This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Memos, guidance and guidelines on record creation DG SANTE'.




Ref. Ares(2014)1015084 - 01/04/2014
Ref. Ares(2016)5532520 - 23/09/2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION 
HEALTH AND CONSUMERS DIRECTORATE-GENERAL 
 
General Affairs 
  Information systems 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

DG SANCO INTERNAL GUIDANCE DOCUMENT ON  
RESPONSIBILITIES OF ADMINISTRATORS  
IN RELATION TO DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT 
 
MARCH 2014 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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TABLE OF CONTENT 
 
1 
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................ 2 
2 
“CHEF DE FILE” ............................................................................................................ 3 
3 
THE ADMINISTRATORS AS KEY PLAYERS IN E-DOMEC ................................ 3 
3.1 REGISTRATION.............................................................................................................. 4 
3.2 FILING IN OFFICIAL FILES .............................................................................................. 6 
3.3 PRESERVATION OF THE FILES ........................................................................................ 8 
3.4 APPRAISAL AND TRANSFER OF THE FILES TO THE HISTORICAL ARCHIVES .................... 9 
4 
ARES USERS.................................................................................................................. 11 
4.1 SAVING A DOCUMENT IN ARES.................................................................................. 12 
4.2 LIST OF FILES IN ARES............................................................................................... 14 
4.3 FAVOURITE FILES IN ARES ........................................................................................ 15 
4.4 FILING A DOCUMENT IN ARES ................................................................................... 16 
5 
TRAINING AND SUPPORT......................................................................................... 17 
6 
ARES CHECKLIST FOR ADMINISTRATORS ....................................................... 17 
ANNEX 1 – BASIC RULES ON DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT ....................................... 18 
ANNEX 2 – THE KEY PLAYERS IN E-DOMEC................................................................. 19 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
1  Introduction  
 
e-Domec is relevant to everyone in the Commission who receives or produces a document. 
That, therefore, includes you! 
 
The Commission must ensure that it is able, at any time, to provide information on the matters 
for which it is accountable. 
The documents and files serve to the Commission to: 
•  increase its efficiency and ensure better business continuity; 
•  retain proof of activities performed (accountability); 
•  support  quick and easy access to information for the European citizens 
(transparency) and, when requested, for audit or legal reasons; and 
•  keep a record of its past activities as a European institution and as a European public 
administration (Institution's memory).  
Definitions 
•  "Document" means: any content drawn up or received by the Commission 
concerning a matter relating to the policies, activities and decisions falling within the 
institution's competence and in the framework of its official tasks, in whatever 
medium (written on paper or stored in electronic form or as a sound, visual or audio-
visual recording).  
•  "File" means: a coherent group of documents which reflects the progress of a given 
case conducted by a Commission department from beginning to end. A file must 
gather all documents providing evidence of the way in which an official activity has 
been conducted.  
•  "Life-cycle" means: All the stages or periods in the life of a document from the time 
it is received or formally drawn up until it is transferred to the Commission’s historical 
archives and/or opened to the public or until it is destroyed according to the rules:  
1.  Registration  
2.  Filing  
3.  Preservation  
4.  Appraisal and transfer  
 
 

 

2  “Chef de File” 
“Chef de file” is a unit (« lead unit »). Within this unit the matter concerned can be 
managed by the Head of Unit or by any other agent, who is called the “file manager” 
("gestionnaire de dossier" in French).  
“Chef de File” 
•  is in charge of the case 
… even if another unit is involved in performing related tasks or providing assistance;  
•  is not a person 
… but the unit responsible for dealing with the case. The file manager is the agent(s) 
within the unit appointed to deal with the matter in question (case). She/h decides 
which document requires registration and filing and in which of the Unit's files;  
•  allocates every document to the appropriate file 
… whether paper or electronic and ensures the completeness of the file. If the file is 
hybrid (both paper format and electronic), makes the necessary arrangements to be 
able to reconstitute the file easily;  
•  opens and closes the file 
The file is opened at the start of the case with the encoding of the metadata of the file. 
The file is closed when all the actions stemming from the case have been concluded 
and no further document should be added to the file. As chef de file each unit should 
have its own file list for which it is responsible.  
 
