IRMS helps charities ensure good records retention

Do you want to avoid being fined up to £500,000?

This question certainly sharpened my mind yesterday at the IRMS’ Third Sector Group meeting, especially when I then learned that new EU Data Protection legislation will in all probability see this figure dwarfed. This news came to me only one day before the Crown Prosecution Service received a £200,000 fine after the theft of laptops containing videos of police interviews.

While this is certainly bad news for the Crown Prosecution Service (not to mention the individuals involved in the police interviews whose personal information has been lost), on the flip side the records management community can certainly use high profile cases such as this to highlight the importance of good information management and data protection practices.

For records managers working in the third sector there is more good news, following the launch of the Third Sector Retention and Disposal Toolkit by the IRMS, authored by Gary Shipsey (Third Sector Group Chair) and Reynold Lemming. Gary introduced the toolkit and talked the group through some fascinating (and baffling) examples of organisations who, like the Crown Prosecution Service, have fallen foul of the Data Protection Act. This handy document will help charities ensure they don’t leave themselves exposed to unnecessary breaches in the future.

Earlier in the meeting Melody Allsebroom had given the group a useful introduction to Sharepoint, outlining points to consider when embarking upon an implementation. I enjoyed Melody’s chocolate cake analogy even though it did leave me craving baked goods.

The meeting was rounded off by Reynold Lemming (IRMS Conference Director for 2016) who introduced us to the exciting theme of next year’s conference, Information Superheroes! Take a look at the conference programme for more details. Reynold also reminded us that the application deadline for the IRMS Alison North New Professionals’ Award is 31 December 2015, so for all you new professionals out there, take a look at the eligibility criteria, first prize is a free ticket to the conference.

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