New minimum requirements for metadata for authoritative records and information November 24, 2015 No Comments

In February this year, State Records published some advice on metadata for records and information. This advice gives an overview of metadata for records and information, establishes some principles for implementing metadata for records and information, and discusses what metadata for records and information can achieve.

We have revised and updated this advice, and included a new section: Minimum requirements for metadata for authoritative records and information.

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Insights from the Australian Society of Archivists workshop on arrangement and description November 19, 2015 No Comments

14441596804_6a0d069933_zRecently State Records staff from the Government Recordkeeping, Digital Archives and Archives Control and Management sections attended a workshop on arranging and describing archives run by the Australian Society of Archivists. The course was focused around the new challenges posed by digital environments, both in the creation of records digitally and in the way in which archives now operate.  Read the rest of this entry »

Change is constant – what does this mean for records and information? November 18, 2015 No Comments

The ancient philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus is known for his observations that change is a constant: ‘Cold things grow hot, the hot cools, the wet dries, the parched moistens’. Everything is constantly shifting, changing and becoming something other to what it was before.

Heraclitus was talking about the natural world, but he could just as easily have been referring to the NSW public sector! Changes to the structure, functions and even existence of public sector organisations are a constant – amalgamations, restructures and privatisations are always occurring somewhere.

Last week the members of State Records’ Digital Implementers Group sat down to talk about the impact of these kinds of changes on records and information management. Some attendees talked about their previous experiences and shared lessons learned. Other attendees are about to embark on some form of organisational change, and shared the steps they are taking in readiness. A few key ideas emerged from the discussions:

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Records and information management FAQs – the recordkeeping capabilities of SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online November 3, 2015 No Comments

Changing the guard - Buckingham PalaceAt the end of 2012, State Records published some guidance on the recordkeeping capabilities of SharePoint 2010. This guidance describes recordkeeping features and functionality that can be enabled or configured in SharePoint, and identifies where additional configuration and/or add-on software are needed to meet particular recordkeeping requirements.

We have recently received a few queries from agencies, asking us if we intend to update this guidance for SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online. Read the rest of this entry »

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We’ve moved our blog hosting October 28, 2015 No Comments

State Records has just moved Future Proof’s blog hosting provider. We are still based on the same WordPress platform, but we are now using a new external provider who specialises in hosting sites like this.

Please expect business as usual from us: nothing should change! We have checked and tested everything, but if you do see something strange, please contact us to let us know.

World Statistics Day on 20th October in Sydney October 16, 2015 No Comments

WSD_Logo_Final_Languages_OutlineWorld Statistics Day is a day set aside to recognise the contribution statistics make in shaping societies around the world. It is a United Nations initiative, and this year  the global statistical community will showcase their statistical achievements in many countries under the theme: better data better lives.

To celebrate the day the Australian Bureau of Statistics is staging an expo in collaboration with partner agencies who use statistics for the benefit of the NSW community. State Records will have a stand at the expo, and representatives from Government Recordkeeping and Digital Archives will be there.


20 October

10am to 3pm

44 Market Street, Sydney

If you are in the area, drop by and say hello!

Records and information management FAQs – Using cloud services based outside of NSW October 14, 2015 No Comments

In August this year, the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation issued version 2 of the NSW Government Cloud Policy. This policy notes:

The positive experience of NSW agencies so far with the benefits of cloud services leads to the expectation that ICT procurements for commoditisable, non-core business solutions will be provided via cloud-based services – unless there is a specific consideration preventing this from happening.

Perhaps in response to the release of the new policy, or perhaps coincidentally, we have recently received a number of enquiries about using cloud services from NSW public offices. In particular, people have been contacting us to ask ‘can we use cloud services based outside of NSW?’

In terms of the State Records Act 1998 the answer is ‘generally yes subject to some conditions’. Read the rest of this entry »

Consolidation and collaboration – summary of the digital implementers group October 2, 2015 No Comments

504756272_71bf68858c_zLast week we had the Digital Implementers Group: a regular meeting bringing together people implementing digital systems for records and information management in the NSW Public Sector. As usual, the meeting was attended by a broad range of professionals and organisations.

This meeting focussed on consolidation and cross-sector collaboration. Read the rest of this entry »

Records and information management FAQs – Are signatures the final barrier to a truly digital business environment? September 28, 2015 No Comments

3214655615_72e46ab8b1_bI recently moved into an old, slightly creaky house, so have spent the last few months organising for various work to be done to make the house less likely to burn down, less accessible to creepy crawlies and generally more habitable. I have been continually amazed by the reliance of various tradespeople on a piece of paper with my signature on it. In many cases they have emailed me a scanned copy of a quote, which I have been required to print out, sign, scan and email back to them. (This is particularly frustrating for someone who doesn’t own a printer!!)

A survey conducted by Adobe late last year found that while many people have embraced digital behaviours, digitally authenticating business documents is one of the remaining obstacles to the creation of a truly digital (or ‘paperless’) workplace. This reticence to embrace digital authentication presents a significant obstacle to conducting business digitally from start to finish.

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Archives on the edge – Founders and Survivors September 17, 2015 No Comments

Last month, a number of State Records NSW employees travelled down to Hobart to attend the annual Australian Society of Archivists conference. The theme of the conference was ‘archives on the edge’ – what role might archives and archivists play in the age of big data and almost everything as a service?

Judging by the rapturous response on Twitter and talking to people afterwards, one of the highlights of the conference for many attendees was a paper presented by Hamish Maxwell-Stewart on the Founders and Survivors project. This project uses massive historical demographic data (Tasmanian convict records and records of World War I soldiers – the ‘big data’ of their day) to better understand and inform social and health policies.

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