Information governance goes digital

All federal government agencies will transition to entirely digital work processes under a new five-year plan to establish a consistent approach to information governance.

Digital Continuity 2020 has been introduced by the National Archives of Australia (NAA) and will apply to all federal government agencies. It relates to government information, data and records, including systems, services and processes as well as information created by other parties on behalf of agencies.

'Digital continuity' is an approach to creating and managing information that can be trusted and used for as long as needed, despite technological change. The policy enables the integration of information governance principles and practices into the work of agencies, as well as their governance arrangements.

The NAA's policy is based on three principles:

  • Agencies will manage their information as an asset, ensuring that it is created and managed for as long as required, taking into account business and other needs and risks.
  • Agencies will transition to entirely digital work processes, meaning business processes including authorisations and approvals are completed digitally, and that information is created and managed in digital format.
  • Agencies will have inter-operable information, systems and processes that meet standards for short and long-term management, improve information quality and enable information to be found, managed, shared and re-used easily and efficiently.

NAA director general David Fricker said: "Each year the organisation reports to government on the status of digital information management in agencies and recommends further enhancements. The standards within our new policy will become whole-of-government requirements and we're providing agencies with this opportunity to enhance their skills in digital continuity leading up to 2020."

The new policy principles for agencies include the establishment of information governance committees by 30 June 2016, along with assessment of systems against the standard ISO 16175 and implementation of minimum metadata standards

Digital Continuity 2020 has already commenced and will be phased in over the next five years.

For more information, visit the National Archives of Australia website.