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UK COVID-19 inquiry - preserve your information now

24 May 2023

The Government is conducting an independent public inquiry into Government and public sector responses to the COVID pandemic.

Local government is expected to contribute to the inquiry through the Local Government Association which is a core participant to the inquiry.

Colleagues at the level of head of service and above are now required to preserve any documentation or records which may be of relevance to the Inquiry. Colleagues should treat the definition of ‘relevant documentation’ widely and extend this to WhatsApp messages and files contained on personal drives. Please do not delete any information which may assist the Inquiry, to do so would prevent us from adhering to the terms of the inquiry.

Altering, destroying or preventing documentation from being provided to the inquiry is a criminal offence under the Inquiries Act 2005. Please also ensure that any outlook accounts of relevant colleagues leaving our employment are retained.

Further guidance will be issued on where to save relevant documentation in due course, but for now please make sure you do not delete or destroy information.