What is a record?

When a business is run, it is quite natural that there are numerous transactions that must be accounted for. There are several files documenting vital information specific to the organisation and the various departments in it. These can be roughly termed as records and are essential resources for the smooth running of any business. Records together can be called the collective memory of an organisation.

What is record management?

Records management is to systematically organise all records and the information or data that they contain. From time immemorial, whenever we used to think of records, we could always visualise stacks of paper that might be old and worn out, but still stored somewhere safe. Today these records are stored increasingly within electronic systems as well.
The core concept is the lifecycle of information, from creation to final disposition, either through a controlled destruction process or being added to the long-term or permanent record (the archive) of the organisation. Records Management includes the practice of categorising, classifying, providing access to, archiving, and sometimes the controlled destruction of records.

Why is record management important?

Efficient records management increases proficiency, protects confidential records, and helps preserve institutional history. It also adds value in protecting confidentiality of information and safeguards information from fire, and other risks.

What is my role in record management?

Each business unit usually does not have its own independent record management practices. Mostly, organisations have a broad company structure and it’s all about adhering to those norms strictly.
While a common approach helps in the long run, an uncoordinated method to managing the organisation’s records could lead to:

• Failure to comply with legislation

• Risks to accountability

• Inefficient use of time

• Poorly informed decision-making

• Loss of organisation’s memory

• Increased expenses

What is a record copy?

The record copy is the original or official document that is kept on file and is subject to the requirements of the retention schedule as stipulated by any statutory authority. The record copy must be listed on the disposition log, upon destruction or transfer to the schedule.

What is a convenience copy?

All copies of a document that are not stored in the records, are considered convenience copies. These need not be listed on the disposition log and may be destroyed at any time within the retention period. However, they must not be kept longer than the record copy, because that can lead to unnecessary escalation of expenses.

What is a permanent record?

Permanent records have enduring, historical or research value. They are retained permanently in an office or in the offsite archival center, after a period of active use. Records are considered permanent if they have enduring administrative, fiscal or legal value to the government or if they possess significant secondary research value beyond those for which they were created. Permanent records often have historical significance and are often termed as archival records.

What are the benefits of records management?

Records enable and support an organisation’s work to fulfill its mission. Companies, and that include federal agencies, must know how to address well-defined objectives, which add value, either by achieving the organisation’s goals or by reducing the costs. Records mostly contain information. It’s a valuable resource and is essential to take a systematic approach to the management of records.

Some benefits of records management include:

• Contributes to the smooth running of programmes

• Aids in delivering services in a consistent and equitable manner

• Simplifies operative presentation of actions throughout an agency

• Defends the privileges of the agency, its employees, and its customers

• Delivers continuity even if there might be any natural or man-made disasters

• Protects records from inappropriate and unauthorised access

• Meets statutory and regulatory requirements including archival, audit, and oversight activities

• Permits faster retrieval of documents and information from files

• Improves office efficiency and productivity

• Provides better documentation more efficiently

• Supports and documents historical and other research

• Clears the much-needed office space that can be used for other purposes by moving inactive records to storage facilities

• Avoids unnecessary purchases of office equipment

What is a Record Series?

It’s a group of similar records that are filed together and treated as a unit. It may consist of many separate files, but it is treated as a single unit for all purposes relating to records retention. A familiar example is “personnel files” one of which exists for every employee in the organisation. Even though there may be hundreds or thousands of these files, they are referred to as a record series – “personnel files” – for retention purposes.

What are archives?

Traditionally, the term has been used to describe records that are no longer in current use and have been selected for permanent preservation. It can also be referred to as the place (building/room/storage area) where records are archived. Finally, it can mean an organisation/or a part of it, responsible for appraising, acquiring, preserving and making it available for archival material.

What is Retention Period?

The Retention Period is the approved, legal, minimum amount of time, for which each specific record series is kept. It is illegal to keep any record series for LESS than the retention period.

What is record retention and do you think a disposal schedule is necessary?

Retention & Disposal Schedule of a record is an essential component of an efficient and effective records management system. Appropriately established and steadily implemented, a Records Retention & Disposal Schedule protects the interests of the organisation and its stakeholders by ensuring that business records are kept for as long as required, to meet operational needs and to comply with legal requirements and are then disposed.

How is 'retention years' measured?

Retention periods differ from department to department, and as per the latest developments, the changes are put in place by statutory authorities from time to time. For example, the account and finance related documents need to be kept for 5 years. A retention period is calculated from the year of the generation of document + 5 years.

Are there any exceptions listed on the retention schedule?

Yes, if you are being audited or have received the notice of an audit. If there is litigation regarding the records (or even pending litigation), or if there is a request for records —the responsive records should not be destroyed until the matter is resolved and their retention period has ended. We contemplate that a proper “Destruction Hold” has been placed on the relevant records.

We have switched from creating paper records to electronic records. Is that okay?

Yes, it's fine to move from paper to electronic records. But, it’s better to be aware that electronic records are governed by the same accessibility and retention requirements as paper records. While properly shifting to electronic forms or designing a database, you need to consider the retention period of the record and ensure it is accessible and readable for the full retention period.

