Good records management

Public bodies should be transparent.  They should record the criteria for decision making and give reasons for their decisions.

This was the message given by Ombudsman Margaret Kelly and Deputy Ombudsman Sean Martin at a recent talk given to an event held in the Public Records Office Northern Ireland.

While people don't generally complain about poor record keeping, explained Ms Kelly, a significant proportion of those cases going to the Ombudsman's Further Investigation stage uncover issues with record keeping.  This often can be an indicator of other underlying problems.

Stressing how good records protect everyone, both urged members of staff working in public bodies to record their rationale when making key decisions.  This not only helps others within the public body but can act as a 'shield' if those decisions are questioned at some point in the future.

Margaret Kelly
Ombudsman Margaret Kelly

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