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Government spending €1.5 million to store paper records each year

Storing paper files in off-site locations is costing over €1.5m every year.

Image: Shutterstock/EKKAPHAN CHIMPALEE

MINISTER FOR PUBLIC Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe is to bring a memo to Cabinet on a new plan aimed at cutting the cost of storing paper records.

The archiving of records across all departments cost around €1.5 million for each of the last three years.

It’s understood that files and records for various government departments are stored in warehouses at off-site locations around the country.

The plan aims to reduce the spend on off-site storage for records and move to electronically storing data.

The National Archives Act 1986 requires public service records to be preserved. Such records cannot be destroyed except under certain circumstances, such as on receipt of a disposal authorisation issued by the National Archives.

Records built up over the years are moved out of the departments to off-site locations, but this can prove costly.

Of the various government departments, Social Protection pays out the most money on storing files, spending over €439,000 in 2016.

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The minister said his new plan ”aims to assist coherent and comprehensive records management within the public service”.

Donohoe said the new initiative will ensure there is clarity in all departments on roles and responsibilities relating to record-keeping, data management, and information management.

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