FOI Ref: ​FOI/2022/4098

You asked

​Follow up request to FOI/2022/3984. On the emails sent to stakeholders seeking endorsement, you say:

"Unfortunately the original emails inviting those stakeholders to provide a comment are no longer held because they were sent from the inboxes of ONS colleagues who have now left the organisation. The ONS policy is to delete the email accounts of ex-employees 30 days after their departure for security reasons."

Can you please let me have copies of the policy that allows deletion of key business information? Were the replies to these emails not forwarded to any other staff member working on the plans or kept in shared drives or archived?

We said

Thank you for your request.

The ONS Document and Records Management Policy has been attached. The ONS is required by legislation to lifecycle manage information.

Key aspects of the policy that relate to retention or disposal of information are highlighted here:

Documents and records must only be retained for as long as they are required to support ONS with the purposes of:

  • compliance with legal and/or regulatory requirements
  • protection of legal and other rights or interests
  • business or operational needs
  • reference or to demonstrate accountability or transparency


Disposal actions include the:

  • destruction of records that have no further value

Therefore, a decision was made to retain the meeting minutes which have been provided as per the original request, but not the emails themselves.