AAU Handbook

RULES REGARDING RECORD-KEEPING AT AALBORG UNIVERSITY

How to use WorkZone

Published: 05.12.2018 (Last revised: 08.03.2022)

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Content

Why workzone?

Aalborg University is a government agency, and as such, we are required to document our work and existence in an approved electronic file and document management system. At Aalborg University, we use the system WorkZone.

As a member of staff, you must file all documents that are of significance to a case (letters, internal and external e-mail, notes, minutes, telephone notes etc.) in WorkZone.

As we are obliged to document the university's activities, you must also journalize the laying down of internal rules and procedures. 

The only exception to these rules is, if you work in an approved administrative system that already works under the obligation of delivery agreements with the State Archives. Please notice that Outlook folders, private drives, shared drives, USB sticks etc. DO NOT fall into the category “approved administrative systems”. Thus, case related e-mails and documents from these drives must be filed in WorkZone.

If you are in doubt whether an administrative system is approved or not, please contact the owner of the system at AAU.


Record-keeping responsibility

It is the responsibility of your local head of department/administrative unit to ensure that local record-keeping complies with Danish administrative law and the University’s record-keeping rules.

As member of staff, you are responsible for correct filing and saving of all relevant case material that you receive/send/produce in WorkZone.  


When do you work in WorkZone?

All AAU employees are subject to the duty of record-keeping if they “handle documents that constitute documentation regarding administrative actions e.g. information tied to binding agreements/contracts, strategies, as well as other information that can be used for knowledge sharing across the organization” (cf. Duty of record-keeping).

If you are in doubt about whether the documents you are working on should be filed in WorkZone or not, you can ask yourself the following questions.  If you can answer "Yes" to one of them, you must save the information and documents in a case in WorkZone.

Are you working on a task where:

  • That may lead to complaints or request for document access at a later point in time?
  • You or someone else will have to make decisions or rulings. For example, it can be in connection with employing a member of staff, rejecting/granting credit, applying for funds to/planning of research projects, approval of a rule/strategy/policy, establishing a workflow, or planning a tender.
  • You collect/note case-relevant knowledge that you or your colleagues may need for solving the task, or solving similar tasks in the future?
  • You are preparing an agenda/minute for e.g. an internal department or management meeting?
  • You use common, sensitive or confidential personal data regarding a natural person e.g. CPR number, name, address, occupation or illness?

If you are still in doubt, you can check Appendix A that contains a list of which documents that usually require filing, and which documents that do not. Please notice that the list is not exhaustive. You are always welcome to contact the WorkZone Secretariat if you are in doubt about filing a document.
 

What is a case?

You can compare a case to a physical folder where you keep all documents, e-mails, notes, parts etc. that you collect and note down in connection with solving a task/complete a project.
 

When do you need to create a case?

You must create a case, when you begin solving an administrative task/project. When you receive a document/write a note based on a telephone conversation, or start gathering knowledge/describing the current status of a case, you must create a case and save your case documents, notes etc. unless the case already exists.
 

How to delimit a case (single-issue principle)?

Record-keeping at Aalborg University is based on a single-issue principle. That is, the individual case alone contains the documents, parties, notes etc. that pertain to one specific task.

The single-issue principle ensures that no information is hidden in cases where they have no relevance. At the same time, it ensures clarity of which acts and parties that have led to which decisions. Additionally, it helps to secure that general, sensitive, or confidential personal data is not stored for longer time than what is permitted. Once a taks is finished the case is closed.

An example of how to apply the single-issue principle in practice could be a case regarding a tender:

A tender case may be divided into cases regarding, tender documents, tender, contract, implementation, and evaluation.

The individual cases concern the same tender, but are divided according to which part of the tender process you are working on. In order to ensure a visible link between these cases, you can relate the cases to each other. In WorkZone, you do this by distinguishing between parent (main) and child (sub) cases.
 

Naming of cases

A case should be named with a short, descriptive title with direct relation to the theme of the case. This makes it easier for you and others to retrieve the case later on.

The rules for record-keeping and naming of cases that apply to the individual case fields - e.g. HR cases, finance cases or student administrative cases are described by the inividual administrative units, and are available via the link below.

You should always avoid using abbreviations when naming cases or documents. Abbreviations make it difficult to search and assess the contents of a case. Finally, a case should speak for itself and not require an explanation.

Thus, it would be insufficient simply to name a case “Minutes” if it concerns the minutes of a specific department. The title should also specify the meeting type, organisational unit and year e.g. "Minutes weekly meeting WorkZone Secretariat 2018". 
 

