Moving records procedure

Intent

To ensure secure and organised carriage of RMIT records from one place to another. To integrate records management in planning - from the start of the planning process to final removal and transfer of records.

Scope

The University must ensure that RMIT records managed by the RMIT Group, offshore partners, outsourced operations and/or contractors are managed in accordance with this policy.

Exclusions

Nil.

Procedure

Note: The Records Management Unit must be consulted for advice when moving office location or when transporting large quantities of records. See Section 3 for details.

1. Transportation of records via mail, vehicle or contactor

Issues to consider when selecting transportation services include:

  • Will the records be protected from damage, unauthorised access or theft?
  • Is the level of security offered appropriate to the degree of importance, sensitivity or confidentiality of the records?

The choice of contractor is a risk-based decision balancing security requirements and costs.

If using contractors to transport records, it is necessary to document the security and confidentiality requirements in a formal contract. Insuring records should be considered where appropriate.

When large quantities of records are being moved with or without contractor assistance, ensure suitable vehicles are used. To ensure adequate security and to protect records against weather, light, pollution and other dangers, vehicles must be:

  • Covered
  • Locked
  • Attended at all times
  • Not used for transporting other materials, such as chemicals, that may cause risks to records.

The movement of records of large quantities must undertake project planning (see Section 3).

2. Moving records securely

When records are in transit they are more vulnerable to loss, damage or theft. Security precautions must be taken to minimise these risks.

  • Make sure that RMIT Records are delivered directly to a named individual.
  • Check that RMIT Records have reached their destination.

The following requirements must also be followed:

a. Packaging

Records must be enclosed in suitable padding or containers to prevent or minimise damage in transit. Hard copy RMIT records should be securely contained with security seals. Note: Make sure that you have a list of the contents of each box. Electronic media should be bubble wrapped.

b. Labelling

If records and electronic media are being prepared for a move, make sure they can be easily identified to avoid loss in transit.

Label each box and identify a person to whom these RMIT records should be delivered. For records with high risk privacy or security information, they should be signed for on receipt.

c. Handling

Records must be carefully handled at all times, particularly during loading and unloading. If large quantities of records are moved, use secure loading docks (where available) so that records can be loaded and unloaded without risk of theft or damage.

Records must never be left unattended, even temporarily, on pavements or in front of buildings.

If the records are of a sensitive nature and the premises at either the dispatch or delivery point are shared, try to make arrangements for exclusive use of loading dock/entire facilities during transfers. If this is not possible, make sure that the records are not left unattended.

Points to remember for the safe and secure handling of records:

  • No-one should eat, drink or smoke near the records.
  • Boxes and envelopes should never be opened or records examined without authorisation from the relevant authority.
  • Records should never be thrown.
  • Records should never be left in unsecured areas.
  • Any damage should be reported to the responsible officer.

3. Project Planning

The Records Management Unit should be consulted for advice when moving office location or when transporting large quantities of records. Change of custody of records should not be undertaken without written authorisation of the Manager, Records and Archives.

a. Points to address in the planning phase

  • Where are records currently stored and where will they be stored after the move?
  • How much records storage space is available at the new location? Is that space appropriately secured, monitored, and suitable for records storage?
  • If an organisational change includes a change of custody for records, how will this be recorded?

b. Conduct a records clean-out

Conduct a records clean-out well before the move starts. Use the Relocation Checklist for Privacy and Recordkeeping (PDF), and contact the Records Management Unit for advice.

By identifying what records should be destroyed and what records should be transferred to the RMIT Archives or offsite storage, you might dramatically reduce the volume of records that need to be moved to your new office location.

c. Nominate responsibility for the project

Put someone in charge of the project to move RMIT Records. As with any other activity, in order for the move of records to be completed smoothly and efficiently, someone needs to be in charge. This person should:

i. Complete the Mandatory Checklist

Completion of the Relocation Checklist for Privacy and Recordkeeping (PDF) is a mandatory requirement when moving office location or when transporting large quantities of records. Management signoff of the completed checklist is required.

ii. Make certain that each activity is documented

This includes recording key milestones for the move. Where records are registered, for example, in an Electronic Document and Records Management System (TRIM), the system must be updated to show the new location and custody of the records.

iii. Ensure records accountability

Nominate staff as custodians of records.

iv. Ensure authorisation for disposal of records or electronic assets

Refer to the Records retention and disposal procedure and Secure destruction procedure during the planning phase.

v. Ensure contractor compliance

Ensure any contractors engaged for the project have the requirements of this procedure addressed in their contract.

4. Breach Reporting

If the procedures outlined in this document are not followed, it constitutes a breach of Records management policy and potentially breaches RMIT’s information security or privacy. Where misconduct or mishandling of records has occurred, any staff member of RMIT has the responsibility to follow the appropriate breach reporting using the Compliance breach reporting procedure and/or the Incident report form – loss, theft or unauthorised access to personal or sensitive information (DOC).

[Next: Supporting documents and information]