< The Management of Records

Annex A: Glossary
The Management of Records

Disposal – the decision as to whether the record should be destroyed, transferred to an archives service for permanent preservation or presented and the putting into effect of that decision.

Disposal schedules – schedules that identify types of records and specify for how long they will be kept before they are destroyed, designated for permanent preservation or subjected to a further review.

Keeping records – in the context of this Code, keeping records includes recording the authority’s activities by creating documents and other types of records as well as handling material received.

Metadata – information about the context within which records were created, their structure and how they have been managed over time. Metadata can refer to records within digital systems, for example event log data. It can also refer to systems such as paper files that are controlled either from a digital system or by a register or card index, for example the title and location.

Place of deposit – an archives office appointed to receive, preserve and provide access to public records that have been selected for preservation but are not to be transferred to The National Archives. The power of appointment has been delegated by the Lord Chancellor to the Chief Executive of The National Archives or an officer of appropriate seniority.

Presentation – an arrangement under the Public Records Act 1958 whereby records that have not been selected for permanent preservation are presented to an appropriate body by The National Archives.

Public records – records that are subject to the Public Records Act 1958 or the Public Records Act (Northern Ireland) 1923. The records of government departments and their executive agencies, some non-departmental public bodies, the courts, the NHS and the armed forces are public records. Local government records are not public records in England and Wales but those in Northern Ireland are.

Records – information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.21

Retention – an arrangement under the Public Records Act 1958 whereby authorities are permitted to delay the transfer of specified public records for an agreed period and to retain them until the end of that period.

Records system – the term used for an information or process system that contains records and other information. It can be either a paper-based system or a digital system. Examples are correspondence file series, digital records management systems, case management systems, function-specific systems such as finance systems, etc.

21   This definition is taken from BS ISO 15489-1:2001 Information and documentation – Records management – Part 1: General.

< The Management of Records