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For the Record June 2010

Workshop on assessing recordkeeping risk in business systems | Developments in international standards arena | Are your records in the cloud? | Recordkeeping and the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 | Rescuing records at Lismore | Review of GDA10 | Records and wet weather | Archives Outside | Changes to Series Information form when transferring records | Training in July and August | New retention and disposal authorities approved for use

 

For The Record  

 Managing records in the New South Wales public sector

ISSN 1321-6260
June 2010 • Number 81

Workshop on assessing recordkeeping risk in business systems

State Records’ new ‘Managing recordkeeping risk in business systems’ workshop is based on State Records’ Checklist for assessing business systems (RIB 42). It explains an approach to assessing business systems that may not be operating effectively as recordkeeping systems, where it is necessary for them to do so. It has also been developed in order to assist public offices to work towards compliance with the Standard on digital recordkeeping

This workshop is designed for people involved in projects to address recordkeeping in business systems, including records and information management professionals, ICT professionals, business system owners, enterprise architects, business analysts, governance managers and risk managers. Participants will benefit most from the workshop by coming with a reasonable knowledge of the recordkeeping challenges of at least one business system in their organisation.

This workshop is a half-day event, running from 9.30am to 12.30pm. There is no charge to attend.

Initially the workshop will be held on the following dates:
• Tuesday July 27, Sydney Records Centre
• Friday July 30, Western Sydney Records Centre.

To ensure the workshop is interactive, numbers will be limited to 20 participants. Future dates may be scheduled depending on demand. We are also investigating options for the delivery of this workshop to public offices in regional and rural areas. To register, contact us at govrec@records.nsw.gov.au or on phone (02) 8247 8627. For more information go to the Workshop on managing recordkeeping risk in business systems.

Developments in international standards arena

Some of you may have noticed recent postings to both the RMAA listserv and the ASA listserv about two new Draft International Standards (DIS 30300 and DIS 30301) which have been sent out by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) for approval and comments by ballot to all national recordkeeping communities who are participating members of the Records Management Sub-committee, TC 46  SC11 - Information and documentation - Archives/records management.

The draft standards are ISO/DIS 30300 Management system for records - Fundamentals and vocabulary and ISO/DIS 30301 Management system for records - Requirements. These are draft management system standards (other existing examples of this type of standard include ISO 9000 - Quality management systems). They are directed at management and are intended to be high level. In particular, they are aimed at articulating the controls and processes for managing the organisation and establishing the strategic framework for good records management (such as policy, leadership, planning, monitoring).

These draft standards operate at a different level to ISO 15489 and will not replace this important standard, which is used as a foundation standard by records management practitioners. ISO 15489 is aimed at the operational aspects of records management and focuses on the controls and processes required for managing records (for example, records creation, capture, use, disposition processes). For more information see the ISO web site.

Are your records in the cloud?

Cloud computing is internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand. (Wikipedia contributors, "Cloud computing," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cloud_computing&oldid=368166834 accessed June 15, 2010). There are a range of applications that can be delivered to users via cloud computing models, from email or content management to specialist applications for activities such as project management or human resources management. 

Cloud computing is now being used by many NSW government organisations. This means that potentially large volumes of official records of government are being stored or processed in remote locations, including overseas. 

This raises a number of risks both for your organisation and for members of the public who rely on the proper management of government information to provide evidence of their rights and entitlements, and to demonstrate the workings of government for accountability purposes.

State Records has a number of resources available to help you to manage the recordkeeping risks associated with cloud computing, including:
• General authority for transferring records out of NSW for storage with or maintenance by service providers based outside of the State (GA35), and 
• Recordkeeping in brief: Storage of State records with service providers outside of NSW (RIB 54).

We now also offer a single sheet printable flyer summarising strategies for managing records ‘in the cloud’, including a records risk management checklist. Download, print or email it to colleagues as a trigger to discuss your approach to managing these records.Future Proof website

The flyer is available from the Future Proof blog’s ‘Resources’ page.

While you’re there why not sign up to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter to receive news and updates from the Future Proof team! http://futureproof.records.nsw.gov.au/

Recordkeeping and the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009

As you would be aware, the new Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) will replace the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW) from 1 July 2010.  State Records has produced a new Recordkeeping in brief which briefly explains the GIPA Act and highlights recordkeeping requirements to assist public offices in addressing them (see Recordkeeping in brief 55: Recordkeeping and the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009).

The new right to information regime will be best supported by agencies having good records management practices in place and, in particular, by adherence to standards on digital recordkeeping. Sound information and records management practices are fundamental to being able to find, provide access to, and understand records.

The Director of State Records, Alan Ventress, recently met with Deirdre O'Donnell, the new Information Commissioner. We envisage that the two organisations will have an important on-going relationship, particularly as both State Records and the Office of the Information Commissioner have strongly complementary objectives in terms of accountability and good administration.

Rescuing records at Lismore

Tim Robertson, the Records Management Coordinator at Lismore City Council, recently mounted an expedition to rescue some Council records that were stored in the attic of the Lismore City Concert Band Hall in the 1970s to protect them from floodwaters. The building was later condemned (possibly due to some over enthusiastic dancing).  The records could not be removed until suitable storage space was found for them. When this was finally arranged, a scissor-lift was hired to access the attic through a window, as the stairs were no longer safe to transport the records. They discovered around 70 metal and wooden crates containing mostly property and subject files dating from the early 1940s to the 1970s.

