The sun is setting on this blog… December 11, 2018 4 Comments

You may have noticed we haven’t been blogging lately. We’re currently working behind the scenes to make sure we’re still meeting your communication needs.

This blog launched in 2007-08 to support the Future Proof strategy, which was about ensuring that digital government records are protected and managed effectively. It’s time for us to review whether this blog is still meeting your needs.

Right now, we’re working out which communication channels work best for you. We’ve interviewed and surveyed people working for or on behalf of State and Local government agencies, universities and hospitals in NSW to find out the effectiveness of our communications. Findings from this research are helping us develop a communication strategy and improve the user experience on our websites, including this blog.

You can still find the latest information on government recordkeeping on our main website.

Thank you very much for your loyal readership of this blog.


The FutureProof team

Photo by: Angela McGing

Case Study – Digital Signatures at Lismore City Council October 17, 2018 No Comments

Organisations have been transitioning away from paper for a while, but continue to create some records in paper because of misconceptions about signatures and official documents. This reticence to use digital authentication presents a barrier to conducting business digitally from start to finish.

To overcome such barriers and move into the digital signature space, Lismore City Council (LCC) decided to purchase digital signing capabilities to authenticate the originality of documents, reduce postage costs and improve the reliability of digital records. Their main concern was a consistent standard for signing documents to help prepare for future challenges in digital recordkeeping. This case study outlines the steps taken by LCC to implement digital signatures in the Development Assessment area.

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Case Study – External Pilot – Machine Learning and Records Management September 24, 2018 1 Comment

Conclusion of our exploratory adventure

Just over 12 months ago the Digital State Archives team here at NSW State Archives was challenged to explore the application of machine learning to records management with a specific focus on digital disposal. We began by publishing a preliminary research blog which assessed the ‘state of art’ of the technology, the ‘state of play’ in terms of its uptake for records management, and which sketched out a plan of action. We identified a need in terms of a general lack of uptake in our jurisdiction and proposed undertaking a series of pilot projects to demonstrate the potential benefits of the technology. Our goals with the pilots were to get hands on experience, to experiment with different algorithms and specially prepared data sets, to assess the potential of the technology, and to share the results with our jurisdiction.

We shared the results of our first pilot project, an internal pilot conducted in November and December of 2017, in this blog post: // This post describes our second pilot project.

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Presidential tweets, self destructing messages and the use of Shadow IT June 29, 2018 No Comments

Last month Information Governance ANZ hosted an entertaining evening with Jason R Baron on the topic of Presidential  tweets, Self-destructing messages and the use of Shadow IT. Jason is Co-Chair of the US Information Governance Initiative and previously served as Director of Litigation for the US National Archives and Records Administration.

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photo by: marfis75

So you’ve got a job in Records… June 22, 2018 No Comments

Welcome to working within the Records Management and Archives industry! NSW State Archives and Records Authority acknowledges that not Hard to Access the Recordseveryone working in Local Government comes from a record management background or has received formal training in this field. The following advice is for all new Local Government employees who are beginning a career in records management environment regardless of their background.

Know what you are doing

It is important for Records Management teams to remember there is not one correct methodology to practise. Nor are there industry benchmarks for team performance that they need to meet. Records management can sit in many different spots within Local Government and therefore the scope of services your team provides can vary. You could be:

  • Handling development applications
  • Actioning GIPA requests
  • Administering records management systems
  • Opening and/or processing the Council’s mail
  • Training staff
  • Setting and ensuring compliance of information management policies

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NSW Information Commissioner and Open Data Advocate launches NEW Open Data e-learning module June 5, 2018 No Comments

By Cameron Duffy
Communications and Promotion Officer (IPC)

NSW Information Commissioner and Open Data Advocate, Elizabeth Tydd, has launched a new e-learning module on Open Data in collaboration with the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI).
‘Launched in May to close out Information Awareness Month (IAM), our new Open Data e-learning module is an opportunity to increase public awareness of information and its place in all aspects of daily life and to promote information practices and policies to support sound information management across organisations,’ said Ms Tydd,  NSW Open Data Advocate and CEO of the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC).

‘Transparency of government actions – sound practices for information access and information sharing are central to building trust and achieving an effective democratic system.

‘Our challenge as custodians of government information, is to embrace the ‘digital world’ and apply its benefits to promote accountability, deliver better services, engage with the community and at the same time, ensure our systems protect information privacy and security.
‘Building trust and confidence in our ability to ethically and effectively manage information in the digital age is essential to advancing Open Government. Our new e-learning module is also designed to elevate knowledge of sound information governance,’ Ms Tydd said.

The IPC is promoting good governance through the release of a new, freely available Open Data e-learning resource.

‘DFSI are leading the state’s work in better understanding and ensuring accountability for using and sharing Open Data. This e-learning resource has been developed in line with the NSW Open Data Policy and is being delivered under our commitment to provide education and training to our stakeholder groups across NSW information access and privacy legislation,’ Ms Tydd said.

‘I am pleased to launch the new Open Data module which has been designed to provide an understanding of Open Data along with an explanation of how public sector organisations can embed good information practices to support Open Data release in NSW.

‘Open Data offers great potential value to the community and government. The benefits are diverse, ranging from improved efficiency to greater public participation in the development of government policies and community services.
‘I encourage all public sector employees to complete the Open Data e-learning course, available for free on the IPC website,’ Ms Tydd said.

More information and resources on information access and privacy rights in NSW are available at

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 »