Sharing is caring – how developing retention and disposal authorities in xml facilitates cross jurisdictional reuse of valuable information April 4, 2016

Since 2010, State Records has drafted and published retention and disposal authorities in XML. For State Records, an XML format has several advantages including single source publishing, greater accessibility of approved retention and disposal authorities, and an improved capacity for controlling and managing authorities over time.

Using XML also unlocks the valuable information contained within retention and disposal authorities, and enables it to be reused and shared.

In the spirit of the NSW Government Open Data Policy, State Records recently shared retention and disposal data with our Victorian counterpart, the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV).

Energy generation, distribution and retailing were privatised in Victoria in the 1990s. Late last year, PROV was working on a project with the Victorian Office of the Administrator of the former State Electricity Commission and Gas and Fuel Corporation to manage legacy records.

PROV requested permission to adopt two of our general authorities as standards for use in Victoria, rather than developing their own authorities for defunct functions.

PROV uses the Online Retention and Disposal Application (ORDA), to develop and manage retention and disposal authorities. Because State Records could provide the relevant retention and disposal authorities in an XML format, PROV was able to import the authorities directly into ORDA.

This collaboration meant that PROV did not need to expend resources on developing a retention and disposal authority for a defunct function.

Image credit: Max Boschini – “open” (CC BY-NC 2.0)
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