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For the Record February 2011

Digital State Archives | The General retention and disposal authority for local government records | Sharing the drive | How RM techniques and skills can assist ICT | E-learning takes off | Training in March and April | New retention and disposal authorities approved for use

 

For The Record  

 Managing records in the New South Wales public sector

 

ISSN 1321-6260
February 2011 • Number 85

 

Digital State Archives

State Records is pleased to announce that a three year project to deliver a digital archives facility will commence in 2011. The digital archives infrastructure implemented will complement and integrate with State Records’ existing systems and processes for the management and use of paper based archival records in line with the State Records Act 1998. It will conform to international standards and best practice for trusted digital repositories and will adopt common tools and approaches used by other Australasian government archives authorities.

For the Government and people of New South Wales, the digital State archives will mean:

  • improved government efficiency and quality of services as a result of keeping digital records in more accessible formats and ensuring they remain authentic and reliable
  • the preservation of authentic and accessible digital records that document citizens’ rights and entitlements, environment and history, and, ultimately
  • seamless online access to digital archives in conjunction with digitised paper archives, offering the people of New South Wales greatly enhanced access to State archives documenting our history.

As the project is in its very early stages, State Records is not in a position at the moment to start accepting transfers of digital state archives, but we will keep you up to date with progress via For the Record and the Future Proof website.

The General retention and disposal authority for local government records

The General retention and disposal authority: local government records was formally issued by State Records on 7 February 2011. The authority is available from the General retention and disposal authority page on our website. Training courses on implementing the new authority will commence in March. Please see our Training calendar for more information.

For further information please see the GA39 - Frequently Asked Questions page or contact Angela McGing on (02) 8247 8630 or angela.mcging@records.nsw.gov.au.

Sharing the drive

Storing electronic information in shared (network) drives can be convenient and easy for staff and can enable the sharing and backup of documents. However, if they are not managed well, shared drives can cause a number of problems.

State Records has released Recordkeeping in Brief 57: Managing shared drives. It discusses how you can maximise the use and value of shared drives while ensuring that records are protected as essential evidence of business. The guidance includes a link to sample procedures for staff which explains how they should be managing their shared drives. It can be modified to reflect an organisation’s unique situation and business practices.

How RM techniques and skills can assist ICT

In the last issue of For the Record we mentioned that we were working on an e-learning module which examines what recordkeeping professionals can do for their ICT colleagues. This module is still under development but will now focus more on how records management techniques and skills can assist ICT. Sometimes these will be provided by in-house records and information professionals, sometimes by consultants.

We thought it might be useful to highlight in this and coming issues of For the Record some of the main problems faced by ICT professionals (as identified in the Survey of ICT attitudes to records and recordkeeping) and how records management techniques and skills might help to solve them. We will also provide some useful sources that may assist you to work more cooperatively with your ICT colleagues.

Two big issues are discussed below. Keep an eye out for further instalments in future issues of For the Record.

Overwhelming volumes of data

A major problem faced by ICT professionals is that they have overwhelming volumes of data to manage. These volumes can be reduced through:

  • standard classification and labelling of business information, and effective search techniques, to help prevent duplication.
  • sound definition of recordkeeping requirements in business rules so that employees know what they need to keep (and what they don’t), how long it needs to be kept, and where it should be stored.

State Records’ resources that can help you include:

Systems don’t meet recordkeeping needs

IT professionals find that their design criteria are not always sufficient in meeting all the business needs of their organisation.

Records management techniques and skills can be used to define the recordkeeping requirements for the system, whether an existing or planned system can meet these requirements, and alternative solutions if recordkeeping functionality is not able to be built in.

State Records’ resources that can help you include:

E-learning takes off

We are pleased to report that our new Training Resource Centre and suite of e-learning modules have proven to be very popular. By the end of January we had 3994 unique visits to the e-learning site, with 1321 visitors completing the e-learning modules.  In addition, several public offices have obtained copies of the modules to modify and circulate them with their organisations.

