The year that was in government recordkeeping

2014 was a big year for Government Recordkeeping. Here are the highlights!

The year that was
2014  CC0 1.0


2014 started with some of our staff filming clips about their favourite records in the 50km of archives at QSA for our YouTube channel. Check out Josephine Marsh and Ruth Dickson’s videos to see what their favourites are!

In March version 7 of the GRDS was released to great applause all round! Extensive feedback from all of you led to major changes in the areas of compensation, financial management, government relations, industrial relations, work health & safety and workforce management. We’ve already started work on version 8 which will be the best ever! Have your say now! #GRDSRenewal

In April we hosted our Records & Information Management Forum in Brisbane. Over one hundred records professionals came along to hear updates from QSA and informative presentations about the work our agencies are doing to go digital.

May saw GRK staff attending the RIMPA Queensland State Conference in Brisbane with the theme of ‘Cloudy with a chance of information’. The conference challenged us to move away from traditional ways of doing things and into the digital recordkeeping age. It certainly got us thinking!

We leapt into the world of social media with the launch of our GRK blog, Records Connect. Since the first one, Testing the waters of a recordkeeping blog, we have gone ahead in leaps and bounds with lots more blogs on recordkeeping topics of interest to come in 2015!GRK-blog-header3

In August, Government Recordkeeping began working with the Department of the Premier & Cabinet (DPC) on their Digital Transition Project.  DPC are moving to 1 William Street and had a basement full of records that needed to be appraised and disposed of or transferred to QSA.  This was a great chance to work in partnership with an agency to help them achieve their recordkeeping goals. Partnerships also help us to improve our advice and guidance, and to make sure our tools and processes are as easy as possible to use and follow.

Working with DPC identified a barrier that was making digitisation disposal difficult. This resulted in changes to our Digitisation Disposal Policy and Decommissioning Toolkit which now allows an authorised delegate to approve the disposal of digital records. This is a great example of us rethinking the way we do things in response to feedback.

In September, Julie Shanks, our Policy and Research Manager donned a hard hat (very attractive!) and with the Acting State Archivist, Darren Crombie toured the 1 William Street construction site.  We are working with the departments moving in to make sure their recordkeeping will be as high-tech as the building itself.

1 William Street


October saw one of our Policy Officers attend the RIMPA Queensland Local Government and Corporations Chapter symposium in Mackay with the catchy title ‘To the cloud and beyond’. It was a great opportunity to meet some of our regional clients and learn more about the challenges of recordkeeping in the cloud especially for those agencies working in remote locations.

November was the big launch of our ‘Keeping Records Together’ initiative. This was the result of months of planning, agonising and challenging how we do things and asking ‘what do you want?’ On launch day we published lots of new stuff which we hope you love!

  • the Born Digital, Stay Digital discussion paper
  • the GRDS Renewal discussion paper
  • Queensland records – how we do it
  • What records do I need to keep?
  • our first Mythbuster – Records, retention & disposal myths: what you need to know
  • our new Customer Charter
  • a new dedicated email address, and
  • refreshed retention and disposal schedule webpages.

The Government Recordkeeping team was actively involved in QSA’s PaperLite Project from September to December 2014. Staff participated in a Clean Up day, reviewing work processes to reduce printing and identifying technology that will improve the way we work.

November also saw a representative from our Agency Services team attend the joint National Archives of Australia (NAA) and the Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA) residential in Canberra to discuss the challenges of digital appraisal and disposal. The residential provided an opportunity to think deeply about the appraisal and disposal of digital records. Look out for changes to the way we appraise records and authorise disposal after this challenging and thought-provoking opportunity.

December wasn’t a month to wind down for the year! We consulted on our Born Digital, Stay Digital discussion paper and also put out our GRDS Renewal discussion paper for feedback. There’s still time to comment on the GRDS—consultation closes on 27 February 2015—so let us know what you think!

December also saw our first Keeping records together celebration where we invited our recordkeepers to come and celebrate the end of the year with us and learn more about what we have been up to. It was great to see so many of you there and share our experiences with you. We hope to put on more of these in the future!



What else have we done?

We’ve also hosted four Public Authorities Practitioners’ Group (PAPG) meetings this year. The group is made up of records professionals from public authorities who meet quarterly to provide advice and feedback to QSA and discuss (and solve!) recordkeeping challenges. This year we had representatives from over 21 agencies.

The hot topics discussed during the year were:

  • the release of the GRDS
  • review of QSA’s file issue service
  • discussing the challenges of managing restricted access to records held at QSA
  • the implementation of digital signatures
  • appraisal and disposal in the digital environment
  • upcoming changes to the way we publish our advice
  • proposed new approaches to the GRDS
  • partnerships with our stakeholders
  • 2014/2015 Recordkeeping Survey
  • short-term value records, and
  • the benefits of implementing a GRDS Lite.

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