Information management assessments
Under an agreement with the Information Commissioner, The National Archives is actively involved in monitoring conformance with the Code of Practice under section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is done through a programme of Information management assessments
Responsibilities for records management
Responsibilities for records management in central government were originally laid down in the Public Records Act . The Act places the responsibility on government departments and other organisations within the scope of the Act for selecting those of their records which ought to be permanently preserved and for keeping them in proper conditions (s.3(1)). It further requires these arrangements to be carried out under the guidance of the Keeper of Public Records, who is responsible for co-ordinating and supervising the work of selection (s.3(2)).
Records which are not suitable for preservation should be sent for destruction as soon as they cease to be required for administrative purposes. Any mode of disposal other than destruction - for example, presentation to an academic institution or an overseas Government - requires the approval of the Lord Chancellor (s.3(6)).
The National Archives provides advice and guidance to records managers across the public sector. This covers the entire life cycle of public records, in whatever format, from creation through to destruction or transfer to The National Archives or to approved places of deposit.
Records Management and Cataloguing department has for some years been the main point of contact between The National Archives and central government departments and agencies (public record bodies), providing advice and guidance on appraisal, selection, transfer and/or disposal of public records.
Another major function of the department is to provide advice to the Secretary of State for Justice on questions relating to public access to records and on the public records system generally.
Electronic records management
In the Modernising Government White Paper, all central government organisations were set a target to create and manage records electronically. Following on from the White Paper target, The National Archives continues to work with government departments, the wider public sector and other stakeholders (such as the software industry) to develop, implement and improve the standard of electronic records management across the public sector.
To help accomplish this demanding task, The National Archives has more recently set up National Advisory Services (NAS), the remit of which has been broadened to provide advice to the wider public sector.