Digital recordkeeping at the University of Sydney January 19, 2010

We are in regular contact with lots of NSW public sector organisations, many of whom are demonstrating really clever thinking on meeting some of the big challenges of digital recordkeeping, like  how to manage records disposal in the digital world or add recordkeeping functionality to business systems. We hope to share lots of case studies from these organisations this year, starting with this one from the University of Sydney.
University of SydneyCreative Commons License photo credit: my big blue gorilla

Automating file creation and closure and disposal triggers based on business process

The University of Sydney records management team have analysed the business process used by their Procurement Business Unit to manage contracts and contractors. For each project, the electronic file in the university records system (TRIM) has six sub-folders, representing the six stage of procurement process, from the development of the RFT to handover.

Depending on the stage, the folders are set up so that on activation (i.e. when a  document is added by a user) they acquire the relevant retention requirement from the General Retention and Disposal Authority for Universities. These requirements increase depending on the stage the process is at; a completed process will attract the longest retention period while one which is abandoned part way through will stay at a shorter retention period.

The sub folders are automatically created by a workflow in the records system and in addition to the disposal rules, each folder has preset security and access rules.

The team is looking into implementing standard document types and naming conventions and have it applied and reinforeced as part of the workflow , and the activation of the trigger for the retention period starting for each sub-folder is based on the addition of the final document.

Managing the disposal of student records in a business system / records system integration

The University records team have also enabled the transfer of data from the University student system to their records system, TRIM. On entering the student system each individual has a file created in TRIM and the file title includes the person’s name and a unique identifier (their student number, if they are admitted). Then each communication with that individual is automatically registered to that file. Use of document titling conventions allows the system to know when the matter is complete and close the file, activating the disposal trigger.

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