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Planning and Developing a
Records Center
 Centralisation
 Location
 Means of transport
 Communications and technology
 Staffing
 Accommodation
 Authority, service levels and costs
2
Steps involved in planning and
developing a records centre
1. Establishing an administrative structure.
2. Collecting information about records systems.
3. Deciding on a physical site for the records centre.
4. Constructing or adapting a building for use as a
records centre.
5. Conducting a pilot project to manage the records
of selected agencies.
6. Establishing a full records service.
7. Caring for records in different formats.
8. Determining a plan for costing services.
3
ESTABLISHING AN ADMINISTRATIVE
STRUCTURE
Functions of Record Centers :-
 receive and administer all records,
in whatever format, that are retired
from
 current records systems
 provide a reference service based
upon the records
 dispose of all records held in
accordance with disposal schedules
and plans.
4
ESTABLISHING AN ADMINISTRATIVE
STRUCTURE
 Records centre will exist within the structure of
the organisation’s records and archives
institution, as a branch of the archival facility.
 The records centre serves as one of the principal
instruments of the records and archives
institution and is an important element in a
government’s or business’s capital investment
programme.
 It is important that the organisation should make
proper use of the records centre and that records
centre policies be clear and appropriate.
5
Planning and Developing a
Records Center
When planning a records centre, decisions
have to be made on the following policy
issues:
• centralisation
• location
• means of transport
• communications and technology
• staffing
• accommodation
• authority, service levels and costs.
6
Centralisation
 one records centre or several?
 The best control may be achieved
when there is one single records
centre, under a unified
management.
7
Centralisation
 However, local circumstances must
be taken into account.
 For example :- In a country where
records are scattered, or
decentralized administration
(provisional or regional
governments), or geographically
impossible.
8
Centralisation – Brain Cracker
Based on the structure and needs of your
organisation, give three advantages and three
disadvantages to centralising a records centre
for your organisation. Then give three
advantages and three disadvantages to
decentralising the records centre. (Your
advantages and disadvantages for each will no
doubt include similar points.) Which way would
you suggest is best?
9
On site storage advantages
1. Easily retrieval
2. Save time, cost
3. No transport required
10
On Site Storage Disadvantages
1. Bulk of records located at the
same place – if there no proper
records system.
2. Need more space to keep the
records. Space = cost
3. Need more staff to control the
records
11
Off site advantages
1. Easy to manage – outsource the
keeping/ storage of records
2. No need internal staff to manage
the records
3. Space – save space at the creating
agencies
12
Off site disadvantages
1. Time constraint – to retrieve the
records
2. Cost – rental is expensive
3. Transportation – to deliver the
records
4. Responsibilities – handle by other
parties (the value of records).
Access by unauthorized people.
13
Location
 Should the records centre be on the
central site or at a remote site?
 The advantage of locating the
records centre close to the creating
agencies is that transfer and
retrieval of records is facilitated.
14
Location
 The principal disadvantage of a
central location is cost
 Records centres are essentially bulk
warehouses, and this type of
accommodation is usually best
provided in industrial estates or in
low-cost areas away from the main
urban or business centres.
15
Location
 The classic model records centre is
a free-standing building situated not
too far from the main record-
creating agencies but in an area
that allows for minimum capital and
recurrent costs and convenient
communications.
16
Means of Transport
 How will the records be transferred, disposed of
and retrieved?
 Records that are retired from current systems
should be transferred to the records centre
regularly.
 In general, agencies should be encouraged to
make smaller transfers more frequently rather
than larger transfers less often.
 However, difficult transport arrangements may
make this impractical.
 Suitable transport arrangements will always
improve the efficiency of the service.
17
Means of Transport
 The records centre should have
accommodation and equipment to
facilitate large transfers of records :-
 weather-proof loading bay, adequate
parking
 space for large vehicles
 a working area where transferred
materials can be cleaned and checked
before being placed on shelves.
18
Means of Transport
 The records centre should also be
able to receive, store and retrieve
records in non-typical formats.
 The records centre is not simply a
storage area but the base for an
information service. Materials held
in the records centre must be
available for use.
19
Means of Transport
 Records are also regularly moved
out of the records centre, under the
provisions of the disposal schedules.
20
Means of Transport
 The records centre should have
facilities to allow users to attend at
the records centre and examine
documents under certain conditions.
For example :-
 controlled and supervised search
room.
 suitable arrangements for visitors to
reach the records centre
 Car parks
21
Communications and Technology
 Apart from the physical transport of materials
and people, there must be easy and practical
means of communication between the records
centre and its users.
 Means of communication in this context include
not just physical access but also telephone,
fax and local computer network links.
