National Archives launches new commonwealth records management policy

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday December 10, 2020

The National Archives. Photo by John Gollings

The National Archives of Australia has launched a new whole-of-government policy that aims to help agencies improve how they create, collect, manage and use information assets.

The policy, which comes into effect on January 1, sets out requirements for assisting commonwealth agencies with producing records that can be “trusted and relied upon by current and future generations”, according to National Archives director-general David Fricker.

“The policy maintains a strong emphasis on governance, fit-for-purpose information management systems and practices, and reducing information management inefficiency and risk,” he said.

“These objectives are critical to ensuring public resources are managed effectively, improving service delivery and customer service outcomes, and enabling evidentiary and accountability obligations to be met.”

Under the policy, agencies will:

  • Manage information assets strategically with appropriate governance and reporting to meet current and future needs of government and community,
  • Implement fit-for-purpose information management processes, practices and systems that meet identified needs for information asset creation, use and re-use,
  • Reduce areas of information management inefficiency and risk to ensure public resources are managed effectively.

Read more: National Archives to save 30,000 audiovisual records with $3 million investment

The policy aims to help agencies comply with the Archives Act 1983, which sets obligations for the management of information assets for government agencies.

It will “replace and build on the achievements of the current information management policy”, Digital Continuity 2020, and will remain in place until 2025.

The National Archives will release tools and supporting advice over the coming months and years to help agencies implement the policy.

The plan supports other federal government agendas including digital transformation, Australian Public Service reform, and maximising the use of commonwealth data, the National Archives said.

Read more: Preserved properly, your emails and Zoom calls will help public servants in future pandemics, says David Fricker


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