Thursday, October 19, 2006

Management of Electronic Records in the Australian Government

On 12 October 2006 the Australian National Audit Office released a report on "Recordkeeping including the Management of Electronic Records" at the Attorney-General's Department, the Australian Electoral Commission and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The report found problems, particularly with electronic records. I have written a brief summary and guide to the latest report and what might be done to improve electronic record keeping in agencies.

The problem seems to be that National Archives of Australia can only provide guidance to agencies; they cannot compel compliance. NAA has to assume agencies hire competent professionals to do look after record management systems. But as paper file systems have been replaced by computers, the standard or record keeping has tended to decline, with staff assuming the information is in the computer somewhere.

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