What can you do using the Records Retention and RoPA tools?

The LG Inform Plus records retention/ RoPA pages give you access to:

  • Guidance on which record types you are likely to hold for your authority and how long you should or might wish to hold them for.

    The records retention guidance is information that guides English councils on the types of records that could be kept for each service to ensure compliance with Section 12 of the Lord Chancellor's Code of Practice on the management of records and to meet likely business needs.

  • Tools to help you create and maintain a ‘Record of Processing Activity’ or RoPA for your authority which is required by the Data Protection Act 2018.

The guidance is put together by Kent County Council's Legal Services team in partnership with the LG Inform Plus team. It describes how long records need to be kept before destruction or transfer to the Archives.

How might the retention guidance be used and why?

Councils need a records retention schedule to:

  • manage compliance with legislative retention requirements and the Lord Chancellor's Code of Practice
  • manage proper disposal in line with Data Protection rules
  • improve efficiency by allowing easier access to relevant documents by removing old and out of date ones
  • reduce storage and backup costs, bringing major savings in the cost of physical space
  • improve the accessibility of information requested under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations
  • in line with the principles of open government, identify which information is held

The guidance published here represents an interpretation of retention requirements which you can use to check and improve your own retention schedule. Ultimately each council's legal department must check and approve its own schedule. It is not designed to be downloaded in full as representing the complete retention schedule for an individual council. LG Inform Plus subscribers can generate full or partial retention documents for editing or copying into their own personalised schedules.

For open data specialists, the guidance can be accessed as Linked Data from the data page.

How might you use the tools and guidance to create a RoPA for your council?

Councils who collect and process personal data are now required by the Data Protection Act 2018 to create and maintain a ‘Record of Processing Activity’ detailing any personal data, and special data, they process.

You can use the retention guidance to download a template showing record types your authority may collect and process. The template contains blank columns which can be filled in to create a RoPA by uploading the completed template. Alternatively you can add and amend RoPA information in an online form.

A download option lets you download all or part of the RoPA for your organisation.

You can find out more about the records retention and RoPA tools from the help pages or look at other materials in File Exchange

Retention information is provided for guidance only. You must check requirements with your council’s own legal team.