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Record request management – the Capture, Comprehend, Collate, Complete, and Curate approach

5C’s approach to managing record requests including Freedom of Information Requests (FOI), Data Subject Access Requests

In 2023 the DPC (Data Protection Commission) will increase its focus on audits. In 2022, the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) issued a record number of fines. A decision to publish details of fines issued. Are you confident that your organization can manage requests and prove regulatory compliance?  

This article shares our 5C’s approach to managing record requests. Freedom of Information Requests (FOI), Data Subject Access Requests (DSAR), Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), Data Breaches, and other regulatory requirements are all covered.

The system used to create DiscoveryControl is Capture, Comprehend, Collate, Complete, and Curate. If your organization is just starting a records request management system and only has a handful a year this approach should help. 

Do I need a system for managing requests?

Take some time to answer the questions below. If you are struggling to answer them, you should consider DiscoveryControl

  • Have you had a DSAR/ FOI request?
  • As the demand for record request management increases can your organization cope?
  • Has your company had a data breach? 
  • A request deadline has been missed- how will you know?
  • How will you know if there are any record requests outstanding? 
  • How will you know if someone has changed the data? Can you prove no data has been altered? 
  • The main administrator isn’t available, what happens the to request?
  • If you are audited, can you show your process and audit history? 
  • How well do you comply with the statutory time limits for answering record requests?  
  • Do you check and look to improve your own FOI performance? 
  • Are you able to supply an audit trail of how a records request was conducted? 
  • Can you supply evidence to an auditor that sensitive data is protected, and access restricted to authorized users? 
  • Can you supply evidence that your Records Request Policy is enforced?  
  • Can you ensure that cases are dealt with consistently and fairly, and that essential data is captured for reporting and analysis purposes?  

Here’s how your organization can use the 5C’s approach to records request management

Capture Icon - Discovery Control records request management


Create a failsafe system that will capture ALL record requests that are submitted. This can include email, phone, post, etc. Remember that the clock starts ticking as soon as the request is submitted. If you haven’t captured the request, you won’t be able to manage it.  

DiscoveryControl has a public portal and email service ensuring fast, simple, and secure creation of uniform requests straight to your desk! Accessible anywhere, anytime. Working for you before any person is on the case. 

Comphrenend records request management


It is vital that you understand what information is requested. Next step is to categorize it correctly, Freedom of Information, Data Subject Access Request, ROPA (Record of Processing activities), etc. Now you can be sure that you assign it to the correct team member. Give them a deadline to complete their task. If you are using spreadsheets or other work-around software, ensure that you check for holidays/annual leave when allocating tasks. Set up a series of reminders to ensure people get the information back to you in time. Human error is an issue when distributing tasks manually. 

DiscoveryControl combines your invaluable sector knowledge with our ability to customize your record request processes. This transforms requests into categorized cases in two clicks and assigns deadlines ensuring compliance can be proved. 

Collate Icon records request management


This is the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process. It is unrealistic to expect team members to know everything about the organization and where everything can be found. Finding all the records and getting them all in order is probably the most difficult part of the process. Delegate simple tasks to colleagues that can get the requested information you need to complete the case.  

DiscoveryControl makes this process simple. The added benefits are that each request is fully audited, saving valuable staff hours whilst implementing a delegate protocol process to help streamline future requests and find gaps. 

Complete DiscoveryControl records request management


Now that all the case information has been collated. Sent it to the requestor, and mark the case complete. 

Curate DiscoveryControl records request management


Note any issues that arose during the process, they will help you improve your process. A major benefit of using DiscoveryControl is that it can generate reporting insights to pinpoint bottlenecks and detect emerging risks. Staff workloads can be managed, they will receive notifications of approaching deadlines. At this point you can manage the Self-Service via the public Disclosure Log.  

As we have shown the records requests management software for your organizations is important. Why not book a demo? 

This video shows the difference between DiscoveryControl and a spreadsheet-based system.