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Records Management in English Local Government: the effect of freedom of information

Shepherd, E; Flinn, A; Stevenson, A; (2011) Records Management in English Local Government: the effect of freedom of information. Records Management Journal , 21 (2) pp. 122-134. 10.1108/09565691111152053. Green open access

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Abstract

Purpose – University College London (UCL) ran a research project over 12 months in 2008-2009, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, which examined what the impact of the UK Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 had been on records management services in local government. This paper aims to report on some of the findings of the study, with a focus on the practical records management issues. Design/methodology/approach – The research considered the three perspectives of records managers: institutional FOI; policy managers; and FOI requestors and user communities. Following an extensive literature review, qualitative research methods were used to gather data, specifically semi-structured interviewing of 27 individuals from 19 different institutions in London and the South East of England and with 11 requestors. Findings – The findings reported in this paper focus on records services in local government, in particular their organisational location and status, and aspects of the management of current and non-current records, including those in digital formats. Research limitations/implications – This paper is one of the outputs of a grant-funded project, which documents the results of research in FOI from a records management perspective and makes a contribution to the wider debate about access to information. It attempts to survey user responses, which has been an overlooked aspect of other FOI and records management research. Practical implications – There are some implications for good practice in records management policy and systems and in the location of records functions in local government. Originality/value – Local government is an under-researched field in respect of information management and FOI, when compared with other parts of the public sector, and this is therefore a significant contribution to knowledge in this field.

Type: Article
Title: Records Management in English Local Government: the effect of freedom of information
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1108/09565691111152053
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09565691111152053
Language: English
Additional information: © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This is a pre-peer reviewed version of the final article.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Information Studies
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/150879
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