22
Communications and
Technology
Communications systems are required to
1. arrange for and facilitate the transfer of records
from the agencies to the records centre
2. arrange for the transfer of records from the
records centre to the archival repository
3. arrange for the disposal of records ready for
destruction
4. allow agencies to request records, to ask for
statistical and other information about the
working of this aspect of the records and
archives institution or to obtain information on
the presence or absence of records
5. allow records centre staff to check on the
whereabouts and return of records that have
been issued to agencies.
23
Staffing Requirements
Within the records centre, there are four
types of staff activity:
 liaising with creator agencies and managing
reference services
 managing the holdings within the records
centre
 providing security, transport and housekeeping
within the centre
 liaising with the archival institution.
24
Staffing Requirements
 The responsibility for tasks within these
groups should be allocated to particular
posts. Suitable job descriptions should
be prepared, regardless of the size or
scope of the staff.
 The records centre manager is
responsible for reporting to the records
and archives institution at agreed
intervals.
25
Staffing Requirements
Director
Records Center Manager
Liaison with
Records Offices
Internal
Management
Security and
Transport
Liaison with
Archives
26
Staffing Requirements
 Records centre should be adequately
staffed.
 Adequate staffing means that there should be enough
people to do the work efficiently. But the service should
always be cost effective; there should not be too many
staff. Further, each staff member should be given a set
of tasks and responsibilities he or she is reasonably
capable of carrying out.
 Records centre staff must undertake a range of
activities,from liaison with creating agencies to care of
records and related administrative work.
27
Staffing Requirements
Duties of Records Centre Staff
1. liaising with creating agencies
2. receiving records from creating agencies
3. retrieving records on demand
4. retrieving records for transfer to the
archives or for disposal
5. communications and technology
management
6. administrative duties.
28
Staffing Requirements
LIAISING WITH CREATING AGENCIES
Records centre staff need to be aware of the current
situation within each of the user agencies, particularly
in their records offices.
The service begins with identifying which records should
be transferred to the records centre. Records staff
should always be able to know and state the basic
statistics of their branch of the service in relation to
any particular creator agency.
They should know the overall bulk of records held in the
records centre for each department or office; the
frequency of reference to the main series; and the rate
at which records are removed from the centre
according disposal schedules. This information enables
the records and archives institution to draw up and
carry out its plans of action.
29
Staffing Requirements
RETRIEVING RECORDS ON DEMAND
When staff in the creating office request records, these should
be retrieved and issued in accordance with agreed
procedures. Records centre staff should track the movement
of records issued to user departments and ensure that
records are returned within the normal time.
In some cases, records may be made available to authorized
persons in the search room of the records centre, under
supervision. Records centre staff are responsible for
retrieving the correct record, controlling its issue and return,
supervising its use in the search room and ensuring its
return to the correct location.
Ideally, only one staff member in the records centre should be
in charge of the copying and reproduction of records. There
may be a guideline that records should be issued in
photocopy form and not in the original, wherever feasible, to
protect originals from loss.
30
Staffing Requirements
RETRIEVING RECORDS FOR TRANSFER
Records centre staff will be responsible for
identifying and preparing records for
transfer to the archival institution or for
destruction. This work involves
maintaining disposal schedules, ensuring
the appropriate and secure transfer of
records and documenting all actions
taken.
31
Staffing Requirements
COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY
MANAGEMENT
Only one staff member should be responsible for the
computer system, if one is used.
This area of responsibility involves liaison with the
appropriate officer in the records and archives
institution. Tasks may include the choice of the
hardware and software systems used. The choice
of system should be in general accord with
government or corporate policy and civil service
or organisational practice. Every effort should be
made to standardise computer systems across the
organisation.
32
Staffing Requirements
Any automated systems used should be
standardised across the organisation.
The staff member responsible for computers will be responsible
for the supervision of clerical and other work in data input,
management of the databases, retrieval of information and
compilation of statistics.
33
Staffing Requirements
ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES
In addition, there should be adequate
trained staff available to carry out
cleaning and housekeeping work,
enforce security procedures and
drive and maintain vehicles needed
for records centre work.
34
Accommodation Requirements
There must be accommodation for all
of the processes of the records
centre, including the transfer,
management and storage of
records, the provision of reference
services,staff facilities and storage
and maintenance of vehicles.
35
Accommodation Requirements
 Transfer of Records
The physical movement and transfer of records
involves the following processes:
• receiving new consignments of records from
agencies
• issuing records to agencies on request and
receiving returned records from them
• transferring selected records to the archival
institution.
All these movements require the use of a loading
bay. This area should be protected
from the weather and should lead directly to a
clean, secure work area.
