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Thursday 23 March 2017

Records policies

The National Archives of Scotland (NAS) has devised policies for the way it selects or administers records. These pages contain the policies which the NAS have on areas such as selection of government records, records management and data protection.

Private records policy
Historic records of private individuals, families and businesses form an important part of the holdings of the NAS. Although these records have been created by private individuals, families, companies or other bodies, they contain much that is vital to understanding the history of the Scottish peoples and it is self evident that they must be preserved. Some are accepted as a gift in lieu of inheritance tax, some come from generous donors as outright gifts, some are purchased, but many are still held only as deposits (loans) and so remain private property. The NAS private records policy covers the future acquisition of collections of private records and suggests the circumstances in which the NAS would consider the retransmission of some of its existing holdings of private papers to local custody.

Data protection policy
The NAS is required by law to comply with the Data Protection Act, 1998 which was set up to ensure the fair and lawful processing of personal data. It is committed to ensuring that all employees comply with this Act in order to safeguard the confidentiality of any personal data held by the NAS, in whatever medium. The data protection policy aims to fulfil the legal requirement for processing of personal data in the records which the NAS creates and receives in the course of administering its own business, and in the records or organsations and private individuals deposited with the NAS for historical purposes.

Fragile records policy

The NAS has a committment to the preservation of the records in its care. Staff and readers regularly find records in a condition which would merit attention from conservation staff. The fragile records policy was developed to set out the procedures for reporting records in a fragile condition.

Records management policy
The systematic management of the NAS's own administrative records is essential in order to protect and preserve them as evidence of actions, support future activities and business decisions and ensure accountability to present and future stakeholders and customers. The records management policy sets out the procedures and practices needed to control and manage the NAS's own records efficiently and effectively.

Information management policy
The NAS is currently developing a Digital Data Archive to enable us to preserve electronic archive material. As part of this project, the NAS is moving towards compliance with the Code of Practice for Legal Admissibility and Evidential Weight of Information Stored Electronically (BSI publication ref: BIP0008). The Code requires organisations to produce an Information Management Policy. This policy covers the NAS’s Digital Data Archive and corporate records stored in any future electronic document and records management system (EDRMS) adopted by the NAS.

Selection of government records
A draft selection policy for government records was the subject of a consultation exercise held during July-September 2003. The policy posted here is the result of amendments made in the light of comments received during that consultation period and as a result of subsequent discussions with a newly-constituted sub-group of the Scottish Records Advisory Council on retention and disposal of government records.
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Page last updated: Friday 30 September 2005

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