§ Maria Eagle
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he intends to publish a policy statement on electronic records management. 
§ Mr. Lock
The Government's policy on electronic records management was published in April. It is called the "Framework for Information Age Government: Electronic Records Management, an Annex to e-government, A strategic framework for public services in the Information Age". Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The report is also available on the internet.
Effective management of electronic records is essential to the Information Age Government programme. The replacement of manual and paper based processes with electronic processes requires the development of effective records management, covering existing as well as new electronic records. In government such records must be managed so as to retain their integrity, authenticity and accessibility through migrations as hardware and software change and to conform with the relevant Data Protection and Freedom of Information regulations.
Any electronic government record is potentially a public record and for this reason all such records will be subject to additional controls including retention and disposal scheduling and prevention of content alteration.
The development of a common system of electronic records management will facilitate collaboration between Government Departments and agencies.