Guidance on retention of committee information.
Audience and purpose
This guidance is intended for any member of staff that holds committee information, such as committee remit, membership, agenda, minutes and papers.
It gives guidance on how long to retain information relating to University committees.
What should I do?
If you are not the secretary of the committee you will not hold the golden copy of the committee records, so you should only keep your copies for as long as you need them for reference. This will normally be a very short time, and no more than two years. If you need copies later you can get them from the committee secretary.
Committee secretaries are responsible for maintaining the golden copy records for the committee.
As committee secretary you are responsible for all extant records for the committee. This includes records that were created before you became secretary, and the records of any predecessor committees.
Part of managing the committee records includes developing, maintaining and implementing a retention schedule for the records.
What is a retention schedule?
How to create a retention schedule for your committee records
Why should I do this?
The retention of unnecessary paper and electronic records consumes staff time, space and equipment. It also incurs liabilities in terms of the need to service information requests made under Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
In addition, the Data Protection Act requires us to keep records for no longer than necessary. We can be sued for retaining unnecessary information if this causes damage to someone.
However, some information needs to be retained permanently by the University Archive. The Archive holds records which provide evidence of the University's function and activities, and show what the University has done and why, how it is organised and operates, and its effect on the wider community.
Edinburgh University Archives maintain the historical records of the University of Edinburgh. They can provide further guidance on the types of information that should be retained permanently and how to transfer that information to the Archives.