Records creation and collection - Capture and registration

Records should be created or collected to :
(a) meet operational, policy, legal and financial purposes; and
(b) document accurately and adequately government functions, policies, procedures, decisions and transactions to serve as reliable evidence.

B/Ds should identify clearly their business functions and assess their information needs so as to create/collect adequate but not excessive records.

As a systematic approach to records creation/collection, B/Ds should develop business rules to document decisions as to what records are to be created and kept by B/Ds. These business rules, which incorporate records creation/collection as part of business routines and hence minimise the risk of inadequate creation/collection of records, should be established, documented and promulgated in a way that can be used by staff in their daily work.

All records, regardless of format and the technological environment in which they are collected, created or generated, should be captured into and maintained in an identifiable recordkeeping system. The latter is a manual (e.g. paper-based recordkeeping system) or automated system (e.g. electronic recordkeeping systems) in which records are collected, organised and categorised to facilitate records retrieval, distribution, use, disposal or preservation.

The captured records should be complete: a record should contain not only the content but also the structure and contextual information necessary to document an official transaction or activity. It should be possible to understand a record in the context of the organisational processes that produced it and of other linked records.

A record is registered when it is captured into the recordkeeping system, providing evidence that it has been created/collected. In a paper-based system, a record captured into a file should be registered through entering such contextual information as the type of record (e.g. memo), date of record, and name of originator/addressee of the record on the file.

An accurate inventory of records is a prerequisite for good records management because it facilitates efficient control and retrieval of records and provides basic information to support records management activities. Accordingly, B/Ds should prepare and maintain an accurate inventory of records. Such records inventory should be regularly updated to cater for changes.