Becoming familiar with the Legislative environment
Undertaking legislative mapping is a key step to understanding the environment an agency works within. It requires researching and documenting the recordkeeping requirements of legislation that is relevant to an individual agency. This includes:
- enabling legislation that established the agency
- legislation that the agency administers
- legislation that applies to core business operations of the agency
Legislation may contain 'explicit' recordkeeping requirements. This means that recordkeeping requirements are clearly expressed within a section of the legislation itself. An example of an explicit requirement would be "a register of licences must be maintained". Other requirements are 'implicit' - they may not be as clearly stated, but are implied in some way.
Additional 'hidden' requirements for recordkeeping may be identified within agency business processes and procedures. An example might be of an internal procedure for investigating a grievance lodged against a staff member. The procedure may require HR to check if there have been other complaints about that staff member in the past. Even though there may be no direct mention of this in legislation, there is obviously a business need to keep records about past complaints. The requirement in the example is to create records that document complaints made about staff members, for future business use.