How long do I have to keep my backups?

Backups are essentially duplicating the original. They can be destroyed once they have served their reference purpose. We highly recommend using backups only to restore data in cases of a disk failure, accidental deletion, or for disaster recovery purposes. We advise that complete backups should not be kept for more than 6 months and those partial backups not be kept for more than 3 months.

What is a permanent record?

Permanent records are those that have enduring, historical or research value. Records are considered permanent if they have enduring administrative, fiscal or legal value to government or if they possess significant secondary research value beyond those for which they were created.

What are some common types of permanent records?

Every organisation can demarcate their documents into permanent record categories depending on their needs and importance. However, official documents are usually categorised as per the following heads:

• Minutes of some important meetings

• Organisation Charts

• Policies and Procedures

• Annual Approved Budget (often called CAFR)

• Mission Statements

• Charter, Amendment, and Incorporating Records

• Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patent Records

• Research documents if any

Intelics Solutions Records Storage FAQs


I am looking for help on Records Management. Where do I go?

Intelics Solutions Nigeria Ltd is one of the country’s established Records Management service providers and will be able to help you with complete solution on Record Management. The following link will take you to our Records Management Services.

What is Intelics Solutions Nigeria Limited?

Intelics Solutions Nigeria Limited is the country’s first professionally managed and largest Document Storage Company. It is a joint venture between Writer Business Services Pvt. Ltd (India’s largest, 3rd largest in Asia Pacific and worldwide among top 7 document storage and information management service providers) and IAL Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s oldest and largest move management company. Intelics Solutions has its registered office at IAL Place, 16, Burma Road and Corporate Office at #5, Yinka Oba Industrial Estate, Surulere Industrial Road, Adeniyi Jone, Ikeja, Lagos.


I’ve already archived my records in different office locations, how do I get all the documents in one central place?

Intelics Solutions will visit your office, affix barcodes on all files, pack them in Intelics branded cartons and transport them to one central place.

I have our records stored in some boxes and bags. There are open files scattered all over the place in our office. What should I do?

Intelics Solutions can help get you organised, boxed, indexed, and moved off-site. We are more cost efficient than a “mini-storage” and you won’t have to do the deliveries and labour yourself. The company has a computerised bar-code system that keeps track of all your boxes and the information about the documents inside them.

Do I need to get my own cartons for storage of records offsite?

No, it’s not needed. As a part of records management service offerings, Intelics Solutions will provide its standard cartons for archival of records at offsite storage location. In case you have already invested in your cartons, we will continue to archive your records in them.

What are the things I need to prepare before handing over files to offsite archival center?

You only need to keep the files ready, by keeping a track of all the documents that are kept inside. This way it will be easy to track things, whenever they are in need. You should have proper file names written on the top of every file so that indexing can be captured properly. Intelics will implement the same indexing pattern that you had been following so far, to ensure there aren’t any difficulties.

Will I be able to track the document movement from all our locations to a centralised place?

Yes, all our vehicles are equipped with GPS and intrusion tracking system, through which all vehicle movements can be tracked.

How are documents/cartons identified at your document storage center?

All files and cartons are assigned by unique bar-codes. They are mapped to each other and only through the system, so that you can get the exact location of carton/file.

How do I ensure that the secrecy of my information will be maintained?

All your documents are safeguarded right from pickup until ultimate archival at our facility. Once the cartons are stored inside storage facility no one can identify which carton belong to you unless a barcode is provided by you because there is nothing written outside carton.

How do you ensure all information is kept confidential?

From the time the documents are collected, all measures are taken to safeguard them well, until they are archived at our facility. Once the cartons are stored inside the storage facility, no one can identify which carton belongs to whom unless a bar-code is provided because there is nothing written outside the box.

How do you ensure all information is kept confidential?

All your information is kept confidential, which will be governed by NDA signed between your company and Intelics Solutions. All our employees are bound by the NDA signed with Intelics Solutions.

How can I ensure that all the given files are archived properly?

At the time of pickup, the barcoding of files and cartons are done at your office and final inventory is shared with you before the packed cartons are moved out of your premise. You can also check your complete inventory on our secure web access.

How can I ensure all records are safeguarded from fire, theft, and other risks?

All our facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art fire prevention systems. Since there is nothing written outside the box no one can come to know where your carton is placed to safeguard from any theft. You can also have your auditors come and inspect our facilities. Recommendations, if any, will be incorporated in our SOPs.

When I send records for offsite archival, how old should they be?

Intelics would like to recommend this for all the files, which are generated daily. They could be sent for offsite archival in case the volume of file generation is very high, preferably banks, insurance, and telecom companies. However, for all other customers, generally, one-year records can be kept in office, rest all records should be sent for offsite archival.

Why I should not archive documents in-house rather than doing so with an archival company?

