Digital record keeping reaches three-quarters across government

By April, 2017Federal, ICT
The National Archives of Australia has found that three-quarters of government departments and agencies use digital record keeping.

National Archives of Australia director-general, David Fricker. Image: CeBIT Australia/flickr

A new report from the National Archives of Australia has found that three-quarters of government agencies manage their records digitally.

In the report titled Implementation of Digital Continuity in the Australian Government, the Archives has laid out the progress of the Australian Government’s Digital Continuity 2020 Policy, which aims to ensure all government entities are digitally compliant.

It might seems like a steep climb in such a short amount of time for that to happen in three years, but the Archives is quick to point out its achievements in boosting digital compliance in the report.

Archives Director-General David Fricker said from 2010 to 2015, the number of agencies working digitally has increased by 44 per cent, with almost three-quarters of agencies reporting they now manage most records digitally.

The report was submitted to Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, and details the ‘integral role’ on information governance and digital information management in the government’s digital transformation agenda.

Drawing on surveys undertaken by the National Archives in 2015 and 2016, the report identifies achievements in information management capability and performance.

But there are also areas for improvement, according to Mr Fricker.

“Although agencies have made progress in digital information management, there is still more that needs to be done,” Mr Fricker said.

“The continuing potential for loss of valuable government information is one of our greatest concerns. We are working together with agencies to improve that and assist with their progress towards digital information continuity by 2020.”

Mr Fricker has been previously vocal about the need for governments to ensure that digital records are always accessible in the future because of their risk of “vanishing” due to non-compliance with recordkeeping standards.

Particularly with the international standard ISO 16175, which would ensure that records are kept in a file format that would be accessible to future digital systems.

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