The top 3 e-learning modules have consistently been: Recordkeeping concepts, Digital recordkeeping concepts, and Your responsibilities for managing email.

When examining the statistics we were surprised to discover that there is also a growing interest in the e-learning modules from other countries. The main interest has been from countries that share our recordkeeping traditions: New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada. However, some modules have also been viewed by 31 other countries, including Sweden, the Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and Lithuania!

Stay tuned for the release of three more modules in the coming months.

Training in March and April

Below is a brief overview of courses that State Records is running over the next two months. Further information on each course is available from the Training Calendar.

Implementing a Retention and Disposal Authority for Local Government Records

8 March: Sydney Records Centre (The Rocks)
15 March: Western Sydney Records Centre (Kingswood)
22 March: Sydney Records Centre (The Rocks)
7 April: Sydney Records Centre (The Rocks)

This course provides participants with information on how to use the new General retention and disposal authority: local government records (GA 39), appropriate methods of storage and destruction of records, and how to prepare records for transfer to State Records as State archives. A full course outline and information on registration is available. 

Cost: $315 (incl. GST).
Enquiries: Recordkeeping Innovation ph (02) 9267 3700 or training@records.com.au

Transferring State Records

9 March: Western Sydney Records Centre (Kingswood)

This course provides participants with an understanding of the practices and processes involved in the transfer of State records required as State archives under Part 4 of the State Records Act 1998. This is a practical course which explains the documentation, packaging and boxing skills required when preparing records for transfer. A full course outline and registration form is available.

Cost: $245 (incl. GST)
Enquiries: State Records ph (02) 8247 8627 or the State Records’ training registration page.

Records Management Fundamentals

16 - 17 March: Western Sydney Records Centre (Kingswood)
5 - 6 April: Sydney Records Centre (The Rocks)

This course covers the fundamental principles and practices of records management. It provides participants with a basic understanding of the activities involved in managing paper and electronic records. A full course outline and information on registration is available.

Cost: $500 (incl. GST).
Enquiries: Recordkeeping Innovation ph (02) 9267 3700 or training@records.com.au

Implementing a Retention and Disposal Authority

18 March: Western Sydney Records Centre (Kingswood)

This course provides participants with information on how to use a retention and disposal authority and prepare records for transfer to State Records. Participants practice culling and listing techniques using a functional retention and disposal authority. A full course outline and information on registration is available.

Cost: $325 (incl. GST).
Enquiries: Recordkeeping Innovation ph (02) 9267 3700 or training@records.com.au

Managing Digital Records: An Introduction

29 March: Sydney Records Centre (The Rocks)
30 March: Wagga Wagga

This course provides participants with an understanding of some of the frameworks and tools required to manage digital records appropriately.  It helps participants to understand and implement the requirements of the Standard on digital recordkeeping.  A full course outline and information on registration is available.

Cost: $330 (incl. GST).
Enquiries: Corporate Information Management Services on 0432 150 446 or email jackie@cims.com.au

Retention and Disposal of Public Health Sector Records

23 March: Nowra

This course is designed for public health organisations and provides participants with information on how to use a retention and disposal authority, with particular emphasis on using General Retention and Disposal Authorities 17 and 21. Participants learn about implementing disposal, including records storage and destruction, and transfer of archives. A full course outline and information on registration is available.

Cost: $290 (incl. GST).
Enquiries: Siller Systems Administration on (02) 9979 9974 or siller@siller.com.au 

New retention and disposal authorities approved for use

State Records recently approved a retention and disposal authority for social housing providers which applies to Housing NSW, the Aboriginal Housing Office, City West Housing and the Housing Appeals Committee. Copies of authorities are available from the Disposing of Records page on our website.

© State of New South Wales through the State Records Authority, 2011.
First published February 2011
This work may be freely reproduced and distributed for most purposes, however some restrictions apply. See our copyright notice or contact us.
ISSN 1321-6260