36
Accommodation Requirements
Management of Records
Suitable accommodation is needed for the following
processes:
• preparing records for storage
• executing and maintaining control and retrieval
system procedures (this includes checking
transfer lists, filing lists in the appropriate places
and completing the accessioning procedure)
• completing statistical information
• receiving and carrying out requests for information
or records.
37
Accommodation Requirements
These processes need sufficient office space
to allow for the use of boxes or cabinets
in which to file the transfer lists and other
forms in use.
The records centre’s communications
systems (telephone, fax, computer) will
be sited here.
Ordinary office facilities will be needed,
including desks, filing cabinets (for filing
correspondence with agencies), stationery
and materials storage.
38
Accommodation Requirements
Storage of Records
The main purpose of the records
centre is to hold records for the
agreed time.
The bulk of space in the building
should be devoted to storage.
39
Accommodation Requirements
Reference to Records
If authorised persons will be given supervised access to
records, provision needs to be made for a records
centre search room.
Generally the facilities offered should be similar to those
available in the archival institution, though perhaps not
as large.
There should be
• desks or tables at which users may consult the records
• a desk for the supervising officer (placed so that the
officer can see the users)
• shelves for reference material
• access to a photocopier.
40
Accommodation Requirements
Facilities for Staff
Staff need suitable working and recreational
accommodation, in accordance with the
standards in effect within the government
or organisation.
At remote sites this may involve the
provision of meals. Toilets and
washrooms must also be provided and
must meet appropriate standards.
41
Accommodation Requirements
Storage and Maintenance of
Vehicles
If transport is provided by the records
centre, such as to bring records to
and from offices, accommodation
will be needed for the vehicles,
together with facilities for
maintenance.
42
Authority, Service Levels and Costs
Authority, Service Levels and Costs
The service offered by the records centre
and its staff form part of the larger
records and archives institution, which
should be established on a firm statutory
basis and managed in accordance with a
records policy.
Actions taken by the records centre staff
should have the authority of the records
and archives institution and should follow
procedures laid down by it.
43
Authority, Service Levels and
Costs
The level of service offered should be the subject of
specific regulations, procedures and agreements,
which should cover such matters as :-
1. the retirement of records from current systems
2. the preparation of records for transfer
3. the arrangement and transfer of backlog
accumulations of records
4. the provision of reference to records held at the
records centre
5. the release and return of records used for
reference purposes
6. the destruction of records under the provision of
the disposal schedule.

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Planning and developing a records center

  • 1. 1 Planning and Developing a Records Center  Centralisation  Location  Means of transport  Communications and technology  Staffing  Accommodation  Authority, service levels and costs
  • 2. 2 Steps involved in planning and developing a records centre 1. Establishing an administrative structure. 2. Collecting information about records systems. 3. Deciding on a physical site for the records centre. 4. Constructing or adapting a building for use as a records centre. 5. Conducting a pilot project to manage the records of selected agencies. 6. Establishing a full records service. 7. Caring for records in different formats. 8. Determining a plan for costing services.
  • 3. 3 ESTABLISHING AN ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE Functions of Record Centers :-  receive and administer all records, in whatever format, that are retired from  current records systems  provide a reference service based upon the records  dispose of all records held in accordance with disposal schedules and plans.
  • 4. 4 ESTABLISHING AN ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE  Records centre will exist within the structure of the organisation’s records and archives institution, as a branch of the archival facility.  The records centre serves as one of the principal instruments of the records and archives institution and is an important element in a government’s or business’s capital investment programme.  It is important that the organisation should make proper use of the records centre and that records centre policies be clear and appropriate.
  • 5. 5 Planning and Developing a Records Center When planning a records centre, decisions have to be made on the following policy issues: • centralisation • location • means of transport • communications and technology • staffing • accommodation • authority, service levels and costs.
  • 6. 6 Centralisation  one records centre or several?  The best control may be achieved when there is one single records centre, under a unified management.
  • 7. 7 Centralisation  However, local circumstances must be taken into account.  For example :- In a country where records are scattered, or decentralized administration (provisional or regional governments), or geographically impossible.
  • 8. 8 Centralisation – Brain Cracker Based on the structure and needs of your organisation, give three advantages and three disadvantages to centralising a records centre for your organisation. Then give three advantages and three disadvantages to decentralising the records centre. (Your advantages and disadvantages for each will no doubt include similar points.) Which way would you suggest is best?
