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Records Sentencing Projects highlight poor records keeping practices

Records sentencing projects often provide unintended outcomes that highlight poor records management practices. As the sentencing process involves the physical examination of each file it provides an excellent opportunity to determine if the information is complete and that all matters are “signed off” and this is just the beginning of the checking process.

Recent disposal projects have shown examples where:

  • Feedback on important decisions is not shared with other business units

  • Related and part files are not referenced

  • Files are poorly titled and lack proper description

  • Electronic media is attached to hard copy filesFOI/GIPA records do not record details of source records.

A good disposal project will identify shortcomings in the way information is handled and processed by action officers and by extension it will serve as a gateway to introducing change to existing business practices. So any good sentencing project should incorporate provision to provide feedback on the quality of the records being examined and recommend improvements to current and future business processes.

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