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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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Archives on the edge – know what you mean, and sometimes you might just have to break the rules September 15, 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?

There were a number of papers which looked at how we may need to adapt or replace our current methods and practices in order to remain relevant and effective. Two of the key messages that I took away from the conference were:

  • language is important, but so are key concepts
  • sometimes you have to break the rules to achieve your objectives.

Read the rest of this entry »

Records and information management FAQs – Deciding why, when and how to capture the content of links August 31, 2015 1 Comment

The Library of Congress recently posted some information on strategies being used to manage ‘link rot’ and ‘reference rot’. As described in the post, these terms refer to the problem of hyperlinked web addresses that fail to lead the reader to the desired content, either because the link is rotten (not working at all) or because the content has been modified or changed. This has implications for the long-term integrity of web-based scholarly records.

We have been thinking about links here at State Records too, although from a different angle: when do you need to make a record of the content that is being linked to?

We recently received an enquiry about the circumstances in which an organisation would need to capture the contents of links included in email messages. Of course, this question also applies to other record formats, including social media, web pages, documents – indeed any record that includes a link to another resource.

Is it sufficient to capture the record containing the links to a recordkeeping system, or do organisations also need to capture the content of the linked resource?

And the answer, as often seems to be the case these days, is ‘it depends’! Read the rest of this entry »

People and organisational culture – creating the environment for digital transformation August 21, 2015 No Comments

15536402879_7b505dc0c8_zLast week we had our regular Digital Implementers’ Group meeting.

This time, the topic was focused around people and organisational culture. The group’s members what are the necessary cultural factors in organisations which have strong digital information and records management, and what are the cultural barriers.

Representing in the group were are wide range of government organisations, including departments, agencies, State-owned corporations and local government.

Supporting skills and capability development

Supporting the development of skills and capability was acknowledged as a core role by the group.

Several members talked about their processes to engage all new employees and have them understand the obligations and benefits of well managed digital information. Strategies included on-demand personal support, up-to-date internal publications, scheduled training session and e-learning modules. Read the rest of this entry »

Records Managers Forum presentations now available on Future Proof August 19, 2015 No Comments

The podcasts from last week’s Records Managers Forum are now available on Future Proof.

The Records Managers Forum highlight achievements and projects in NSW Government agencies. It promotes communication between NSW public sector records managers and provides an opportunity to exchange news and discuss issues of current concern.

Last week’s forum was hosted by State Records NSW’s Director, Geoff Hinchcliffe, and had two presentations from the sector.

In the first presentation, Mitya Antoncic, Nadine Louis and Dave Phillips from the Department of Premier and Cabinet talk about EDRM strategy as a vision (not just an executive commitment). They talk about the four year EDRM program and the major cultural shift that has occurred at the Department as a result of it; the underlying brand strategy (it’s more than just change management); and how they delivered an industry leading electronic approval workflow project.

In the second presentation, Dr Kate Harrington, Director Information, Strategic Policy at the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation will present on developments in the information and open data initiatives of the NSW Government ICT Strategy.

You can find the recordings here.

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.

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