3  The administrators as key players in e-Domec 1 
Each staff member has a contributory role in good document management by taking part 
in the registering and filing of documents, received or written, on the one hand, and the 
preservation and transfer of files, on the other.  
The  administrators as file managers have a specific role with regard to their 
administrative and technical responsibilities.  
 
 
                                                            
1 Other key players in Annex 2. 

 







The document is filed either in: 
•  an already existing file when a registered document can logically be allocated to 
an existing file or 
•  a new official file that must be created.  
In DG SANCO the technical part of creating the file in ARES is done centrally by 
the DMO (Document Management Officer) team. The DMC (Document 
Management Correspondent) of the Unit together with the “file manager” fill in 
the request form available on IntraSanco (How to – Document Management – 
Filing)  
http://s-sanco-intranet.sanco.cec.eu.int/intranet/how-to/document-
management/filing  
   

 
 
and send it to the mailbox: SANCO ARES SUPPORT 
All files must be linked to the Filing Plan where they are categorised by activity under 
an appropriate heading – we need to find them easily!  
The specific roles of the “file managers”:  
•  The “file managers” are responsible for the day to day management of the files 
to ensure that all registered documents relating to a case they are responsible for 
are allocated to the correct file.  
•  The “file managers” request to create a new file when a new case starts. 
•  The “file managers” suggest a title and heading for the file and determine the 
category of the file.  
The title gives a brief description of the case handled in that file. It has to be brief, but 
has to be as exact as possible; even indicating the end of the file or some information 
which could indicate when the case will be closed, as at a given moment, the action will 
be finished. The one who better knows the real scope of the file is the unit Chef de File 
and its desk officer. 
 
Closing a file 
When? 
When the case is finished, the file must be closed. If no new document has been added 
in the last 6 months, the file is potentially closable. 
 Before closing… 
Before a file is closed, it must be first checked to ensure that there are no missing 
documents and that any non-useful working documents have been removed. It now 
contains all the pertinent documents. No changes can be made to a closed file! 

 

How to find the list of files of my Unit in ARES? See 4.2. List of files in ARES 
 
How to select my favourites in ARES?  See 4.3. Favourite files in ARES 
 
How to file a document in ARES? See 4.4. Filing a document in ARES 
 
3.3  Preservation of the files  
Each DG and service must ensure the physical protection of the files in its sphere of 
responsibility, and guarantee their access in the short and medium term, until they are 
transferred to the Commission's Historical Archives Service or until they are eliminated. 
The “chef de file” is responsible for a file throughout its life cycle. This includes 
preservation, 
in cooperation with the archives service of the DG. 
Once documents are registered and filed, they also need to be preserved. For the proper 
preservation of paper documents, the most practical solution is to keep the files in 
binders and to store these in the office of the case manager, the unit secretariat or a 
central location shared by one or more services.  
However, the Commission is moving to an e-Commission and thus documents are more 
and more preserved in electronic format, which allows for user friendly and rapid 
access. For certain types of documents the computer application itself has an archiving 
module. This is the case for documents in VISTA (COM, SEC, C documents) and for 
the mail and documents registered in ARES.  
The preservation of closed files and archives functions is a bit like our memory; there is 
a need to be selective. In order to better remember the important things, it is often 
necessary to forget the irrelevant ones. It is also important to properly preserve these 
files, irrespective of their support (electronic and/or paper).  
An important aspect of the preservation is that the title and specific code of your 
paper files have to correspond to those of your electronic files and be indicated in 
your list of official electronic files. The labels of the paper files must reflect the 
metadata of the electronic file. 

To help you decide in practice for how long your closed files have to be kept and if your 
files have to be transferred to the historical archives or can be destroyed after a number 
of years, the Commission has created the Common retention list (CRL), which is, in 
fact, a table to manage file preservation.  
All digitised documents are kept in their original medium for at least six months. 
When the original is a paper copy for which signature is a substantial formality, this 
original is preserved according to the CRL. 
See the Note “Preservation of DG SANCO’s files – Adoption of the Archive Schedule”, 
ARES(2012)1262372, 25/10/2012. 
 

