The new Standard on Records Management – what it means for digital business August 3, 2015 No Comments

State Records issued the new Standard on Records Management earlier this year. The new standard provides a streamlined framework designed to better support NSW Government digital business processes in complex environments.

Catherine Robinson recently spoke about the new standard at a records and information management conference. Here is some of what Catherine said: Read the rest of this entry »

Records and information management FAQs – Keeping metadata after destroying digital records July 21, 2015 No Comments

Many organisations across the NSW public sector have well established digital recordkeeping systems. As these systems have been in place for some years, they contain records that are able to be destroyed in accordance with approved retention and disposal authorities.

A number of organisations have recently contacted us to discuss the requirements for keeping metadata for records destroyed in such systems:

  • What metadata needs to be kept?
  • What level does this metadata need to be kept at? (i.e. file level, document level etc.)
  • How long does this metadata need to be kept for?

As is often the case, the answers to these questions are likely to depend on the individual organisations’ business and the particular risks relevant to that business. In short, ‘it depends’! Read the rest of this entry »

Records management and the cloud – considerations for local government July 8, 2015 1 Comment

This morning Catherine Robinson from State Records spoke at Akolade’s Cloud Services in Local Government conference in Sydney. This conference aimed to illustrate how local councils can successfully procure, implement and manage ‘as a service’ cloud platforms.

Catherine’s talk focussed on the considerations for records and information management when using cloud services. Catherine talked about:

  • NSW Government requirements for cloud services
  • requirements for the retention and disposal of records in NSW local government
  • managing the risks associated with cloud arrangements.

Although Catherine’s talk was aimed at local government, it may also be of interest to the broader NSW public sector.

Read the rest of this entry »

System decommissioning, migration, and manager responsibilities – summary of the June Digital Implementers group June 22, 2015 No Comments

8007180700_3a105073f8_zLast week we had our regular Digital Implementers group meeting.

As usual, a diverse group attended from across government. There was a lively discussion around the various implementation challenges the organisations are facing, as well as discussion of data migration and decommissioning challenges, and management accountabilities for information. Read the rest of this entry »

How does information and records management support privacy? May 28, 2015 No Comments

What "open data" means - and what it doesn'tRecently, State Records staff attended a very informative session hosted by the NSW Privacy Commissioner, Dr Elizabeth Coombs. This “Privacy Matters” event was held to mark Privacy Awareness Week, which is an initiative supported by the Asia Pacific Privacy Awareness forum.

State Records had a stand at the forum in conjunction with staff from NSW Finance and Services. In preparation for the event, and in the spirit of privacy awareness week, we have been thinking about how information and records management can improve privacy management for public sector organisations.

As you all know, State Records NSW is responsible for the State Records Act 1998, which contains obligations for the management of records and information across the NSW public sector. Achieving appropriate protection and accountability when managing private information is an important objective underlying our guidance and standards.  Read the rest of this entry »

News for Chief Executives – Future Proof issue 7 May 15, 2015 No Comments

Parallel lines over a very simple landscape. Metaphor for the importance that good communication strategies have in todays world

Each year State Records  distributes a newsletter to all Chief Executives in the NSW public sector.

This year’s newsletter highlights some of the major initiatives of the last year across State Records, including the new Standard on Records Management, the launch of business as usual operations for the Digital State Archive, and enhancements to the OpenGov and Data.NSW platforms.

The newsletter is intended to start conversations between chief executives, management, business, ICT and records and information staff about the strategic management of organisational business information.

The newsletter is available here on the State Records website. A downloadable PDF version of the newsletter is also available below:

Future Proof newsletter, 2015 (PDF, 65KB)


Photo: Steve Johnson (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Implementing digital disposal – summary of digital implementers workshop May 13, 2015 No Comments

3874706978_902597beb1_zLast week we had our regular digital implementers group meeting. This session’s topic was digital disposal. In advance of the meeting, we conducted a mini-survey of the group to get a sense of their progress and capacity was in this area. The results of this were interesting because, while it was a limited sample, there is a diverse group of organisations represented on the group. We previously conducted a broader survey on digital disposal a few years ago, so it was interesting to see how those responses measured up to today. As always, the group was very interactive, and we had two people presenting case studies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Recent digital advice May 1, 2015 No Comments

Imaginative ImpulseState Records is constantly talking to government organisations about a fascinating range of projects. These range broadly from questions about data migration to ongoing engagements about digital business transformation. Some of the issues we have covered recently include:

Email in the cloud. We have talked to a number of organisations trying to determine how to appropriately manage email when a cloud transition occurred. This change of the technology platform represents a challenge, as existing processes and system integrations need substantial modification. However, it also represents an opportunity because the major change was an opportunity to reframe records management requirements and introduce them seamlessly as part of the system transition. Read the rest of this entry »

Implementing the standard on records management – feedback welcome! April 30, 2015 No Comments

The Standard on Records Management was issued at the beginning of March. We’ve already started to hear back about the work being done to implement the standard.

We are particularly interested to hear how people have used the standard to support the implementation or assessment of digital systems and the transformation of digital processes. One of the major changes we made with the new Standard on Records Management was to emphasize a range of responsibilities so that the obligations on executives and business unit managers were more explicitly stated. Simultaneously, we shifted some of the more detailed requirements into guidance, as we felt that the digital environments in which they were implemented were extremely varied and changing rapidly. Detailed advice needs to be flexible and able to be updated outside of the standard review cycle.

We have been pleased by the number of public offices who have contacted us to tell us about their implementation progress. We would welcome contact from organisations willing to develop case studies which can be shared for the benefit of the sector, or those who just want to let us know about their progress so far. Please use the contact form below to get in touch!

Enterprise Search – part 2 April 20, 2015 1 Comment

Our recent post about our latest Digital Implementers Group workshop, in which we discussed Enterprise Search technologies, has generated a fair bit of discussion. I thought it might be a good opportunity to delve into this a bit more, as well as discuss the role of the digital implementers group.

The Digital Implementers Group

The Digital Implementers Group is made up of diverse group of public sector information and records specialists who get together every six weeks or so to discuss implementation challenges in their information and records management systems. It used to be called the EDRMS implementers group but the group agreed last year that they do much more than implement EDRMS and so we renamed the group. The topics which the group discuss are driven by the group: things like the organisational challenges they are facing, the technologies they are considering, the risks which are emerging.

The blog posts we put up about the group (and our blog posts in general) are not “Official State Records guidance”, although we like to think they contain a lot of useful information. What they do is try to provide a summary of what the group (which contains a reasonably representative cross-section of the NSW Public Sector) is currently thinking in relation to a particular issue. Not all those who might want to can attend our workshops, so the blog is a good chance to share what went on with the sector.

Enterprise Search technologies

For our purposes, we have defined enterprise search as technologies which are able to index content across a diverse set of information repositories within an organisation, and present search results to these repositories in a single interface. This covers quite a broad range of tools, including some which are now being integrated with popular EDRMS / ECM solutions.

We have had quite a few questions come through about the workshop. Some people questioned how we had come to these conclusions about what the opportunity for enterprise search was or was not. Someone even wrote a whole article “debunking” some of the things in the blog post. This is an important discussion topic to continue. Here are some further observations from the workshop and other recent agency discussions: Read the rest of this entry »