Retention of information held on behalf of the County Councillors (1)
The assumptions have been made that Political Parties are responsible for maintaining their original records and that the Council will hold copies of documents relating to council business. On that basis the following retention periods are recommended for information held by elected members:
- Political parties’ papers - destroy - 3 years after last action;
- Leader of council papers, leader of opposition papers. – destroy 3 years after last action;
- Correspondence and advice - destroy 3 years after last action;
- Information about attendance (not the official record) – destroy 1 year after meeting;
- Councillors’ own notes about official meetings they attended can be destroyed upon publication of the official minutes;
- Correspondence with central government and MPs about council business - destroy 6 years after last action.
In the case of a change in administration, the files should be sent to Democratic Services. Any files that need to be retained will be sent to the corporate Records Centre, who will place a 3 year retention period on them. More information on the Records Centre, please visit staffnet at http://staffnet.gloscc.gov.uk/article/19836/Records-Centre
Confidential papers must be brought into Democratic Services in Shire Hall for secure destruction.
Freedom of Information
Elected members in their own right are not subject to the FoIA, as it only applies to public authorities. However, there are circumstances where information produced, received or held by elected members could be liable to disclosure. If the information held by the County Council relates to the business of the County Council it is subject to disclosure. Therefore, if you were to write to or email an officer of the Council about an issue that related to the business of the council, then the information would be covered by FoIA.
Examples to illustrate when information would be covered
- Information emailed by an elected member about the education review, to an education officer, would be covered.
- Information sent from one elected member to another would be covered if it related to council business.
- Details of expense claims submitted to the council would be covered
- Comments on reports which have been prepared for consideration by a council committee would be covered