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The changing face of the IRMS

Sunday, 22 May 2016

“Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have”. Margaret Mead

As you may know, at last week’s AGM I took up the post as Chair of the IRMS. I am truly humbled that people felt able to nominate me and that they believe that I can be a Chair to lead the Society into the coming year.

Those of you who have met me, or even read some of my blogs, will know that I always suffer from impostor syndrome. The feeling that there is always someone out there better qualified than I to speak about a particular subject and that I am far from the leading authority on any given subject (except Star Trek - I immerse myself in my knowledge of the world of Star Trek).

I’ve been with the IRMS as a volunteer now since mid 2012 after I was awarded the Alison North New Professional Award. Until that point my awareness of the IRMS was limited. The NPA was highlighted to me by a colleague and I thought ‘well why not?’. If these people are mad enough to like the ramblings I commit to paper then who am I to object? And low and behold my ramblings were indeed enjoyed by the NPA panel and the NPA award now sits in pride of place in my home.

At that point I never thought I would end up where I am today. I still don’t, truth be told, but nonetheless I do appreciate it. Part of the reason for this blog post was to share that appreciation and share a little of myself with you so you know your Chair and get a feel for who I am and what I am about. I’m a little different to those that have come before and I approach the world and the issues we face in a new fashion as well. I’ve been called ‘pragmatic but reliable’ before and I appreciate those labels.

I’ve pretty much done most tasks that the Society has to offer in one way or another. Starting as a Groups Officer, supporting Emily Overton as the then Groups Director, then moving on to eOfficer, a short stint as Membership Director and then into the Treasurer role for 2 years.

I’ve dealt with incidents, membership renewals, our technology, group events, conference, our media & comms – all sorts! This is partly due to my ‘crack on’ attitude of wanting to get the job done but also (I hope) because I’ve built up a track record of delivering tangible and beneficial work not only to the Society but to the membership as well.

I’ve worked with charities and membership organisations in various guises before and that has taught me the value of keeping your organisation’s ideals and your members’ priorities at the heart of what you do. That mentality I firmly want to enhance with the Society as we move forward. The membership survey clearly showed from those that responded that while we do communicate and we do have members’ priorities in focus there is definitely room for improvement and growth. 

I won’t go into details about our forward plan as myself and the other members of the IRMS leadership team will flesh this out in our Strategic meeting in July, but I will say ‘watch this space’. Your Society is in a very good place but we have the potential to be in a far better place. We have some amazing volunteers with us, access to priceless knowledge and creativity, strong relationships with our partners and a healthy financial setup.

Working closely with you, the membership, and some of our existing structures and working groups (for example the Governance Sub-Committee) I want to further enhance and strengthen our core processes so we can then move forward securely and grow and ensure that membership of the IRMS is the requirement that every person involved in Information & Records Management needs to have in order to be the best IRM professional they can be.

It will be a journey and therefore will take time but bear with us as I very much hope you’ll continue to be with us as we make the journey into 2016 and beyond. You can find more details about the IRMS leadership team line-up for the coming year at We welcome some a new face as well as see some old ones end their journey with us. But keep an eye out as opportunities to help out will be coming out throughout the year. 

With most sincere thanks and appreciation, 

Scott Sammons CIPP/E, AMIRMS
Chair, IRMS

Learn more about the 2016 Practical Digital Preservation programme

Monday, 11 January 2016

Do you want to make 2016 the year that you and your organisation get to grips with the challenge of preserving digital content for the long term? Well, we can help!

Preservica, a world leader in digital preservation technology, consulting and research, has partnered with the IRMS and ARA to deliver a series of webinars and practical workshops over the next few months. 

This year's Practical Digital Preservation programme builds on the highly-rated series held last year, adding new content and examples that illustrate various aspects of this contemporary information management challenge, including:

  • email preservation
  • legal admissibility
  • web archiving
  • lifecycle management
  • information governance

The aim is to give all information professionals the practical skills necessary to effectively manage the growing long-term and permanent digital content and records.

All events are FREE to IRMS and ARA members, and places are limited, so follow this link for full details of the workshops and webinars, and book your place now! 

There have already been two excellent webinars held in the series, and the next one on 'Getting buy-in for your Digital Preservation programme' on Wednesday 27th January will certainly be very valuable.

For the workshops, please note the London event on Wednesday 20th January is already over-subscribed, but don't worry, there are plenty more to come, starting at the stunning Library of Birmingham on Wednesday 17th February.

See also the original announcement of the programme from our Chair: 

IRMS submits evidence to FOI Commission

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Independent Commission on Freedom of Information’s terms of reference require it to consider the implications for the Freedom of Information Act 2000 of the uncertainty around the Cabinet veto and the practical operation of the Act as it has developed over the last 10 years in respect of the deliberative space afforded to public authorities.

On the 9th October 2015 the Commission issued a call for evidence focusing on 6 main areas and posing 6 key questions. As Freedom of Information legislation is a key piece of law in the IRM world and given our new mandate from the membership to advocate good IRM practices and standards we issued a call to our members for evidence that the Society can use to submit back to the Commission.

This work was led by myself and Matthew Stephenson on behalf of the IRMS Executive. To access a pdf copy of the report please follow this link. A copy will also be placed in the resources section of the IRMS website for future reference. 

On behalf of the Executive I’d like to thank those members that contributed. If you are an IRMS member and didn't or couldn't contribute I'd encourage you to keep an eye out for any future calls for feedback and consider contributing your thoughts and views in the future. All feedback is appreciated and helps enrich the discussion and feedback that we as a Society can provide. 

All the best,

Scott Sammons CIPP/E, AMIRMS
Treasurer, IRMS

Integrity in Government through Records Management

Wednesday, 05 November 2014

Essays in Honour of Anne Thurston

By Jessica Page

The International Records Management Trust (IRMT) is a UK registered charity created in 1989 to help strengthen records management capacity in governments around the world. The Trust offers consultancy services, training and education and development research, working with local stakeholders at all levels of government to contribute to a more open and informed society. 

Dr Anne Thurston is the founder of the IRMT. Both as an academic and as a programme director, she has worked with many governments to provide practical solutions for strengthening record-keeping systems. In honour of Thurston’s pioneering work in records and archives management, Ashgate is publishing Integrity in Government through Records Management: Essays in Honour of Anne Thurston. The collection of essays, edited by James Lowry, Deputy Director of the IRMT, and Justus Wamukoya, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information Science at Moi University, Kenya, honours Thurston’s work as founder and director of the IRMT. The volume discusses significant and current issues concerning the use of records for the purposes of accountability, transparency, social justice and human rights. Included are contributions from scholars and professionals from the developing and developed worlds, exploring the intersection of records management, public administration and international development.

The collection of articles provides an overview of the strategic function of records management for democracy, transparency and open governance. It can be ordered from Amazon:


Open Government Data Research - Data Collection

Friday, 26 September 2014


The Role of the Records Manager in an Open Government Environment in the UK (cont)

 Team Europe Research Project 03 (2013-14): UCL

"In order to establish an overview of the challenges and viewpoints within local government concerning growing open government data initiatives data was collected in various ways including reviewing literature, conducting a survey and case study interviews........."

In the second blog post regarding Jessica Page's experience in researching Open Data, Open Government and access to information at the Department of Information Studies at UCL, the matter of Data Collection is addressed. Please follow this link to find out more,


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