Policy on email management and automated deletion of emails

La solicitud fue exitosa.

Mireia Crespo Castellano

Dear European Parliament,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

1. Policy documents, memos, notes and drafts for Parliamentary Staff and for MEPs on e-mail management and archiving (or any other document referring to such policy). I am particularly interested in documents that refer to:

a. Creation and storage of e-mails.
b. “Automated deletion of e-mails” policy, including both the “common retention list” drawn up by the European Parliament Secretary-General and the “specific retention list” drawn up at the level of each directorate-general.

2. Memos, guidance, guidelines or training materials (or any other document) for Parliamentary Staff and for MEPs on the policy mentioned in point 1 of this request.

Yours faithfully,

Mireia Crespo Castellano
Access Info Europe
Cava de San Miguel 8, 4C

AccesDocs, Parlamento Europeo

Our ref.: A(2016)15662

Dear Ms Crespo Castellano,

European Parliament acknowledges receipt of your request, which will be processed as quickly as possible. You will receive a reply within 15 working days.

Best regards

PRES | Directorate General for the Presidency

AccesDocs, Parlamento Europeo

Please note that Parliament's administration is closed from 23 December 2016 to 2 January 2017 (both included).

AccesDocs, Parlamento Europeo

1 Adjuntos

Our ref.: A(2016)15662

Dear Ms Crespo Castellano,

In reply to your request and after consultation with the responsible services, please find the following information:

Please allow us to clarify the following aspects related to your request. On 19 September 2016 Parliament answered a request received via the AsktheEU website by Ms Wiesje van Nunen of Access Info Europe (https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/memo...) which explained the policy of records management in the European Parliament and provided the documents requested. Your request may be considered a follow-up and a precision of this former request as the retention of records in general and the retention of emails in particular are part of the European Parliament's records management strategy. The documents and explanations provided following Ms van Nunen's request are relevant for your request as well. These documents will thus not be attached to this reply, however, some of the explanations will be taken up again.

1. Records Management
Records management (creation and filing of records) within the Secretariat of the European Parliament mirrors the activities of the Institution in line with its powers, its organisation and its operational rules (Rules of Procedure (RoP): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getL...). The RoP provide details on the documents relevant to the different parliamentary procedures and set the regulatory framework for implementing texts. With reference to RoP Rule 25(2) and the third sub-paragraph of Rule 116(2), Parliament's Bureau adopted on 2 July 2012 specific Rules on Document Management. In order to implement these Rules, the Secretary General adopted on 28 November 2013 a decision laying down general arrangements for document management.

As foreseen in Art. 10 of the 2012 Bureau Decision, an Interdepartmental group of document management officers (GIDOC after the French denomination) was established. The GIDOC has prepared training for Document Management Officers (RAD after their denomination in French) (the slides "Training RAD" have been disclosed on Ms van Nunen's request). Moreover, a set of templates and guidelines provides help to staff charged with establishing documents for Parliamentary procedures.

2. Retention
The above mentioned Bureau rules and the Secretary General's decision establish in Article 6 (Bureau decision) and chapter IV (SG decision) the obligation and rules for Parliament's retention policy. On the basis of these instructions most of the Directorates General and the Secretary General's cabinet have established retention lists which you find in the attached zip-file (documents 1-13). The lists also contain instructions for their implementation. A common retention list as foreseen in the rules has not yet been established as not all Directorates General have established their lists.

For a document to be registered it must contain important information that is not short-lived and bind the European Parliament or may require action or follow-up by the European Parliament. Most emails exchanged in the institution are of an informal character and do not meet these conditions. There is no obligation to systematically register any single email drawn up or received by the institution. The specific rules for email retention are thus merely technical provisions. In its decision of 7 November 2014 the Secretary General provided the framework for the use of Parliament's email service. In particular Article 5 is dealing with retention issues. On the basis of this decision Parliament's IT services have issued a document on email policy which provides technical specifications. The document's section 4 deals with retention issues. The Secretary General's decision and the Policy document are documents 14 and 15 in the attached zipfile.


European Parliament
Directorate-General for the Presidency