This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Policy on email management and automated deletion of emails'.


 
DOCUMENT PARTIALLY ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC (03.03.2016) 
 
GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF THE COUNCIL 
STAFF NOTE 
Department responsible: 
54/13 
DG F 2B - Records Management and 
Central Archives (Archives) 

23/7/2013 
Tel.  7647 
 

Subject: Document transmission to the Records Management Unit and Central Archives and 
file disposal 
 
This Staff Note sets out guidelines for the sound management of all the Council's archive 
documents.  
 
It cancels and replaces Staff Note 187/08 of 21 November 2008. 
 
It lays down the arrangements: 
1. 
for transmitting documents to the Archives 
2. 
for subsequent transfer to the Archives 
3. 
for disposing of files 
 
1. 
Arrangements for transmitting documents to the Archives 
 
The following are considered archive documents and must therefore be sent to the Archives: 
ST, CM and DS documents, miscellaneous notes and all kinds of correspondence, whatever 
their form or storage medium, produced or received by the Council or the European Council, 
one of its representatives or a member of its staff in the performance of their duties and 
relating to the activities of the European Union. 
 
1.1.  ST and CM documents  
These documents are sent to the Archives by DG A's Document Management/Distribution 
Unit. 
 
 


 
1.2.  Mail 
• Outgoing mail: a copy of each document is sent to the Archives. 
• Incoming mail: DG A's Document Management Unit/Registry sends the originals and their 
annexes to the Archives for filing as soon as they have been registered, and provides the 
relevant departments with photocopies. 
The originals sent directly to a department or official must be forwarded by the main 
recipient to the Registry for registration. 
 
1.3.  Classified documents and letters  
Classified documents and letters (Très SecretSecretConfidentiel and Restreint) are not sent 
to the Archives. They are handled in accordance with the Council's security rules and are 
therefore sent to the Classified Information Office (BIC). 
Under an agreed procedure, the BIC keeps the Archives regularly informed of the existence of 
restricted documents. 
 
2. 
Arrangements for subsequent transfer to the Archives 
 
 
Work files containing copies of documents held by the DG for work purposes and ephemeral 
or internal documents may be transferred to the Archives subsequently, but no later than three 
years after the concerned file has been closed and in accordance with the specific procedure.  
 
(see Annex I) 
 
Electronic documents may also be transferred to the Archives. More information on the 
specific procedures can be obtained from the contact persons mentioned in point 2 of Annex I. 
 
3. 
Arrangements for disposing of files 
 
 
Where a department wishes to dispose of documents, a distinction is made between two types 
of file or document: 
 
• files relating to the department's specific activities 
 
• documents not relating to the department's specific activities 
 
 


3.1.  Files relating to the department's specific activities 
 
 
For all files relating to a department's specific activities, a check must be made to ensure 
that the above rules have been complied with and that the documents considered as 
archive documents (see point 1, first paragraph) are actually in the Archives. If this is 
the case, and if the department wishes to dispose of archive material, then the following 
arrangements apply:  
– 
any disposal of archives, whatever their date, form or medium, must be notified to 
Central Archives for authorisation, using a disposal form; 
– 
the disposal form (see Annex II) must be sent to Central Archives after being 
signed by the head of the department which produced the documents; 
– 
the Archives will examine the form and, if necessary, the documents in question. 
If Central Archives accept the request, the form will be returned to the department 
bearing a disposal stamp. The stamp will constitute an authorisation to destroy the 
documents. The documents concerned must be destroyed; they may not be 
disposed of in any other manner. No document may be destroyed by anyone 
before the stamp has been issued; 
– 
should the disposal request be rejected in full or in part, the documents which are 
not to be destroyed must be transferred to the Central Archives. 
 
 
3.2.  Documents not relating to the department's specific duties 
 
Such documents concern the department's organisation and internal procedures (staff 
management, orders for equipment and supplies, incoming/outgoing internal mail 
collection, etc.), or contain information which is broadly disseminated throughout the 
GSC (staff notes). 
These documents may be disposed of without prior request for the Central Archives 
stamp. 
 
These guidelines will be reviewed once the filing plan project has been established and 
implemented. 
 
