Making and managing digital records

Advice on managing the recordkeeping risks associated with cloud computing

Working Group: ADRI members from NSW, Victoria and New Zealand

Released: 29 July 2010

Cloud computing is an increasingly common business practice, which provides new opportunities and challenges for storing digital records. Often cloud computing is an internet service where data is stored by a service provider which may be outside of Australia and New Zealand territory borders.

In addition to offering substantial cost savings, it can reduce the pressure on ICT departments to provide ever increasing storage capacity. However there can also be risks associated with the use of cloud computing services where they are used to manage official government information.

This new guideline provides a list of practical measures to advise how government organisations can best utilise this emerging technology. It provides a checklist for organisations to determine which records could be kept using cloud computing applications. It details the potential risks that need to be considered, and offers a list of useful contractual arrangements, as well as questions to ask of internet service providers.

By clarifying the what, how and why, these guidelines allow government organisations to maintain the integrity of their recordkeeping and fully benefit from the advantages of cloud computing.

View the Guideline (PDF, 294kb) »


Archival staff training workshops in digital recordkeeping

Lead Agency: State Records of South Australia

Released: February 2010

Four workshops were developed with the aim of extending the collaborative nature inherent to ADRI to a learning environment.

  1. Introduction to digital recordkeeping and archiving
    – Workshop Plan – PDF version | Word version
    – Facilitator’s Manual and Course Material  – PDF version | Word version
    – Participant Manual and Course Material  – PDF version | Word version
    Aimed at professionals – records strategists and archivists – who required an understanding of digital recordkeeping and archiving as a compliment to prior knowledge, skills and experience in a predominantly paper based environment.
  2. Community Training
    – 
    PDF version (1.6mb) | Word version (2.1mb)
    An introduction to digital recordkeeping and archiving for members of the community.
  3. Manager Training
    – 
    PDF version (343kb) | Word version (792kb)
    A short course targeting public service managers, detailing the challenges with digital records, the principles of digital archiving, and defining the roles and responsibilities of agencies, executives, managers, and staff.
  4. Records Manager Training
    – 
    PDF version (507kb) | Word version (575kb)
    For the Recordkeeping Manager, this courses expands on the material in Course 3 and also describes the Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS), how metadata is used in digital recordkeeping processes, and current standards and models for digital archives around the world

Core recordkeeping functions profile: Single function business application

Lead Agency: Public Record Office Victoria (PROV)

Released: 2012

In 2008 the International Council on Archives (ICA) launched the Principles and Functional Requirements for Records in Electronic Office Environments (available as ISO 16175 Part 1 and Part 2). In order to improve the usefulness of this work, PROV developed simplified versions of Part 3 of the Principles and Functional Requirements for Records in Electronic Office Environments for use within the Victorian government.

The simplified functional specifications focus on two specific implementation scenarios. The first was where the records would be created, managed and disposed of within a business application. The business application was assumed to be based on relational database technology and would support a single business function within an agency (this scenario is common within government). The second implementation scenario was where the records would be created within a business application, but would be moved within a short period of time to a record system where they would be managed and disposed of. This scenario was expected to be common in transaction based systems where it was not desirable for the business application to have to keep the records.

PROVs simplified functional specifications were included within a follow up project by the ICA in providing guidance for the Principles and Functional requirements. These were formally launched at the ICA Congress in 2012.


Managing closed circuit television (CCTV) records

Lead Agency: Queensland State Archives

Released: October 2010

CCTV has been increasingly deployed across public authorities for a variety of visual surveillance purposes. Challenges which impact the management of CCTV records include the proliferation of proprietary visual surveillance systems and encodings, overcoming poor picture quality owing to the lack of operational standards, the divergence in business processes to manage the records, and a lack of recognition of the total cost of ownership in managing records throughout their lifecycle.

These comprehensive guidelines outline the legislative and regulatory requirements for the management of visual surveillance records; provide an organisational framework for the management of CCTV records; and detail the recordkeeping processes in the creation, use, storage, retrieval and disposal of CCTV records. The Guideline provides practical advice, key considerations, and step-by-step guides to all aspects of managing CCTV records. The Guideline can be used by public authorities to assist in either implementation of CCTV systems or in the evaluation of existing CCTV processes against specific minimum recordkeeping and legislative requirements.

While the guidelines have been written specifically for Queensland Public Authorities, the operational issues and advice provided can be adapted to apply across Australian and New Zealand jurisdictions.

View the Guideline (PDF, 1mb) »


Principles and functional requirements in electronic office environments

Lead Agencies: International Council of Archives and members of ADRI

Released: 2008

In 2005 the Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative agreed to work with the International Council on Archives (ICA) to co-sponsor a project under the ICA’s Electronic Records and Automation Priority Area to produce globally harmonised principles, functional requirements and generic guidelines for software which is used to create and manage electronic records in office environments.

This project, which was led by the National Archives of Australia and which featured participation from twelve other archival institutions from around the world, has realised its aim with the publication of three separate but inter-related modules:

ADRI and the ICA agreed to sponsor this project in recognition of the fact that, while many individual jurisdictions have developed statements of requirements for electronic records management software (ERMS) products, it is important for the international archives and records community to agree on a single generic set of requirements to foster cross-jurisdictional harmonization and to help ensure that we communicate consistent messages to the global software market.

In addition to harmonising existing requirements for ERMS software, this project has also taken the important step of developing guidelines and requirements for managing records in business systems. This recognises that for reasons of business efficiency many important records are only ever managed in line of business systems, rather than in dedicated ERMS systems. Increasingly, the developers and vendors of such business systems are recognising the importance of incorporating records functionality into their software applications.

The three key audiences for these modules are:

  • Software developers and vendors
  • Jurisdictional standards setters
  • Organisations wishing to build or buy software products that will be used to capture and manage records in office environments.

Statement on the application of digital rights management technology to public records

Developed by ADRI Members

Released: 6 August 2008

The Statement was developed to ensure records access and disposal provisions of the various archives and records legislation in different jurisdictions were not undermined by the application of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology to public records

View the statement (PDF, 152kb) »