Retention Policy

POLICY REGULATING THE RETENTION OF DOCUMENTATION IN
THE OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
SCOPE
1.        This Policy is aimed at regulating the retention, maintenance and disposal of documentation, both personal and other, within the office of the Public Service Commission, as provided for in the PSC General Regulations (S.L. Const. 01), the PSC Appointments Regulations (S.L. Const. 05) and the PSC Disciplinary Regulations (S.L. Const. 03), and in accordance with the principles of data protection legislation, and other legal provisions in Maltese Law.
 
BACKGROUND
 
2.        The GDPR puts forward the principle that personal data and sensitive personal data should not be retained for periods that are longer than necessary. In this context, the office of the Public Service Commission will be putting forward a retention policy for all data and documentation that it collects and processes, with the purpose of ensuring compliance to the Regulation and to ensure that no resources are utilised in the processing and archiving of data which is no longer of relevance.
 
OBJECTIVES
 
3.        This policy aims to achieve the following objectives:
 
a.         Regulate the retention of and disposal of the various types of documentation whether held in manual or automated filing systems within the office of the Public Service Commission, while adhering to the Data Protection principle that personal data should not be retained for a longer period than necessary;
b.         Dispose of unnecessary documentation that is no longer relevant and is taking up useful storage space;
c.          Promote the digitisation of documentation as may be reasonably possible in order to minimize the use of storage space required to store documentation, as well as to promote a sustainable use of paper and printing consumables.
 
ADMINISTRATION
4.        Documentation is held and recorded by the Registry Section, Support Services Unit, office of the Public Service Commission. This Policy is therefore applicable to all such documentation. It will be the responsibility of the relevant Registry Section, Support Services Unit  and its Data Controller, the Executive Secretary, Public Service Commission, to ensure that all provisions of this Policy are adhered to.
 
 
 
DOCUMENTATION HELD WITHIN THE OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
5.        As part of its operating requirements the office of the Public Service Commission, requests, keeps and maintains a wide range of documentation including personal data. The various types of documentation utilised by the office of the Public Service Commission may be categorised as follows:
 
a)    Personal Data of the Chairman, Deputy Chairperson and members of the Public Service Commission,
b)    Personal files of the Executive Secretary and staff;
c)     Attendance and absence records of staff;
d)    Medical records and certificates of staff;
e)    Financial records including payrolls, FS3’s, tax and national insurance contributions, etc.;
f)     Accounts and procurement records;
g)    Administrative and Policy Files;
h)    Minutes of the Commission meetings;
i)      Files of Post/Positions in the Public Service;
j)      Petition files on selection processes in the Public Service;
k)    Disciplinary Files;
l)      Oral hearing audio-recordings;
 
 
SECURITY OF DOCUMENTATION
6.        Documentation is maintained in an accessible but secure location with adequate access provided to officials who have the clearance level to access the relevant documentation. In the case of documents with sensitive personal data with higher clearance levels, access control protocols are fully adhered to, to ensure that only those that have the required security clearance have access to such documentation.
7.        In the case of personal data, the GDPR also stipulates that only those required to process personal data should have access to personal records.
8.        Personnel who are found to be in breach of these security protocols, and thus in breach of the GDPR, will be subject to disciplinary action.
 
RETENTION PERIOD
9.        Retention of different categories of documents is governed by different requirements and different legislation and regulations.
The following schedule outlines the retention requirements for the various categories of documentation within the office of the Public Service Commission.
 
