Recordkeeping FAQs – Do the European Union’s new privacy laws apply to NSW public offices? May 11, 2018 No Comments

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is new data privacy legislation introduced to protect the personal data of all citizens across the EU. The GDPR comes into effect in a matter of weeks, on May 25th 2018.

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Welcome to the Information Awareness Month 2018 May 1, 2018 No Comments

May is Information Awareness Month (IAM). The purpose of IAM is to increase public awareness of information and its place in all aspects of daily life.

This year’s theme: Trust in the Digital World highlights the key role information plays in building trust in digital technologies.

To celebrate IAM, we will be posting information on how we can build trust in the digital world. So keep an eye on the blog during May.

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The presentations and podcasts from the Records Managers Forum held 28th March 2018 are now available April 23, 2018 No Comments

The Records Managers Forum provides an opportunity for NSW public sector records professionals to share stories, discuss issues of current concern and impart strategies on key records and information management initiatives.

The Forum included presentations from:

  • Nicola Forbes, Principal Manager Information Services and Records, Transport for NSW
  • Lewis Dryburgh, Records and Information Manager, NSW Treasury
  • Peter Donnelly, Information Services Officer and Right to Information Officer, Information & Privacy Commission NSW and Michael King, Principal Records Manager, Department of Family & Community Services
  • Catherine Robinson, Senior Project Officer, Government Recordkeeping, NSW State Archives and Records.

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Using auto-classification to classify unmanaged records April 18, 2018 No Comments

Last week the Digital Implementers Group enjoyed a presentation by one of the members of the Group on auto-classification.

Following the end of a service provider’s contract, a government agency received the property service records that the provider had been creating and managing for ten years. These records consisted of over 400,000 electronic documents contained in 31,000 folders, some up to 14 levels deep. Many of the records did not have consistent titling or match the agency’s own records classification scheme. Due to the impending transition to a new service provider, the records needed to be migrated and classified in a matter of months.

With the scope and timeframe of this migration project rendering manual classification out of the question, it was the perfect opportunity to trial auto-classification. Read the rest of this entry »

Reducing file share dependencies: the Aboriginal Housing Office’s approach April 16, 2018 No Comments

Next to emails, share drives / network drives or file shares are probably the most utilised resource for storing records in any agency. Often they are a nightmare to navigate, let alone manage.

One of the strategies used to solve the problems associated with file shares is to implement an electronic document and records management system (EDRMs). However, having EDRMs in place doesn’t guarantee reduction of file share usage.

We are fortunate that the Aboriginal Housing Office  shared to us how their Records Management (RM) Program implementation increased their EDRMs usage adoption and reduced their file share footprint.

The Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO) is a legislative authority established under the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998. The AHO administers the policies and funding arrangements for Aboriginal community housing in NSW.

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Case Study – Internal Pilot – Machine Learning and Records Management March 20, 2018 2 Comments


In 2017 State Archives NSW’s Digital Archives team began investigating the application of machine learning to records management. The first deliverable of this project was a research paper published on the FutureProof blog that explored the state of art (what the technology is capable of) and state of play (how it is being used in records management). One of the key findings of this report was that, although machine learning has potential to improve the classification and disposal of digital records, there has been very little adoption of the technology, particularly in New South Wales. In order to promote uptake we committed to a series of internal and external pilots to further explore and showcase machine learning for records management.

This case study documents an internal pilot that the Digital Archives team conducted in November and December 2017. The goal of this pilot was to apply off-the-shelf machine learning software to the problem of classifying a corpus of unstructured data against a retention and disposal authority. The results of this pilot were shared at the December 2017 Records Managers Forum. Read the rest of this entry »

Top digital trends affecting records, information and content management March 12, 2018 No Comments

We recently attended an expo where a “big picture” view of the current digital trends was presented and we saw how these trends relate- to product developments in the records, information and content management space.

Some of the trends discussed were based around users and how they use and demand technology

  • Users are changing the way information technology (IT) works in that users are demanding technology to be always on, connected and providing real-time information. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Recordkeeping by design’ – opportunities for local government February 26, 2018 No Comments

As we have noted before, ‘digital transformation’ is a priority in NSW. At the State level, the NSW Digital Government Strategy aims to see a ‘digital by design’ approach embedded across the NSW public sector.

The NSW Government’s goal is for people to transact with government via digital channels wherever possible. Four years ago, 44% of government transactions occurred via digital channels. The Government wants this level to reach 70% by 2019.

Local government is also caught up in the digital transformation, with many councils seeing their data as a major organisational asset that can drive innovation and productivity.  Last week I spoke at a conference for local government information managers on the recordkeeping opportunities and risks associated with digital transformation. Here is some of what I said:

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The business and recordkeeping benefits of digitising approval processes February 14, 2018 No Comments

The Digital Implementers Group met last week to talk about the ways in which NSW Government agencies have implemented electronic approvals (e-approvals). The group talked about the pros and cons of various applications and how digitising approval processes has benefits both for business AND recordkeeping.

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photo by: striatic

Approaches to managing social media records with long-term retention periods January 29, 2018 No Comments

Government use of social media are many and varied, but in total, it is used to communicate and to engage the community regarding policies, new and existing services including service disruptions, and government projects / initiatives.

In our guidance “Strategies for managing social media records” we have enumerated various strategies depending on business needs and risks.

As social media platforms and technologies mature and offer more services, we recommend that agencies consider the approach of leaving social media records in its native platform or application as most of these records have short term retention requirements and the risks associated with the business are low. Read the rest of this entry »