 

3.4  Appraisal and transfer of the files to the Historical Archives  
It often happens that documents and files are no longer frequently consulted even 
though they are still of importance. They might in fact have become a burden to the 
service keeping them. In such cases the Institution can take over the responsibility for 
their physical storage. The Historical Archives Service (HAS) is responsible for this. 
Should you wish to consult transferred files, the HAS will put them at your disposal. 
The transfer is done by means of a transmission form (BdT=Bordereau de 
transmission)  
and a basic file list (LiB=Liste de base) which are available on the 
Historical Archives website and on IntraSanco. These two documents are essential: they 
provide proof of the transfer itself and a record of what was transferred. It is in your 
own interest to provide a good basic file list as this will facilitate future consultation of 
the files. 
http://s-sanco-intranet.sanco.cec.eu.int/intranet/how-to/document-
management/archives-documents .  
Even when files are transferred to the HAS, the chef de file continues to be responsible 
for their files, especially for access requests, both coming from other EU institutions or 
from the public. 
The DMO is responsible for the review and transfer of files to the Historical Archives 
Service (HAS). It does not mean that the DMOs do this transfer themselves. Their role 
is: 
•  to establish transfer procedures (including archive schedule) tailored to their DG 
•  supervise the first review of files and transfer 
•  act as point of contact with the HAS 
After transfer of files to the HAS, the DG continues to be responsible for the following:  
•  to co-operate with the HAS in the second review of files 
•  to treat all requests for access to documents (until the documents are 30 years old)  
 
30 Years Rule 
Access to documents by the public after 30 years, on the other hand, is a duty of the 
HAS.  
It should not be forgotten that after 30 years files that have historic value will be opened 
to the public. It is therefore in everyone's interest to organise transfers as best they can. 
 

 

Analysis of non e-Domec files to be transferred to HAS 
Is it an official file? 
YES 
NO 
 
Do I still need this file for 
NO 
Is there an official file 
administrative purposes?  
containing all the 
relevant documents 
NO 
on this matter? 
Is the file closed?  
Can I close it?  
YES 
YES 
 
 
 
Has the file an administrative, 
 
END
NO
legal or historical value? 
YES 
 
PREPARE THE TRANSFER:  
* Put together all the files to be 
transferred  and  
* follow the guidelines (basic file 
list, transmission form, etc.)  

KEEP the basic file list and 
TRANSFER 
transmission form  
 
 
10 
 

 
4  ARES users 
ARES is used by all staff in the Commission: to approve the final version of a 
document (electronic signatory or e-signatory), register documents (or simply save them), 
file them in the correct file(s), send or receive attributions or tasks to perform with the 
documents (reply, register, file …), search for documents or files, etc. 
ARES users receive in their ARES “Received docs” new documents sent to them. They 
also receive “Tasks” relating to a document as assignments or actions. These tasks are 
defined by action codes.  
The assignment action codes have the following meaning:  
CF - Chef de File -;  
 
ASSOC - Associated Service - (followed by the name of the user who has to provide 
input but is not Chef de File for the document in question);  
 
INFO - For Information -; 
  
CLASS – Filing or "Classement" in French - (followed by the name of the user who is 
required to file the document in question) 
The e-signatory action codes have the following meaning:  
RED – Author or "Rédacteur" in French - (a user responsible for drafting a text);  
 
CONTRIB  - For contribution - (followed by the name of the user who may need to 
contribute to the text);    
VISA – For approval - (followed by the name of the user who needs to give his/her visa 
or needs to initial the document);  
 
SIGN – For signature - (followed by the name of the user who needs to approve and sign 
the final version of the document);  
 
EXP  – Sender or "Expéditeur" in French - (followed by the name of the user who is 
required to register, file and dispatch a finalised document) 
11 
 











