Corporate Records Retention and Disposal Schedule
The records retention and disposal schedule is the corporate procedure for retaining and disposing of records within East Sussex County Council. It is approved twice a year by Assistant Directors, any requests for change are to be directed to the Principal Records Officer.
- the types of records created and received by, or on behalf of East Sussex County Council
- how long they are kept for and why (based on legal reasons and / or business need)
- what should happen to them at the end of the retention period (Destruction, Transfer to Archive, Offer to Archive).
How it helps to work and comply with legislation
Only keeping what is necessary saves in storage and backup costs, is part of complying with legislation, such as General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and allows staff to find the information they need with the least amount of effort. It also helps to:
- ensure the right information is available as it won’t have been disposed of before it has fulfilled any legal or business requirements
- give staff the confidence to know that they can legitimately destroy records and comply with legislation
- support the management of electronic documents and records management and facilitate defensible automatic deletion
- enable efficient transfer and management of paper records at the Record Centre
- ensure that records of historic value can be identified and transferred to East Sussex Brighton and Hove Record Office (ESBHRO) for permanent preservation, electronically and in paper
- comply with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act to have a retention schedule and the GDPR to publicise it.
Keeping records beyond the retention period
There must be legitimate reasons for retaining records beyond the agreed retention period, particularly where records contain personal information. Examples include:
- records relating to cases where legal action is pending or that are being used in investigations for example by the police, district or internal audit
- information that has been requested e.g. under the data protection regulations, Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental Information Regulations 2004
- records under a legal hold, e.g. Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. It is an offence to alter, deface, erase, destroy or conceal such information.
Records that were due for destruction and are needed for the above reasons should be retained for an appropriate period after the legal action / investigation / request has closed. If the file has been re-opened, the retention period may start again from the new closure date.
East Sussex Brighton and Hove Record Office (ESBHRO), which is run by ESCC, is responsible for the collection and preservation of unique and valuable archive material relating to the history of East Sussex and its people. The Record Office holds records created and received by the County Council and thousands of other organisations, families and individuals relating to East Sussex and Brighton & Hove dating from 1097 to the present day. It may therefore hold information that can help staff with their day-to-day work. When Council records are selected for permanent preservation, they become archives and are passed to East Sussex Brighton and Hove Record Office.
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