Anyone who has been through a MOG or administrative change will be able to tell you sometimes it feels like a saga with 55 episodes, with a couple of prequels thrown in.
Well now we have a 56th season in the works, so time to learn your lines (find out what’s happening), and figure out the staging (logistics).
A big part of a MOG or administrative change is what’s what with the records. Functions move, people move, activities change and suddenly you’re doing something different. But attached to all of those things are records – core business records, HR records, admin records. And said records come in all shapes and sizes (and formats too). The problem is, like moving house there are always bits and pieces that get forgotten and there is always the ‘I don’t know what to do with these’ box.
So what do we do with the records?
Here are the basics:
If you’ve suddenly found yourself on stage left when you used to be on stage right (aka you and your functions have been moved), that’s ok. You can take your script and notes …I mean schedule and records and everything else you need with you. Whatever department or agency you are now part of is now legally responsible for all of the records you bring with you, and they also inherit permission to use the schedule that goes with those records.
Some of you may have new friends joining you in your part of the stage. That’s ok too. They’re just like the people above who’ve moved. Your agency becomes responsible for the records they bring with them and can use the schedule and recordkeeping tools and the like.
For those of you who haven’t had any changes to your lines or staging, but had a little change to the name of your play…um, department… don’t worry. There will of course be things you will need to do but from a recordkeeping perspective you’re ok. Even if you’ve inherited records from a previous MOG or have legislation or a regulation in place (or in the works) assigning your agency responsibility for records – these are usually MOG-proof and will still apply even if your department name has changed.
But we need more info!
Now herein lies the rub – even if you’ve tread the boards one or twice before, MOG and administrative changes never seem to be easy and you might need more information than you first thought.
We might not be seasoned West End directors here at QSA, but we do know records and we have some advice to help your directors (aka change leaders) with the recordkeeping side of things.
Our machinery-of-government and administrative change toolkit was four years in the making, but it was finally released at the end of last year. It’s big and very comprehensive (we hope), and might not be as fancy as we wanted but it works.
There are 9 webpages and 4 workflow diagrams that make up the toolkit.
There are 4 main stages to a MOG change (that we can figure anyway).
- Find out what’s going on
- Identify the records involved and what’s happening with them
- Figure out what the recordkeeping requirements are and come to an agreement
- Transfer the records (if necessary) and manage them after the change is done and dusted.
The 4 workflows take you through these 4 main stages. They are designed as guides to help you through the change and decide what you need to do. Most of the steps in the workflow are supported by advice on the various webpages, so if you need more information about a step or decision, then you can click the link in the workflow and read the related advice.
The advice pages
The 9 webpages are separated by major topics, such as custody and ownership, agreements, types of change etc. They’re also ordered based on how you’d work through a change.
So, you can read all or some of it (in any order) at your leisure … or really quickly when you need an answer.
The advice on each page, as usual, is separated by topic so you can jump in and out as you need.
The toolkit was designed so that those of you who are well-seasoned directors (yes, we’re back with the theatre theme), with lots of productions under your belt, can just read the introductory page about MOG changes with its list of major things to consider and be ok to go with just that.
You might also be ok with this if the change is fairly simple or there aren’t many records involved.
You might also want to dig a little deeper and read the information about the type of change (or changes) they’re going through and the major considerations specific to that change. For example, there are considerations and things you need to do if you’re privatising that you won’t have to do if you’re just transferring a function.
If you’re still not sure or feel like you need more information read the other advice pages that relate to what you need information on. Or you can read all of them.
Lastly, if you are really not sure of what to do you can work through the workflows and read the associated advice as you work through each step.
The main point is, it’s up to you to determine how deep you want to dig or not dig into the toolkit, or how you want to work through it.
But what if you’re not in this one?
Not all of you will be part of this big production but don’t worry (do worry?), you might be part of the next one. The best thing you can do is be prepared.
A while back we spoke to some agencies who have been around the block a few times with this kind of thing and we listened to their lessons learned and what they thought agencies could do to be prepared. Here are their tips and tricks to be prepared for a MOG or administrative change.
And that’s our curtain call (for now). Sorry, no (more) encores.