 
Category
 
 
Retention Period
Personal Information
 
Employees Personal Files
Up to the age of 75, after which they are to be destroyed
Personal Record Sheets (GP 46)
Until the age of 75, after which they are to be destroyed
Service and Leave Record Sheets (GP 47)
For the same period as that kept for the relevant job application forms
Annual performance reports (including PMPs)
10 years
 
 
Attendance and Absence Records
 
Attendance Sheets
2 years, after which they are to be destroyed
Vacation Leave Cards
4 years, after which they are to be destroyed
Sick Leave Cards
Until the age of 75, after which they are to be destroyed
Requests for the appointment of a medical board
Until the age of 75, after which they are to be destroyed
Reports by a medical board
Until the age of 75, after which they are to be destroyed
 
 
 
 
Medical Records
 
Sick Leave Certificates
One year from issue of certificate, after which they are to be destroyed
Sick Leave Records
5 years, after which they are to be destroyed
 
 
Financial Documentation
 
Procurement Records
10 years, after which they are to be destroyed
Accounting Records
10 years, after which they are to be destroyed
Yearly Financial Statements
10 years, after which they are to be destroyed
 
 
PSC Workings
 
 
Minutes of Meetings
 
 
30 years, after which they are to be transferred to the National Archives for permanent preservation.
 
 
Files of Headship Positions
 
 
30 years from the date of issue of the call for applications, after which they are to be transferred to the National Archives for permanent preservation.
 
 
Files of Calls for Applications - Ineligible posts
 
2 years from the date of issue of the call for applications, after which they are to be destroyed, with a sample of 5% to be transferred to the National Archives for permanent preservation after 30 years from the date of the issue of the call.  (5% sample to be retained at the office of the PSC till 30 years have lapsed)
 
 
 
 
Files of Calls for Applications – Posts/Positions (where a result has been issued)
 
15 years from the date of the issue of the call for applications, after which they are to be destroyed, with a sample of 5% to be transferred to the National Archives for permanent preservation after 30 years from the date of the issue of the call.  (5% sample to be retained at the office of the PSC till 30 years have lapsed).
 
 
Disciplinary Files (Guilty)
 
Up to the age of 75, after which they are to be destroyed, with a sample of 5% to be transferred to the National Archives for permanent preservation. 
 
 
Disciplinary Files (Not guilty)
 
2 months from the conclusion of the case, after which they are to be destroyed, with a sample of 5% to be transferred to the National Archives for permanent preservation. 
 
 
Files of the Commission (relating to the workings of the PSC)
 
 
30 years, after which they are to be transferred to the National Archives for permenent preservation.
 
Petition files (relating to complaints submitted by candidates who feel aggrieved by the result of a specific selection process)
 
15 years from the date of issue of the call for applications, after which they are to be destroyed, with a sample of 5% to be transferred to the National Archives for permanent preservation after 30 years from the date of the issue of the call.  (5% sample to be retained at the office of the PSC till 30 years have lapsed)
 
 
Audio recordings of Oral Hearings with the Public Service Commission regarding Disciplinary Cases
 
 
3 months from the conclusion of the case, after which they are to be deleted.

​Audio recordings of Oral Hearings with the Public Service Commission regarding the making or revocation of appointments​

​3 months from the date the Commission’s final decision was communicated to the applicant, candidate or officer concerned.

NOTE: When applicant, candidate or officer concerned fails to attend the Oral Hearing, the audio recording will be deleted right after the minutes of the hearing have been compiled.​

Photos produced as evidence during oral hearings regarding disciplinary cases and cases relating to the making or revocation of appointments​

​Photos are to be returned to the officer concerned at the end of the case.

NOTE: Before returned, photos are to be signed by the members of the Commission and by the officer concerned, accompanied by a declaration signed by the data subject stating the number of photos returned.  This declaration is to be kept in the respective PSC file.​

 
 
 
CONCLUSION
This retention policy aims to achieve a good working balance between the retention of useful and meaningful information in line with the provisions of the relevant legislation and the disposal of data which is no longer required and is being archived unnecessarily. Data that needs to be destroyed after the noted timeframes will be disposed of in an efficient manner to ensure that such information will no longer be available within the office of the Public Service Commission. The Data Protection Controller and DPO are aware of the noted retention periods and will instruct all relevant personnel to follow the indicated procedures accordingly.
It is to be noted that anonymised or statistical data do not fall within the parameters of this Retention Policy, since they do not constitute identifying personal data.
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