News and views on correspondence case management, FOI, Information rights and more

Guest Blog: How we transformed FOI and SAR management in UKRI

As a relatively new organisation, formed in 2018, you may be misled into thinking that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) started with a clean slate to build processes from scratch and develop our ways of working. This wasn’t the case, however. UKRI brought together seven different research councils, Innovate UK and Research England, all with their own pre-existing methods and processes and all bringing their own ways of working. As Head of Information Governance and Data Protection Officer, my task was to establish a new way of working that could easily be rolled out across the organisation with minimum disruption and maximum effectiveness.

When this is taken together with the advent of GDPR at the same time, you may begin to see the sheer scale of our task!

Most of the councils’ information governance teams were using either spreadsheets or SharePoint lists to manage FOI and SAR processes. An opportunity to transform case processing soon became apparent.

Given the complex scenario we found ourselves in, we identified three key elements that would help us transform effectively:

  • A new service or technology to help us work in the ways we wanted
  • Change management
  • Organisational preparedness

Having set out our specific requirements, we identified and selected eCase as our chosen service. It met our requirements and would make it easier to introduce our new ways of working relatively quickly. Not only does eCase cover a wide range of information governance and correspondence case types but the ongoing service, received throughout and after go-live, has made managing the change within UKRI much easier.

We particularly like the way that eCase brings everything together in one place. It means you can better understand requesters’ needs and make the links between what is going on elsewhere. Case logging and processing is more efficient, giving us more time for the professional aspects of case management, resulting in a better service. It has also given us better oversight and reporting capability to identify bottlenecks and drive service improvements.

There are a lot more aspects to our successful transformation journey than those outlined above. To hear more detail about our implementation process, key challenges, learnings, and how we coped with the pandemic, I’ll be explaining all in a webinar on Wednesday 26th May at 1.00pm.

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About David Hyett

David Hyett has been Head of Information Governance and Data Protection Officer at UK Research and Innovation since its formation in 2018. Prior to this, he has held a number of information related roles and first became involved with data protection with planning for implementation of the 1998 Data Protection Act. He is a firm believer in the value of information governance, both in terms of risk reduction and business benefits.

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