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Subject:

FOI etc

From:

[log in to unmask] (Dr Susan J. Davies)

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask] (Dr Susan J. Davies)

Date:

Wed, 12 Jul 2000 16:01:21 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (49 lines)

In response to Paul Gibbons (Portsmouth) summary of information which he had
received re FoI and DP (posted by Alison Drew), there are many who will
share his concerns about the lack of preparation in these matters by most
public authorities.

It is in this context that several sessions at the SoA conference in
Manchester were particularly helpful, especially those contributed by Susan
Healy and Kelvin Smith.  At the same time, many people in the audience were
conscious of the serious lack of  awareness by many administrators at
present, and the awesome task which is facing archivists and records
managers in the context of FoI in the near future.  Furthermore, everybody
present, including myself, was prompted to think abouts the position of the
bodies with which they are familiar.  Institutions like universities, for
example, will have to undergo substantial changes in administrative practice
if they are to match the requirements of FoI and DP in time, and it is quite
clear that preparations should already be in hand.  It is equally clear that
much will depend on the training of existing staff in the new regulatory
requirements, and that simply 'waiting for someone to tell you what to do'
(a favourite position!) will not be helpful.

I suspect that consultancy services in these matters will blossom, but they
will not be able to impose changes of practice unless those with day to day
responsibility are ready to understand and to take on board the necessary
changes in working practice.  An increase in the profile of Records
Management practice and training would be more effective.  Indeed, it would
seem that Records Management training should now be regarded as essential
among key staff in all public organisations.  While many of us have long
appreciated its value in terms of efficiency and compliance in a regulatory
environment, its virtues are not yet sufficiently understood among
administrators at large.

Susan Davies


Dr Susan J. Davies
Department of History & Welsh History
Hugh Owen Building
The University of Wales
Penglais
ABERYSTWYTH
Ceredigion, SY23 3DY

Tel. +44 (0)1970-622722 (direct) or -622662
Fax  +44 (0)1970-622676;  e-mail [log in to unmask]



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