Any queries regarding the implementation of this Staff Note may be sent to Ms Malgorzata Stecko, 
Head of Unit (tel. 7647), or DELETED
 
 
Reijo Kemppinen 
Annexes 
 
 


 
Annex I 
 
 
Procedure for subsequent transfer of working files 
to the Central Archives 
 
 
 
1. 
Procedure before transfer 
 
 
Remove classified or private documents and documents already contained in the 
archives (registered letters, official documents: ST, CM, etc.). In the case of classified 
material, contact the BIC.  
 
Number the binders/boxes or structure the electronic indexes. 
 
Provide an inventory of the contents of each binder/box (as a minimum: the subject and 
year of each binder/box). For the transfer of electronic files, specify the volume of the 
electronic content. 
 
2. 
Notice of the transfer 
 
 
Notice of the transfer should be given to: 
 
 
 
DG   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Archives contact 
 
tel. 
 
 
DELETED 
 
 
 
 
3. 
Completion and signing of the transfer form 
 
 
There are two types of transfer: assignment and deposit (see form). 
 
4. 
Sending of the material 
 
Send the material, the inventory and the form to the address given by your Central Archives 
contact.  
 
5. 
Proof of transfer 
 
A copy of the transfer form signed by your Archives contact will be provided as proof of the 
transfer. 
 
 


Central Archives 
TRANSFER FORM 
______________________________________________________________________________ 
To be completed by the transferring department 
Directorate: …………………………………………………………………………………….…… 
Department: …………………………………………………………………………………..…….. 
Name of the staff member responsible for the transfer: ………………………………………….… 
Address/tel.: ………………………………………………………………………………………… 
Description of the transfer (add a separate page if necessary): 
………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 
………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 
Type of transfer (assignment*, deposit**):…………………………………………………………. 
Total number of binders/boxes:……………………………………………………………………... 
Date and signature of the Head of Department:…………………………………………………….. 
_____________________________________________________________________________ 
To be completed by the Archives 
Delivery date: …………………………………… Shelf metres:………………………………….... 
Location: …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 
……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 
Comments: ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 
………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 
Date and signature for the Archives: ………………………………………………………………… 
 

In the case of assignment, the Central Archives department points out that: 

it has the right to decide whether to keep or destroy the material wholly or in part; 

the transferred items may be made publicly available if they come within the rules on public access to 
the documents of the institutions. 

** 
In the case of deposit, the Central Archives department points out that:  

this being simply a matter of storage, it does not assume any responsibility as regards the keeping or 
management of the items. Consequently, no searches may be demanded of it; 


it reserves the right to return the items to the department of origin if it no longer has room for them; 

access to the transferred items will be granted only in the presence of a person from Central Archives; 

in the event of a removal, the items will have to be moved by the department of origin itself.  
 
 
 
 
 


Annex II 
 
Central Archives 
DOCUMENT DISPOSAL FORM 
 
 
Requesting department 
 
Directorate:  ..........................................................................................................................................................................  
 
Department: ..........................................................................................................................................................................  
 
Name of the staff member responsible for disposal:  ............................................................................................................  
 
Volume for which disposal is requested (shelf metres): .......................................................................................................  
 
Number of pages in this form (including this page): ............................................................................................................  
 
Date of dispatch of the request to the Archives: ...................................................................................................................  
 
Signature of the Head of Department: ..................................................................................................................................  
 
 
Archives 
 
Disposal stamp (dated): ........................................................................................................................................................  
 
Signature of the Head of the Archives: .................................................................................................................................  
 
 
This form must be sent to the Archives contact for your department: 
 
DG    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Archives contact    
 
Tel. 
 
 
DELETED 
 
 
 
 


 
 
ARCHIVE DOCUMENT DISPOSAL FORM 
 
Department: 
 
To be completed by the department 
Description 
Start/end dates 
Shelf metres 
Duration of administrative 
Secure disposal 
Comments 
(document purpose and 
(oldest and most recent year 
(sm) or  
usefulness (DAU) 
(yes/no) 
nature) 
of documents) 
Megabyte (MB) 
(period in years during which the 
documents had to be kept in the 
  
department for administrative usefulness 
reasons (relating to the department or of a 
legal nature))