Main function and tasks of the Government and Information Rights Directorate

FOI request reference: F0061075
Publication date: March 2020


I would like to ask about the main functions and tasks of the departments of the Government and Information Rights Directorate in TNA. What are the main tasks of each departments: Strategic Compliance, Cross-Government Engagement and Projects, FOI Centre, Government Services, Strategy Development






The following information has been collated from our intranet pages on each of these departments. These contain high-level summaries of the main functions and tasks of the departments of the GIR directorate.

Cross Government Engagement

Cross Government Engagement is responsible for the delivery and continuous development of TNA’s flagship Information Management Assessment Programme. We lead TNA’s engagement with key cross-government information management projects, such as the Better Information for Better Government initiative with the Cabinet Office. We identify and cultivate key cross-government relationships to support the development of TNA’s second generation digital archive. For example, we are coordinating the Cross-Government O365 and Google KIM user groups.

Freedom of Information Centre

The Freedom of information Centre processes requests for information held by The National Archives under the Freedom of Information Act (2000), Data Protection Act (2018) and Environmental Information Regulations (2004).

The Freedom of Information Centre processes requests for information that is;

(a) Held within closed public records of central UK Government departments and legal systems that are in the custody of The National Archives.
(b) Held within the administrative records of The National Archives itself.

While our key responsibility is that we operate an effective service for responding to information requests The Freedom of Information Centre is involved in ensuring compliance with the information rights legislation across The National Archives.

Government Services

Government Services work flexibly across tasks and stakeholders to deliver the operational planning and activities that enable departments to transfer their records into TNA’s collection. This includes providing operational advice and guidance on transferring records and co-ordinating activities throughout the transfer process.

In particular, Government Services:

• publish guidance and on-line training that enable departments to catalogue and prepare records, and to establish appropriate access conditions for these records;
• enable departments to transfer their records in line with timescales set out in the Public Records Act 1958 and the transition to the 20-year-rule;
• intervene where necessary to help departments understand our requirements and keep on schedule;
• co-ordinate information between departments and the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives and its Secretariat;
• load information about newly transferred records into Discovery; and
• prepare transferred records to be made accessible to the public at TNA, taking account of approved access conditions.

Strategic Compliance

Strategic Compliance supports the Chief Executive and Keeper and the Secretary of State to deliver their statutory obligations to the public record under the 20-year rule, working closely with other members of the GIR Senior Leadership Team on the strategic handling of the newly-formatted annual Information Management Report.

We use the data submitted in the Information Management Report and metric gathered from across the GIR directorate to determine a programme of targeted intervention and support to government stake-holders to deliver the compliance picture.

Strategy Development

Strategy Development focuses on identifying and developing strategies for what comes next for the public record in the digital age, identifying and developing strategic responses to specific challenges facing the historic public record, including:

• the refresh of the FOI s.46 Code of Practice;
• planning for the future of the digital Place of Deposit network;
• reviewing our offer to short-term bodies and Inquiries;
• the future direction of our records collection policy.