Case number

When you create a case, you must give it a case number from the University’s records index. The records index is divided into main groups, then subject groups, and finally case groups. If you need an additional level of detail, it is possible to create sub-groups within the different fields.

The records index is embedded in WorkZone. Thus, when you create a case, you can simply select the case group that fits your case, and then WorkZone adds a case number automatically. 

Please notice: All subject groups contain a case group termed "General", and one termed "Miscellaneous”.

  • "General" is for cases concerning principal matters, as well as cases that transverse multiple case groups.
  • "Miscellaneous" is for cases that cannot be placed in any of the other case groups.

NOTICE: Case group 900 is for test cases only, and case group 909 is for teaching- and trash cases only. You are NOT permittet to create actual cases in these groups!
 

Case protection

WorkZone cases are usually open to all member of staff to ensure the possibility for collaboration and knowledge sharing across Aalborg University.

Naturally, cases containing sensitive or confidential personal data, patent applications or similar, are not open to all.

You protect the contents of a WorkZone case by limiting other people's reading- and writing access to the case:

  • Reading access limits the number of people who can read the documents on the case.
  • Writing access limits the number of people who can edit the case files. Writing access should be applied only if there is a difference in who may read the case documents, and who may edit the documents. 

You should always consider case restrictions whenever you create a case. For example, cases that are of political or strategic significance to the university, where confidentialily is essential for the university management to uphold the university's interests internally or externally, or cases contating confidential personal data, should always be protected. If you are in doubt regarding document or case restrictions, you must look into the specific record-keepings rules for the field in question. 

You should, however, always refrain from restricting access to yourself only.

Some cases always contain confidential or sensitive personal data and are automatically assigned an organizational insight once they are created within the case group of that organizational insight. This holds for e.g. student and staff cases. 
You may search for the university's organizational insight in the reading(writing access field under case details. If you are in need of a new organizational insight, please contact the WorkZone Secretariat.

If you discover cases without reading access that contain sensitive or confidential personal data, you must:

  • Add correct reading access if the cases belongs to your own unit, and subsequently report the error as a data breach to http://www.sikkerhed, aau.dk/sikkerhedshaendelser 
  • Contact the WorkZone Secretariat if the case belongs to another administrative unit.


Handing over cases to others

All active cases in WorkZone must be assigned to a case handler employed at Aalborg University.

If a case handler is no longer employed at Aalborg University, his/her open cases must be assigned to another case handler.

In such cases, it is the responsibility of the individual head of department/unit to make sure that cases are handed over to another case handler.  
 

Closing cases

You must complete your cases concurrently with solving your tasks. Thus, when a task is completed so is the task's case.

Before closing a case, you must ensure that all relevant documents are filed to the case, that they have relevant titles, and that they have been filed and have a cas file number. 

Once everything is filed, the case status is changed to finished and you can close the case.

In case you need access to the case at a later point, you can reopen the case. Remember to close the case when you are done.


Case contacts

In cases requiring decisions, you must assign the parties of the case in accordance with the Public Administration Act. This is usually the part/parties to whom the decision is addressed. For example, in student cases you should always assign the student as a party.

In many subject cases – i.e. cases that do not affect a physical person – there will be no parties of administrative law to assign. However, if a subject case contains communication with persons/companies, you must assign them/it as parties in the case. In research project cases, you must assign project manager and possibly the funder as parties.

WorkZone is connected to the CVR Register, as well as it has direct access to CPR numbers of all AAU staff and students. Use WorkZone to search for the parties/contacts of the case. 

If the party/contact is not in WorkZone, you can create a contact under the "Contact" tab. When you do so, please be careful and thorough as the information is used for communication with them via E-boks.


Documents

All documents - e.g. e-mails, Excel-sheets, Word or PowerPoint files - that are relevant to your case handling must be stored in WorkZone. The same applies to pictures, drawings, audio files etc. Appendix B, contains a list of file formats that you can  use for storage in WorkZone and houw you do it.

Documents that cannot be filed to a case due to format, must be registered to the case. You do do by creating a new document containing: 

  • The contents of the document(s)
  • Where the document is stored
  • Type of archiving

Remember to add the WZ case number before placeing it in a physical archive.

It is the responsibility of the case handler to ensure correct record-keeping and filing.

Regarding e-mails

E-mails are also documents. If you send or receive e-mails relevant to a case they should be filed in WorkZone. 

You should file a case relevant e-mail when you receive or send it, and subsequently delete it from Outlook. In case of extensive correspondances, you can make do with filing the last e-mail of the correspondance. 

Please notice that you may have to file some/all attached documents as well. 

Name the individual e-mail with significant title. The State Archives does not accept documents beginning with e.g. SV:VS:SV:SV etc. 