It is always recommended that the documents should not be archived in-house for the following reasons

• Lower cost of outsourcing because of sharing of resources like racking, firefighting equipment, rental, security guards, records management software, etc. as compared to dedicated in-house setup

• No easy access to document archival facility

• Identification of cartons through software codes only, as against in-house dedicated facility, which is known to everyone. This helps in accessing archived documents easily

• File retrieval and convenient delivery is available based on customer needs without being hassled up while monitoring in-house archival system and staff

• Authorised access controlled by the client and computerised authentication system

• Places responsibility for locating containers or files on Intelics Solutions staff, rather than on valuable client employee time

• Gives an opportunity to customers to concentrate on core competency

• Complete asset-light model of archiving physical documents

• Safeguards office premise, human capital, equipment, plant, and machinery, etc. from fire hazards

• Archival of your physical documents by professionals.


How do I retrieve a file/carton?

At Intelics Solutions, you are at liberty to retrieve an individual file inside a carton by logging in a request through our Secure Web Access.

How soon can I get the files retrieved and delivered at our office?

While placing a retrieval request on Secure Web Access, please select the delivery mode that would suit your requirement – Normal, Urgent, Express. Depending on the mode you’ve selected, we will retrieve the files accordingly.

How can you serve us when there is an urgent requirement for the files at our office?

You can send in a request on an urgent mode through Secure Web Access and we at Intelics will scan all the documents and send you the encrypted file through email or alternatively we can keep the file on our SFTP server through which you can retrieve the documents. You can start referring to the content, while Intelics Solutions will deliver the file through an urgent delivery mode to your office.

How can I get access to documents if required on public holidays/Sundays?

Intelics Solutions on a special condition will retrieve the documents and deliver on non-working days on an urgent basis.

How do I return a file/carton back to you?

You can send a refiling request through our Secure Web Access and at a scheduled date and time, our packing crew will come and pick up the file/carton for refiling as per SOP.

How do you retrieve and deliver files to our office in bulk?

In case of bulk retrieval request, you can upload an excel sheet containing all file barcodes in our secure web access and we will retrieve the files and deliver to you as per the TAT discussed with you. Alternatively, you can also visit our office and use our Referral Rooms for referring to all files in bulk.

How do I put additional documents generated into the same file, which is kept at the offsite archival center?

You can send the additional document insertion request through our secure web access. The Intelics team will pick up these documents and insert them into the same old file, and you can check the status on Secure Web Access.


I have a lot of old documents. How can I get them scanned as an additional backup?

Intelics Solutions will help you get all these documents scanned with our heavy-duty industrial scanners in the shortest possible time through process automation and help you upload all these documents to any of your EDMS. Alternatively, Intelics Solutions can also provide its trade marked EDMS InfoDocs®.

In which all formats can I get the scanned images of my old records?

If the records are very old, then we will deliver the scanned images in PDF-A Compliant images as per our recommendation. This however depends on the actual use and compatibility of your existing EDMS. We will deliver images in PDF, JPEG, TIFF, etc. formats. Pages can be scanned in Colour/B/W/ Grey Scale as per your requirement.

Are all rules and regulations same for physical as well as electronic records?

Yes, all rules of retention, archival, destruction, etc., which are applicable to physical records, are also applicable to electronic records as well.


How can I maintain records retention and destruction schedule?

Intelics Solutions’s secure web access will help you generate a report for records, which are due for destruction manually; otherwise, the system will automatically send you the details of records due for destruction based on the retention period captured at the time of packing.

How can I get my old records shredded/destroyed?

Intelics Solutions has secure shredding facility. The records identified by you can be shredded with P4 level destruction and the scrap will be sent for pulping. At the end of shredding activity, Intelics Solutions will issue a Green Certificate, which can be used as CSR reporting.

How can I keep a track of all the documents that have been shredded?

As a part of complete audit log maintenance, Intelics Solutions will keep a track of all documents archived and how many have been shredded along with details of date, time, authorisation, etc.


How will I be able to maintain the tracking of files, and audit log on activities done on a file?

Intelics Solutions Records Management Software maintains every log of activities done on the files, which are stored at our storage centers, and with the help of Secure Web Access you can review and download the same, any time. Through this access, you will be able to monitor your entire inventory of each department, division, sub division, etc. level.

How do I keep a track of the cost incurred on records storage of individual departments?

Through our secure Web Access, you can check the inventory of each department, business Unit, Division, Sub Division, etc. and by which you can track the cost incurred in archival of each department documents.

How do I train my team members on the archival processes?

Intelics solutions as a part of physical document archival service offering, will train all your concerned staff on best practices of records management.

What separates Intelics Solutions from its competitors?

The following points bring in the differentiation:

1. Experience of several decades in Records Management

2. Leadership position in Nigeria

3. Matured SOPs over several decades

4. Deep drenched cost revisions to be most cost competitive in the market

5. Proven track record

6. State-of-the-art archival facilities, which are equipped with fire prevention to detection to fighting systems and modular racking that help to optimise every inch of a facility

7. Strong brand value

8. Nigeria’s first professionally managed records management company

9. Largest O’Neil (Records Management Software) Implementation

10. Online tracking of documents, vehicles transporting documents, activities being performed in the archival centre, etc. broadcasting complete transparent operations of Intelics Solutions