Policy principles

  • Records will be retained in a form that can be readily accessed by authorised individuals or organisations.
  • Records will be sufficient to enable decisions to be identified clearly; together with the reasons for those decisions and the decision-making process.
  • Records will be retained for a period consistent with any legal requirements and the reasonable likelihood of a need to refer to that record.
  • Records will be retained securely with appropriate back-up.
  • Records will be available to the public unless they relate to confidential or operational matters or there are other legal restrictions on publication. 

Definition of a record

A record is any report, letter, email, minute, decision note, meeting note or other document, whether hard copy or electronic and includes personal data.
 
Standards of record-keeping

  • A record must indicate the person who generated it.
  • A record must contain information to enable their place of storage to be readily identified.
  • All records (physical and electronic) will be held securely with access restricted to Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) staff with a legitimate work-related need.
  • Confidential physical records, including personal files, will be held in fire resistant cabinets with a designated owner who authorises access to those with a legitimate work-related need.
  • Access to confidential electronic records, including personal files, will be restricted to the Commissioner, the Chief Executive and other identified individuals with a role related need.
  • There must be a disaster recovery plan covering all records. 

Responsibility for this policy

The Police and Crime Commissioner is the Data Controller. 
 
The Chief of Staff as Monitoring Officer is the designated officer with overall responsibility for implementing and monitoring this policy on the Commissioner’s behalf. 
 
The Office Manager is responsible for setting up and maintaining records storage systems consistent with this policy and ensuring records are reviewed, archived and disposed of in line with it.
 
OPCC staff are personally responsible for ensuring adherence to this policy.
 
Access to historic records

The Commissioner, the Chief Executive and all OPCC staff may access records created by the Kent Police Authority, unless in the Chief of Staff’s opinion, it is not appropriate.
 
The Commissioner and the Chief of Staff may access all records created by former Commissioners/Deputy Commissioners, except those records containing advice by political advisers or any other documents the Chief of Staff considers not appropriate.
 
Retention of records – working process

1. Personal files – Commissioner, any Deputy Commissioner; the Chief Executive/Monitoring Officer; OPCC staff, Committee and Independent Members 

To be retained for 2 years after the last day of service. 

2. Personal files – Chief Constable 

To be retained for 5 years after the last day of service. 

3. Documents relating to legal proceedings, or legal matters 

To be retained for 6 years after the last entry. 

4. Documents relating to complaints 

To be retained for 10 years after the last entry. 

5. Documents relating to key decisions made by the Commissioner 

To be retained for 5 years and then archived for 25 years. 

6. Documents relating to recruitment of OPCC staff, Committees or bodies established by the Commissioner 

For all unsuccessful applicants, files to be retained for 6 months from interview date.
 
Documentation and material used in process to be retained for 5 years from interview date. 

7. Financial documents 

To be retained for 6 years after end of financial year to which they refer. 

8. Other documents 

To be retained for 4 years (files to be reviewed annually to remove time-expired documents). 

Retention of records - historical process

9. Documents relating to Grade 1 and Grade 2 decisions by the Commissioner 

To be retained for 5 years and then archived for 25 years. 

10. Documents relating to Grade 3 and Grade 4 decisions by the Commissioner 

To be retained for 5 years. 

11. Documents relating to decisions of the former Authority and its Committees 

To be retained until December 2013 and then archived for 29 years. 

12. Documents relating to responsibilities of the former Authority and its Committees 

Live files were transferred in their entirety to the successor body. Other documents to be retained and disposed of in accordance with this policy. 

13. Authority files not in use following transfer to Police and Crime Commissioner 

To be archived for 4 years. 

The Chief Executive as Monitoring Officer may authorise the retention of any documents beyond the periods set out above where, in their opinion, there is a reasonable likelihood that the documents will need to be referred to. 
 
All documents, including those held electronically will be disposed of confidentially and completely.

This policy is subject to revision by the Monitoring Officer; it was last reviewed in October 2016.