  • 9. 9 On site storage advantages 1. Easily retrieval 2. Save time, cost 3. No transport required
  • 10. 10 On Site Storage Disadvantages 1. Bulk of records located at the same place – if there no proper records system. 2. Need more space to keep the records. Space = cost 3. Need more staff to control the records
  • 11. 11 Off site advantages 1. Easy to manage – outsource the keeping/ storage of records 2. No need internal staff to manage the records 3. Space – save space at the creating agencies
  • 12. 12 Off site disadvantages 1. Time constraint – to retrieve the records 2. Cost – rental is expensive 3. Transportation – to deliver the records 4. Responsibilities – handle by other parties (the value of records). Access by unauthorized people.
  • 13. 13 Location  Should the records centre be on the central site or at a remote site?  The advantage of locating the records centre close to the creating agencies is that transfer and retrieval of records is facilitated.
  • 14. 14 Location  The principal disadvantage of a central location is cost  Records centres are essentially bulk warehouses, and this type of accommodation is usually best provided in industrial estates or in low-cost areas away from the main urban or business centres.
  • 15. 15 Location  The classic model records centre is a free-standing building situated not too far from the main record- creating agencies but in an area that allows for minimum capital and recurrent costs and convenient communications.
  • 16. 16 Means of Transport  How will the records be transferred, disposed of and retrieved?  Records that are retired from current systems should be transferred to the records centre regularly.  In general, agencies should be encouraged to make smaller transfers more frequently rather than larger transfers less often.  However, difficult transport arrangements may make this impractical.  Suitable transport arrangements will always improve the efficiency of the service.
  • 17. 17 Means of Transport  The records centre should have accommodation and equipment to facilitate large transfers of records :-  weather-proof loading bay, adequate parking  space for large vehicles  a working area where transferred materials can be cleaned and checked before being placed on shelves.
  • 18. 18 Means of Transport  The records centre should also be able to receive, store and retrieve records in non-typical formats.  The records centre is not simply a storage area but the base for an information service. Materials held in the records centre must be available for use.
  • 19. 19 Means of Transport  Records are also regularly moved out of the records centre, under the provisions of the disposal schedules.
  • 20. 20 Means of Transport  The records centre should have facilities to allow users to attend at the records centre and examine documents under certain conditions. For example :-  controlled and supervised search room.  suitable arrangements for visitors to reach the records centre  Car parks
  • 21. 21 Communications and Technology  Apart from the physical transport of materials and people, there must be easy and practical means of communication between the records centre and its users.  Means of communication in this context include not just physical access but also telephone, fax and local computer network links.
  • 22. 22 Communications and Technology Communications systems are required to 1. arrange for and facilitate the transfer of records from the agencies to the records centre 2. arrange for the transfer of records from the records centre to the archival repository 3. arrange for the disposal of records ready for destruction 4. allow agencies to request records, to ask for statistical and other information about the working of this aspect of the records and archives institution or to obtain information on the presence or absence of records 5. allow records centre staff to check on the whereabouts and return of records that have been issued to agencies.
  • 23. 23 Staffing Requirements Within the records centre, there are four types of staff activity:  liaising with creator agencies and managing reference services  managing the holdings within the records centre  providing security, transport and housekeeping within the centre  liaising with the archival institution.
  • 24. 24 Staffing Requirements  The responsibility for tasks within these groups should be allocated to particular posts. Suitable job descriptions should be prepared, regardless of the size or scope of the staff.  The records centre manager is responsible for reporting to the records and archives institution at agreed intervals.
  • 25. 25 Staffing Requirements Director Records Center Manager Liaison with Records Offices Internal Management Security and Transport Liaison with Archives
  • 26. 26 Staffing Requirements  Records centre should be adequately staffed.  Adequate staffing means that there should be enough people to do the work efficiently. But the service should always be cost effective; there should not be too many staff. Further, each staff member should be given a set of tasks and responsibilities he or she is reasonably capable of carrying out.  Records centre staff must undertake a range of activities,from liaison with creating agencies to care of records and related administrative work.
  • 27. 27 Staffing Requirements Duties of Records Centre Staff 1. liaising with creating agencies 2. receiving records from creating agencies 3. retrieving records on demand 4. retrieving records for transfer to the archives or for disposal 5. communications and technology management 6. administrative duties.
  • 28. 28 Staffing Requirements LIAISING WITH CREATING AGENCIES Records centre staff need to be aware of the current situation within each of the user agencies, particularly in their records offices. The service begins with identifying which records should be transferred to the records centre. Records staff should always be able to know and state the basic statistics of their branch of the service in relation to any particular creator agency. They should know the overall bulk of records held in the records centre for each department or office; the frequency of reference to the main series; and the rate at which records are removed from the centre according disposal schedules. This information enables the records and archives institution to draw up and carry out its plans of action.
