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Subject:

FOI

From:

"Stephenson,M" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Stephenson,M

Date:

Fri, 1 Dec 2000 14:03:44 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (252 lines)

Dear Susan (and all you groovy Archivists and Records Managers out there),

Thank you for your email.

In answer to your questions:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

I'm sure I was not the only oneon this list who was still awake to feel a
tear well up in my eye (well, metaphorically at least) when I heard the
Lords Commissioners give Royal Assent to the Freedom of Information Act 2000
last night on Today in Parliament.

It will take HMSO a day or two to get the Act on the web but when it does it
will be here:  http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2000.htm

Have a great weekend one and all.

Matt

Matthew Stephenson
Records Manager
Room H616
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Tel: 020 7955 6481
Fax: 020 7404 5510


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Healy, Susan [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 12:20 PM
> To:   [log in to unmask]
> Subject:      FOI
>
> I want to pick up on Len's reference to FOI (under the heading 'levelling
> the playing field').  I sent a message to the list a few days ago about
> the
> FOI Bill having successfully completed the Parliamentary process. He is
> quite right to urge records managers/archivists to grapple with the Act
> and
> use it as an opportunity to raise their profiles and bring records
> management in particular to the attention of senior management.
>
> Here is your Friday afternoon quiz:
>
> *       have you read the Bill and considered its implications for your
> organisation, both as a public authority in its own right and, if
> applicable, as an archives institution holding other bodies' records that
> will be covered by the Act?
> *       have you read the draft Lord Chancellor's code of practice and
> thought about how it matches records management in your organisation?
> *       have you read the draft Secretary of State's code of practice and
> considered how it will affect your current policies and procedures for
> dealing with enquiries - and complaints?
> *       have you thought about what you might include in your publication
> scheme?
>
> Lots to do ...
>
> If you are new to FOI and want a general introduction to the Bill as it
> was
> in September (there have been some changes since) I did a note for the
> latest issue of Metropolitan Lines, the GLAN Newsletter which is available
> via the HMC website - go to
>
> www.hmc.gov.uk/glan/metlines.htm
>
> and then to page 20.
>
> If you want to read the current drafts of the codes of practice go to the
> website of the Home Office's FOI Unit where you will find links to both
> codes (the Lord Chancellor's right at the foot of the page)
>
> www.homeoffice.gov.uk/foi/index.htm
>
> Bear in mind that both will be revised further but are certainly worth
> looking at as they are
>
> Happy reading!
>
> Susan Healy
> PRO
>
>
> > ----------
> > From:         Leonard Mcdonald[SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> > Reply To:     Leonard Mcdonald
> > Sent:         30 November 2000 19:54
> > To:   [log in to unmask]
> > Subject:      Re: LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD
> >
> > Dear Robert
> > Thank you for that. I was afraid of writing just what you did because I
> > might have been considered too Neanderthal in my outlook. Or I would
> have
> > been accused of being too RM-orientated (add sniffy comment from county
> > worthies about business archivists).
> > What I would like to know is just how active are the archivists in their
> > heritage departments going to be about grabbing responsiibility for the
> > FOI
> > Act? I get the feeling this will be considered too important for an
> > archivist - someone lost in history, that's all they know about! - and
> it
> > will be taken over by some other empire builder - like the Legal
> > department,
> > or, since most of the county's written material is on magnetic disks,
> > Management Services (or whatever their latest titles are).
> > Archivists are going to have to be very proactive about this and fix up
> > meetings with Chief Executives. If they feed their thoughts through the
> > Leisure and Heritage Directorates, they will lose the game.
> > In the meantime I hope anybody who applies for the Wigan job points out
> > that
> > they wont accept it unless it is properly graded. Or better still no
> > qualified archivist should apply for it, but every county archivist and
> > the
> > University departments who teach archivists, should tell Wigan how wrong
> > they are.
> >
> > Leonard McDonald
> >
> > 46 Weaver Ave
> > Rainhill
> > PRESCOT, Merseyside
> > Phone: 0151-426 5273
> > Mobile: 07775 914796
> > e-mail: [log in to unmask]
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Robert Chell <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2000 2:31 PM
> > Subject: LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD
> >
> >
> > Although this is not a new issue, I would like to return to the thread
> > raised
> > by the recent Wigan advert.
> >
> > Whilst Bruce Jackson was correct in suggesting that the issue regarding
> > the
> > acceptance of the advert for the Wigan job by the Society should not be
> > the
> > subject of open discussion on this list, the comments in Nicholas Webb's
> > email
> > of 16 November are disturbing, and are, I think, rightly the concern of
> > members of the profession in the current cross-domain approach that has
> > come
> > to the forefront of government policy through the establishment of
> > Resource.
> > The levelling of the playing field can go down as well as up.
> >
> > Inexorably since 1974 when it was perhaps the major issue that the
> Society
> > sought to address in its Recommendations for Local Government Archive
> > Services, the succeeding twenty five years have seen local authority
> > archive
> > services subsumed into non-executive departments: into Education,
> > Libraries,
> > Culture and Heritage, and Leisure and Tourism Directorates and
> > Departments.
> >
> > What concerns me is this coming together of the disciplines in what is
> now
> > called the "sector" is identifiying ever more closely archives with
> > culture
> > or
> > cultural property, to the exclusion of what should always be the
> > archivist's
> > first task: that of records management, in the true sense of the
> continuum
> > management of the records.  What constitutes a "record" as opposed to
> any
> > other form of information is what sets us as archivists or records
> > managers
> > apart from the librarian and the curator: We are essentially dealing
> with
> > primary material that is or was, or is going to be, an integral part of
> a
> > transaction of business or administration, and is kept because it forms
> > evidence of that transaction.  There is a danger that we take the common
> > ground of information (to be selected, preserved and accessed) too far.
> > For
> > the archivist or records manager, what is recorded is far less important
> > than
> > the record of what is transacted, as Sir Hilary Jenkinson, David Bearman
> > or
> > Greg O'Shea will tell you.
> >
> > Records management is receiving little attention from Resource, although
> > one
> > assumes that it will be included in Resource's declared intention of
> > drawing
> > up its own agenda for archives, due early in 2001.
> >
> > From then on (if we are to believe all that Resource tells us about
> > archives),
> > we may well expect progress on the merging of collections within the
> > sector,
> > and cross domain working, as authorities like Wigan seek to rationalise
> > their
> > human resources and form an integrated cultural services team.
> >
> > What appears to be missing is evidence that such integration is good for
> > the
> > archives, for archivists and for records managers.  At a time when FOI
> and
> > the
> > management of electronic records are setting the agenda for the next ten
> > years, it is surprising that such issues will be being addressed from
> > within
> > departments more accustomed to dealing with sports centres, swimming
> pools
> > and
> > the cultural heritage.
> >
> > I would be grateful to hear from anyone with factual or anecdotal
> evidence
> > of
> > the positive or negative outcomes of the effects of such structural
> > re-alignments of local government archives/records management services,
> > especially since the latest round of re-organisations (1994 onwards) or
> in
> > consequence of the re-structuring of local government under the Local
> > Government Act 2000.
> >
> > If there are enough responses I will summarise for the list
> >
> > Robert Chell
> >
> >
> > ____________________________________________________________________
> > Get your own FREE, personal Netscape WebMail account today at
> > http://home.netscape.com/webmail
> >
>
>
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