS 5454 is the British Standards Institute recommended standard for the storage and preservation of archival documents. It was first published in 1977, revised in 1989, and again in April 2000.
How does BS 5454 affect my organisation? If your organisation has documentary material that requires permanent preservation, it is recommended that the method of storage used meets the standards set out in BS 5454. These criteria cover every aspect of storage and preservation, including temperature control, humidity, protection from possible fire damage and packaging.
How can Eneclann be of help to my organisation with regard to BS 5454? Eneclann’s Archives and Records Management staff are familiar with all the requirements of BS 5454. If your organisation is preparing an archive of material for preservation, we can be of help to you in ensuring the archive meets the optimum criteria outlines in BS 5454.