 
5  Training and support 
DIGIT and the SG provide information, training and the necessary support to help you apply 
document management rules correctly with the help of a number of IT tools. 
Whatever your profile or role is there is training to suit your needs. 
Please speak with your DMO, determine your profile/role and discuss which trainings you 
should follow.  
Training on document management (e-Domec): 

CDF : Chef de File (for heads of unit and case managers)  
http://myintracomm.ec.europa.eu/corp/sg/en/edomec/training/Pages/chantinfot
rain.aspx#cdf  

SECR: Document and file management in the unit for secretaries (at this stage, 
the course exists only in FR)  
http://myintracomm.ec.europa.eu/corp/sg/en/edomec/training/Pages/chantinfot
rain.aspx#secr  
SANCO ARES SUPPORT is the functional mailbox to use in DG SANCO for any problem 
with ARES. A member of the SANCO ARES SUPPORT team will help you.  
 
6  ARES Checklist for administrators 
 
•  I know how to access ARES 
•  I know the action codes for assignment 
•  I know the action codes for e-signatory 
•  I have selected my preferences … and my delegations 
•  I know how to create a new document 
•  I know how to import a document (from my pc) 
•  I know how to save a document 
•  I know how to create assignment tasks 
•  I know the way of searching for my unit's files 
•  I have made a list of my favourite files 
•  I know whom to ask for help 
 
17 
 

18 
 

Annex 1 – Basic rules on document management 
 
The following documents should serve as the reference documents for all basic rules related 
document management: 
•  Commission Decision 2002/47 on document management which aims:  

to put in place effective document management systems to enable any 
document connected with the Commission's official functions to be managed, 
kept and found securely at all times, whatever form it is in (paper or electronic) 
or whatever management system is governing it;  

to introduce, at Commission's level, a system of management and electronic 
archiving based on a body of common rules and procedures applicable to all 
departments.  
•  Commission Decision 2004/563 on electronic and digitised documents, which:  

determines the conditions of validity of electronic and digitised documents for 
the Commission's purposes;  

ensures the authenticity, integrity and legibility over time of these documents 
and of the relevant metadata.  
•  Document SEC(2009)1643 on the Implementing rules for the above two decisions 
which aim to cover the entire lifecycle of a document, whatever its form (electronic or 
paper).  
•  Common Retention List (CRL) for European Commission files - SEC(2012)713 - 
Cover note 
 
 
19 
 

Annex 2 – The key players in e-Domec 
At DG level: 
The  DMOs (Document Management Officers), responsible for the administration of 
documents
 appointed by their Director General or Head of Department, ensure the 
application and respect for e-Domec rules in their DG or service. In DG SANCO, the DMO is 
, assisted with a deputy, 
, Unit A4. 
They are assisted in their work by the CAD  (Centre d'Administration des Documents) and 
their  network of correspondents (in DG SANCO one Document Management 
Correspondent (DMC) per Unit/Directorate with a back-up).  
Each Head of Unit is responsible for correct document management within his/her service. 
Each staff member has a contributory role in good document management by taking part in 
the registering and filing of documents, received or written, on the one hand, and the 
preservation and transfer of files, on the other. 
At corporate level: 
The Secretariat General (SG) is responsible for adopting and coordinating document 
management policy, monitoring how the rules and common standards are applied in 
practice in all DGs and associated services and developing, together with DIGIT, IT 
tools that ensure electronic document management covering the whole life-cycle of 
documents. The SG also organises centrally with the help of DG HR and DIGIT, 
training sessions on document management whose content is adapted for the different 
players. 
The  Directorate General for Informatics (DIGIT) develops, in close cooperation 
with the SG and the DMOs (Document Management Officers), the IT tools that are 
necessary for efficient electronic document management throughout the Commission.  
The  Historical Archives Service (HAS) receives and manages all the archives 
transferred by the DGs after a first review and in accordance with the document 
management rules. The archives, identified by the HAS, for permanent preservation 
(definitive or historical archives), will be opened to the public, wherever possible, 
following the 30 years rule. 
 
20