Limiting document access

Documents have the same reading access as the case they are filed to. If a document contains sensitive or confidential information, you can change reading access to individual documents.

Document classification

In accordance with Aalborg University's data classification model, all documents must be classified. The documents classifications are imbedded in WorkZone which makes it easy for you to select a classification when saving a document. 

You can read more about the data classification model at: https://www.sikkerhed.aau.dk/dataklassifikation

NOTICE! Data classification does not limit access to a case. Access is limited by changing reading access to the case. Furthermore, you must state document type (inbound, internal, outbound) and you can add a document group.

Document terms

Aalborg University uses the document terms: draft and filed

Draft is used for current documents/work in progess, and filed is used for documents that are finished and approved, and ready to be filed. 

If you begin your document drafts directly in the relevant case in WorkZone, you and your co-workers will always have access to the latest version of the document, and you will be able to collaborate on it and move between new and old versions (last ten versions only!).

Once your are done working on the document, you file it and it is given a file number pertaining to the case. Thus, you can always see which document is the final version.

Document deletion

Document drafts can be deleted. Filed documents cannot be deleted.

If a document is filed to the wrong case, you must re-file it to the right case.

If a document is filed by mistake, you must re-file it to your units trash cases that are created under case group 909. Remember to limit reading access to a trash case with unit insight only and to close the case by the end of the year.


Duty of note-taking

All emlpoyees at Aalborg University are bound by the duty of note-taking in connection with solving administrative tasks. Thus you are bound to take notes, if you receive information regarding a case from e.g. a co-worker, a student, an external expert or person, which is significant in terms of decisions or the continued work on a case.

You can fulfill your duty of note-taking by using the "notes"-function in WorkZone, or by creating an actual document. Read more about the rules regarding note taking in WorkZone (in Danish!)

The purpose of the duty of note-taking at Aalborg University, is that AAU - as a public national institution - fulfills it duty to secure citizen rights by:

  • Documenting the events of a case - even where no decision is required
  • Enabling public authorities to inspect correct case handling
  • Securing the right of full access to documents pertaining to a decision in a case or the handling of a case


When to create notes on a case or document?

You must take notes regarding acutal information on a specific case:

If the information is received verbally and do not appear in other parts of the case files (e.g. from a meeting dialogue, a telephone conversation or other professional dialogue)

  • If the information is, or is likely to be, of significance to a case that calls for a decision 
  • If the information is likely to be of relevance to the case (e.g. information passed on to/from another authority)
  • If there is significant information regarding handling of the case (e.g. concrete reasons why the case handling is drawn out)


Which pieces of information should be included?

  • Information origins - from whom did you receive the information?
  • When did you receive the information - date, time and place
  • The reason why you received the specific information on the case - e.g. contact with relevant case party (student or staff), regarding case status, or from a student seeking professional advice regarding an actual case. 
  • The contents of the enquiry - what supplementary information is added to the case?

The note should be made as quickly as possible to ensure accuate rendering of the received information.
 

 

Origin, background and history

These rules are drawn up on behalf of the University’s Administrative Management Group (approved April 2021).

The rules are drawn up and revised in a transverse work group in the Spring of 2018 and revised in the Spring of 2021 and February 2022 by the WorkZone Secretarial.

The WorkZone Secretariat is responsible for updating the rules and for updating the University’s records index. 

Purpose and delimitation

The purpose of the rules regarding record-keeping in WorkZone is to explain how AAU staff should use electronic record-keeping and document handling in WorkZone in order establish and maintain consistent record-keeping practices thereby complying to Danish administrative law and the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

Furthermore, the rules are ment to ensure that consistent and uniform record-keeping will support transverse processes, secure knowledge sharing and deliver valid information regarding the university's record-keeping activities.

The rules regarding record-keeping apply to all staff handling administrative tasks. 

The rules DO NOT apply to actual teaching and research, or to documents and data that already exist in other approved systems. 

The rules describe the main framwork for how and when administrative staff must work in WorkZone. 

Appendix A provides an overview of which documents to journalize/not journalize, amd Appendix B which technical conditions that apply to the use of WorkZone.

Below there are links to specific rules for record-keeping of Student Cases, Staff Cases, agendas and minutes etc.

The "Herskind Guides to WorkZone" are available at the WorkZone secretariat's homepage.

Overall framework

Circular no. 9290 of 21 June 2013 regarding report and approval of IT systems

The EU Data Protection Regulation

The Danish Data Protection Act

The Act on Public Access to Documents in Administrative Files

The Public Administration Act

The Archives Act

Contact and responsibility

The WorkZone Secretariat: esdh-sekretariat@adm.aau.dk 

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