We’ve identified five key General Retention and Disposal Schedule (GRDS) challenges that you can read about in this Discussion Paper. We need your help to shape the GRDS!
Challenge 5: GRDS impact
Each time we issue a new version of the GRDS, it creates work for our agencies because it has to be uploaded into a recordkeeping system or records have to be resentenced. However, if we don’t update the GRDS, it can soon become outdated and records may be kept for longer or shorter than they should be. Can you see our dilemma?
To help us with this challenge, we would like to know what impact does issuing a new GRDS have on your agency? Does it create a lot of extra work for you? Do you resentence records when a new GRDS comes out, or leave it until the destruction date is due? Should we allow you to continue using old versions of the GRDS, even if records should be kept for longer or shorter periods of time? What would be the risks if we didn’t resentence records? Do you have to introduce work-arounds to implement the GRDS – and would you be willing to share them with us?
Do you have a preferred format for the GRDS to be released in?
Feedback from some of our users shows that due to changes in formatting, new scripts had to be written to enable the previous GRDS to be uploaded into some systems. If so, is this a problem with the changing function/activity structure or is it the Word/Excel versions in which the schedule is released? The GRDS is currently provided in PDF, DOC, XLS and XML formats. Is this enough, or are there other formats we could develop and provide for you? Would a different layout or structure be any easier to implement into an eDRMS or business system?
Do you routinely dispose of records in business systems that have reached the end of their retention periods?
We know anecdotally that records in business systems aren’t routinely being disposed of. Why is this? Is it because of the misconception that storage is cheap? Is it because the GRDS is difficult to implement in a business system? Help us to help you solve some of these problems by sharing your experiences.
Is the index in the GRDS still relevant?
In this age of Google and word searches, is an index to the GRDS still necessary? Do you create your own with each new version so that you can use words relevant to your organisation? Should we remove the index altogether?
Thank you for your feedback so far – we look forward to hearing more from you as we aim to improve the GRDS for everyone.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from QSA’s Government Recordkeeping team.
We look forward to continuing this discussion with you in 2015!