Management and retention of draft papers

The policy on the Management and Retention of Draft Papers ["the policy”] provides a general University-wide approach to draft papers from their creation through to the point of destruction. The policy covers all draft papers that are prepared and produced when undertaking any University-related business.  

Policy aims

The establishment of the policy ensures the University adheres to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The University must be able to comply with requests for access to information or documents made under the Act. Responses to requests for draft papers are made on the assumption that this policy is followed thoroughly. 

Definition of a draft paper

The policy defines a Draft Paper (DP) as a document which is due to be published eventually but which is not yet in its final form. This does not include discussion papers or similar documents, which are not necessarily subject to change or revision. It is important to note that a draft paper can be held in either electronic or hard copy formats. 

Management and retention of draft papers

Draft Papers are destroyed confidentially as soon as the final version of the document is agreed. In certain cases, it may be necessary for the DP to be considered by a formal Committee of the University. The DP would then need to form part of that Committee's permanent papers.

It is not a contravention of this policy for a DP to be retained permanently in this way. Under these circumstances, it is still important that all other copies of the DP are destroyed confidentially in the usual way. Draft or unapproved minutes of formal University Committee meetings are dealt with in accordance with the procedures laid out below. All other draft minutes are managed as above.

Minutes of formal University committee meetings

Committee minutes are distributed to the relevant individuals once approved by the Committee Chair or relevant University Officer. They remain unapproved minutes until they have been considered and corrected and/or approved by the next meeting of the same Committee. Unapproved minutes are published on the University website and are annotated as such.

Once the Committee amends and/or agrees the minutes, the electronic and master hard copy versions are amended to become the approved minutes. Previous versions become obsolete and are destroyed, although it is acceptable to annotate the master hard copy by hand to indicate to those viewing the minutes in future how they came to be changed.

Policy review

In accordance with the University's standard records management practice, the policy is reviewed every three years to ensure it meets effectively the University's operational and legal requirements. 

Further information

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Freedom of Information Team Information is available on request.