Ireland government agency

Customer Success Stories

Government agency makes archives work harder and smarter

14 January 20208 mins
stack of documents

Ireland Government agency makes archives work harder and smarter

Value for money imperative

The Government Agency provides children, young people and adults with access to learning through various career and education support services.

Ensuring public funds are spent properly and that they deliver value for money is imperative. The Agency can be audited at any time. Failure to satisfy compliance can result in significant financial penalties. Ensuring information is managed efficiently and cost effectively is paramount.

Prior to the review of records, the archives consisted of around 42,000 boxes deemed old enough to be subject to audit. They were stored offsite at state-of-the-art Iron Mountain® warehouses and housed records such as learner files, financial statements and legal documents.

Storing records unnecessarily

The archive had grown organically over a number of years and, as a result, the team had inherited a range of labelling issues. Many boxes didn’t have sufficient metadata and there were a number with markings such as ‘various’ and ‘miscellaneous’.

Without an accurate inventory it was hard to locate and retrieve records and there had been no policy for reviewing or destroying material that was approaching its expiry date. In a rapidly changing organisation, storage costs began to spiral.

“At the time the Agency was reducing from 46 to six UK offices,” explains the senior manager. “Poor labelling meant that rather than unwanted files being destroyed everything was being archived, consuming expensive space. So, we sought advice from Iron Mountain.”

“With one shared, up-to-date digital catalogue our staff can go straight to the specific records they need.”

Senior Manager
Government Agency

Thorough physical stocktake

Working closely with the Agency to scope requirements, an Iron Mountain specialist team lifted the lid on around 2,000 boxes a week, inspecting and listing their contents over a period of several months until every single one had been fully audited. Expert project management, coupled with weekly bespoke reporting, ensured the project ran smoothly from start to finish.

Cataloguing descriptions were produced for box contents, enabling confirmation of paper and data held, and removing a previous blind spot for the Agency. Boxes shown as checked-out but missing were highlighted, so corrective action could be taken. Now, every box has been clearly labelled with a correct destruction date and owner, enabling the Agency to make better decisions regarding data retention.

Accurate digital catalogue creates a new culture

As well as helping manage costs, this new approach of digitally cataloguing records has provided additional benefits. Having a well-defined retention policy, supported by robust processes and procedures, has helped embed a more professional and accountable culture for managing information.

The senior manager adds: “We were already familiar with Iron Mountain Connect™, the Iron Mountain online management portal. So, it was pretty simple to upload the results from the audit. Now, with one shared, up-to-date digital catalogue our staff can go straight to the specific records they need.”

Making space and taking the stress out of compliance

The Iron Mountain solution helped the Agency cut its document archive by 10%, providing a £10,000 saving and a 7% reduction from year two in recurring annual storage costs. “The figures were even more impressive given that failed provider projects were actually depositing new boxes throughout the course of the audit,” says the senior manager.

As a result, the Agency can make better use of space and resources, meeting government strategic imperatives around cost reduction. With greater visibility and control of archived materials, the Agency benefits from faster access to information. “Audits are no longer daunting and time-consuming,” concludes the senior manager. “Previously, it could take several days to search through boxes and locate the right files. Now, most are supplied by Iron Mountain next day or sooner if we need them.”

“Audits are no longer daunting and time consuming.”

Senior Manager
Government Agency

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