Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Ceisteanna (532)

Niall Collins


532. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason action will be taken from January 2020 (details supplied) with respect to departmental emails more than two years old; if he was consulted on this decision; if this was an internal decision; and if not, if it was a recommendation from another Department. [52995/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department is implementing a new Email Retention Policy as part of a wider initiative to enhance record keeping and information management within the organisation and to support the implementation of several significant Information Security-related projects, including the Department's ISO 27001 Information Security standard.

This approach is consistent with my Department’s legal obligations under the relevant Data Protection, Freedom of Information and National Archives legislation.  

All staff in my Department have received one year’s notice to prepare for the rollout of this policy. During this period, staff have been reminded regularly to migrate emails of Business Value from their personal corporate email accounts to the appropriate centralised corporate records system before the January 2020 deadline.

As part of an ongoing Information Security awareness campaign and to assist all staff with the new procedures, the Department has provided

- Tailored workshops in several locations throughout the Department’s regional network of offices;

- Regular updates at internal staff and management forums;

- Direct assistance to Divisions with the migration of Business Value data from personalised corporate email boxes into the appropriate centralised corporate records system; 

- ‘’How to Videos’’ and “Frequently Asked Questions” have been made available to staff via the Department's intranet;

- Periodic email reminders have issued to all staff and messages are issuing on an internal Ticker-tape banner, reminding staff of the policy deadline.

Under this policy, emails of Business Value, containing records and data which may be required to answer internal or external requests for information, will now be stored on the relevant file directory or on the new records management system - eDocs - which is being rolled out throughout the Department. 

Emails that are over the two-year period of retention will no longer be available to staff in their individual mailboxes. The deleted emails will be retained centrally for a set period of time and will be recoverable in certain circumstances.