Once the files have been cleaned and reboxed they will be transferred to the Council's records storage area awaiting a future indexing project. 

Lismore cherrypickerLismore crate

Using the scissor-lift to access the                  One of the rescued crates

the attic.

Review of the general retention and disposal authority for local government records (GDA10)

The exposure draft of the revised General retention and disposal authority: local government records is now available for comment. The closing date for comments is Friday 2 July 2010. If you require any further information, please contact Angela McGing at angela.mcging@records.nsw.gov.au or on (02) 8247 8630.

Records and wet weather

There are always important considerations when moving records from one location to another. Records in transit are more vulnerable to loss, damage or theft, and if you use contractors or couriers to move records, you need to make sure you include security and confidentiality requirements in the contract. Moving records in wet weather should be avoided but if this is not possible you need to consider the following: 

  • Don’t indemnify contractors or couriers who are moving your organisation’s records.  If the records are damaged in transit, then the contractor or courier will need to reimburse your organisation for any repairs that are required.
  • Records should always be enclosed in suitable padding or containers to prevent or minimise damage in transit, and to protect them from rain and wet weather.
  • If you are moving a large quantity of records and need to store them prior to transit, make sure you leave them in a secure location. Don't leave records out on the pavement waiting for collection or in a corridor.
  • Make sure each box or container is labelled.
  • Records should only be moved from one location to another in a suitable vehicle.  Don't move records in a truck that is not covered or secure.
  • Don't leave records sitting outside buildings on wet or potentially rainy days.
  • If you can’t guarantee that the records will stay dry, then don't move them. If records do get wet, they are very expensive to dry and repair.

 

wet recordsWet records on trolley

What can happen when records are moved on a rainy day

Archives Outside

Archives OutsideState Records established the Archives Outside blog in May 2009 as a virtual meeting place for people around NSW, including records managers, archivists, and local studies librarians who look after archival collections. The blog is organised around the themes of Digital 2.0, Preservation, Regional Repositories, Collections in NSW and Archives Made Easy. The most recent blogs include one from Jenni Stapleton which describes how staff working in the old Shea's Creek repository were saved from a mini-tornado by a pile of ledgers from the old Treasury Department. Others include Digitisation and the Small Archives, Twitter as a promotional tool for collections and items from the Regional Repositories.

Changes to Series Information form when transferring records

State Records has made some changes to the Series Information form that is used when transferring unregistered series. The form now includes questions about the condition of records to be transferred (are they damaged, mouldy or brittle), whether the series is hybrid (part paper part electronic), and if the series has been copied.

Agencies that transfer regularly and have copies of the old Series Information form should download the new Series Information form and use it now.

Training in July and August

State Records is running a wide range of courses over the next two months in Sydney, Grafton and Dubbo. Here is a brief overview of each course.  Further information on the courses is available from the Training Calendar.

Records Management Fundamentals

20 - 21 July: Sydney Records Centre (The Rocks)
11 - 12 August: Dubbo
31 August - 21 September: Western Sydney Records Centre (Kingswood) 
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

22 July: Sydney Records Centre (The Rocks)
13 August: Dubbo
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

23 July: Sydney Records Centre (The Rocks)
20 August: Sydney Records Centre (The Rocks)
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

Using a Keyword Thesaurus

29 July: Grafton
This course provides participants with the knowledge and skills required to use a keyword thesaurus to classify, title and index records.  It includes practical exercises in classifying and titling using Keyword AAA and Keyword for Councils. A full course outline and information on registration is available.

Cost: $315 (incl. GST).
Enquiries: Synercon Management Consulting on (02) 9698 8888 or email synercon@synercon.com.au

De Dramatising Disasters

5 - 6 August: Western Sydney Records Centre (Kingswood)
This course introduces methods to prevent disasters and respond quickly and efficiently to disasters that occur. The course will help NSW public offices understand the compliance requirements of the Standard on Counter Disaster Strategies for Records and Recordkeeping Systems.  A full course outline and registration form is available.
Cost: $700 (incl. GST).
Enquiries: State Records ph (02) 8247 8627 or the De Dramatising Disasters registration page. 

Implementing GDA10 Local Government Records

10 August: Dubbo
This course provides participants with information on how to use the General Disposal Authority: Local Government Records (GDA 10), 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. 

Please note that the skills and understandings developed in this course will be relevant to the new version of GDA 10, due out later this year.

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

Transferring State Records

17 August: 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.

Compiling and Implementing a Keyword Thesaurus

18 August: Western Sydney Records Centre (Kingswood)
This course provides participants with an understanding of the key steps in analysing business functions and activities to develop a business classification scheme and keyword thesaurus.  A full course outline and information on registration is available.

Cost: $285 (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 covering records of applications received by the Courts or Department of Justice and Attorney General for authorisation to exercise certain powers for law enforcement purposes.

Copies of these authorities are available from the Disposing of Records link from the recordkeeping part of our website.

© State of New South Wales through the State Records Authority, 2010.
First published June 2010
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