ISSN 1321-6260
August 2018 - 130

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Benchmarking understanding of government recordkeeping

For the first time, NSW State Archives and Records is researching how well people working for NSW public offices understand their government recordkeeping obligations – and we need your help.

What this means for you
We will soon be sending invitations to complete an online survey. Your feedback will help us help you in meeting your recordkeeping responsibilities, so please fill it in and share it with your colleagues.

Sharing the survey
The 15-minute questionnaire is open to everyone who has responsibilities under the State Records Act 1998, not just information or records managers. This means everyone in your organisation, including employees, contractors, consultants and service providers, is welcome to complete the survey. We’re looking for as many responses as possible. If you have a communications team, consider asking them to share it in a newsletter, email broadcast, or on the intranet. You could also target the survey to particular teams.

Senior Responsible Officer interviews
We’re looking for 15 Senior Responsible Officers (SRO) to participate in a one-hour interview – so we can get a detailed understanding of current perceptions, processes and pain points, if any. Help us help you by agreeing to be interviewed.

How we will use the findings
Findings from the interviews and surveys will set a benchmark of understanding against which we can measure the success of our programs to improve understanding. It will also tell us if our communication is effective, and how we should communicate in future.

We will share the aggregated findings with you on our website.

Why are we doing this?
The benchmarking project supports our work to help everyone who has recordkeeping obligations under the Act to understand their responsibilities, a key focus for us in 2018-19. Related projects include developing a communication strategy and improving the user experience on the Government Recordkeeping website. We will be looking for volunteers to test the useability of our website later this year.

Why improve understanding? So we can all reap the benefits of good recordkeeping – accountable government, reduced risk and informed decision-making (to name a few).

More about the research
Research is being conducted by AMR on our behalf in September, with findings expected by the end of 2018.

This research is solely for gaining insights into current understanding of government recordkeeping obligations. It is not a compliance exercise.

Get involved
To take part in this important research:

  • fill in the survey when received, and share it with your colleagues
  • if you’re an SRO, agree to be interviewed.
  • volunteer for website user testing.

For more information, see our webpage about benchmarking.

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Review of standard on records storage

The Standard on the physical storage of State records establishes the requirements for the storage of active and semi active State records which have a physical format. As the standard is over 5 years old, NSW State Archives and Records has been reviewing the standard to ensure that the requirements remain relevant and assist public offices in implementing best practices for records storage. Work on revising the standard is almost complete and we anticipate circulating a draft soon for your consideration.  We look forward to receiving your feedback.

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SRO and records management contacts

The Standard on records management requires each public office to have a designated Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for records management. The SRO supports the Chief Executive by providing oversight of the public office’s records and information management. We recommend that the SRO should be the most senior officer with responsibility for records and information. If you haven’t nominated a SRO or your designated SRO has changed, please let us know using the new form available from the website.

We also like to keep in contact with records management staff in public offices.  If you would like to advise us of records management contacts at your organisation, please let us know using the new form available from the website. 

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Disposal authorities approved

NSW State Archives and Records recently approved disposal authorities for:

  • Law Enforcement Conduct Commission
  • Taronga Conservation Society
  • Local Land Services
  • Forestry Corporation of NSW

Copies of our retention and disposal authorities are available from the Retention and disposal authorities page on our website.

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