  • 29. 29 Staffing Requirements RETRIEVING RECORDS ON DEMAND When staff in the creating office request records, these should be retrieved and issued in accordance with agreed procedures. Records centre staff should track the movement of records issued to user departments and ensure that records are returned within the normal time. In some cases, records may be made available to authorized persons in the search room of the records centre, under supervision. Records centre staff are responsible for retrieving the correct record, controlling its issue and return, supervising its use in the search room and ensuring its return to the correct location. Ideally, only one staff member in the records centre should be in charge of the copying and reproduction of records. There may be a guideline that records should be issued in photocopy form and not in the original, wherever feasible, to protect originals from loss.
  • 30. 30 Staffing Requirements RETRIEVING RECORDS FOR TRANSFER Records centre staff will be responsible for identifying and preparing records for transfer to the archival institution or for destruction. This work involves maintaining disposal schedules, ensuring the appropriate and secure transfer of records and documenting all actions taken.
  • 31. 31 Staffing Requirements COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT Only one staff member should be responsible for the computer system, if one is used. This area of responsibility involves liaison with the appropriate officer in the records and archives institution. Tasks may include the choice of the hardware and software systems used. The choice of system should be in general accord with government or corporate policy and civil service or organisational practice. Every effort should be made to standardise computer systems across the organisation.
  • 32. 32 Staffing Requirements Any automated systems used should be standardised across the organisation. The staff member responsible for computers will be responsible for the supervision of clerical and other work in data input, management of the databases, retrieval of information and compilation of statistics.
  • 33. 33 Staffing Requirements ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES In addition, there should be adequate trained staff available to carry out cleaning and housekeeping work, enforce security procedures and drive and maintain vehicles needed for records centre work.
  • 34. 34 Accommodation Requirements There must be accommodation for all of the processes of the records centre, including the transfer, management and storage of records, the provision of reference services,staff facilities and storage and maintenance of vehicles.
  • 35. 35 Accommodation Requirements  Transfer of Records The physical movement and transfer of records involves the following processes: • receiving new consignments of records from agencies • issuing records to agencies on request and receiving returned records from them • transferring selected records to the archival institution. All these movements require the use of a loading bay. This area should be protected from the weather and should lead directly to a clean, secure work area.
  • 36. 36 Accommodation Requirements Management of Records Suitable accommodation is needed for the following processes: • preparing records for storage • executing and maintaining control and retrieval system procedures (this includes checking transfer lists, filing lists in the appropriate places and completing the accessioning procedure) • completing statistical information • receiving and carrying out requests for information or records.
  • 37. 37 Accommodation Requirements These processes need sufficient office space to allow for the use of boxes or cabinets in which to file the transfer lists and other forms in use. The records centre’s communications systems (telephone, fax, computer) will be sited here. Ordinary office facilities will be needed, including desks, filing cabinets (for filing correspondence with agencies), stationery and materials storage.
  • 38. 38 Accommodation Requirements Storage of Records The main purpose of the records centre is to hold records for the agreed time. The bulk of space in the building should be devoted to storage.
  • 39. 39 Accommodation Requirements Reference to Records If authorised persons will be given supervised access to records, provision needs to be made for a records centre search room. Generally the facilities offered should be similar to those available in the archival institution, though perhaps not as large. There should be • desks or tables at which users may consult the records • a desk for the supervising officer (placed so that the officer can see the users) • shelves for reference material • access to a photocopier.
  • 40. 40 Accommodation Requirements Facilities for Staff Staff need suitable working and recreational accommodation, in accordance with the standards in effect within the government or organisation. At remote sites this may involve the provision of meals. Toilets and washrooms must also be provided and must meet appropriate standards.
  • 41. 41 Accommodation Requirements Storage and Maintenance of Vehicles If transport is provided by the records centre, such as to bring records to and from offices, accommodation will be needed for the vehicles, together with facilities for maintenance.
  • 42. 42 Authority, Service Levels and Costs Authority, Service Levels and Costs The service offered by the records centre and its staff form part of the larger records and archives institution, which should be established on a firm statutory basis and managed in accordance with a records policy. Actions taken by the records centre staff should have the authority of the records and archives institution and should follow procedures laid down by it.
  • 43. 43 Authority, Service Levels and Costs The level of service offered should be the subject of specific regulations, procedures and agreements, which should cover such matters as :- 1. the retirement of records from current systems 2. the preparation of records for transfer 3. the arrangement and transfer of backlog accumulations of records 4. the provision of reference to records held at the records centre 5. the release and return of records used for reference purposes 6. the destruction of records under the provision of the disposal schedule.