Policy Requirement 1.1 of the Records Governance Policy requires agencies to assign formal records management responsibilities to key roles within the business to monitor and support the active implementation of this policy.
So, who can have a key role? And who should have one?
A key role can be any role that is able to monitor and support the implementation of the policy.
What positions are key roles will depend on each agency’s organisational structure and unique culture. This might be a specialist records management, executive, or senior management role. The responsibilities of the key role might also sit with group such as a governance board or committee in your agency.
For a large agency, it might be best suited to be a governance board or committee. These tend to have leadership and representatives from across the agency and so can provide varied expert insights into the agency’s recordkeeping and implementation of the policy. Agencies can link to existing committees for this too, you don’t need to create a new one.
For a medium agency, it might be the head of the records and information management unit. With their specialist knowledge of recordkeeping and of the agency, they can make connections with other agency areas to implement any changes needed.
For a smaller agency, it might be the CEO or head of the corporate area or the administration officer. Though they may not have specialist recordkeeping knowledge, but they have intimate knowledge of every part of the agency and its goals.
What should the key role do?
The key role should:
- be familiar with the Records Governance Policy
- act as a champion for the Policy as well as records management
- gather support to help them (this could be a formal project team/s but doesn’t need to be)
- lead the determination of what changes are needed to ensure compliance with the Policy
- collaborate with or enable collaboration between different units to achieve records management aims
- communicate with other parts of the agency to educate on and obtain buy in for records management changes
- allocate or advocate for the allocation of resources for records management projects and objectives
- report on records management to the executive
- ensure any delegations are appropriate and regularly review the delegations.
Does the key role have to be a senior or executive role?
Not necessarily – it can be any role capable of leading implementation of the policy.
Odds are this means it will probably need to be a senior position at least. We haven’t made seniority a requirement because we recognise that all agencies are different and the best person for the task is not always one who is sitting in a senior role. However, the officer in the key role needs the support for records management from senior levels.
We’ve outsourced our recordkeeping, does that mean they’re the ones who need the key role?
No – the responsibility to have a key role still sits with your agency in the same way that outsourcing doesn’t change a Chief Executive’s responsibility to ensure the agency meets their Public Records Act obligations.
If you’ve outsourced your recordkeeping, you still need to have a key role/s in your agency. After all, it’s your agency’s staff – not the external company – that’s making and receiving your records. In this situation, your key role will be working with your agency and the external company to ensure implementation of the Records Governance Policy.
Do we have to tell you who our key role is or if they change?
Nope, you don’t need to tell us.
Well, kind of.
In the Building Digital Capability – the Records Governance Policy Survey, we’ll ask you a few questions about your agency’s implementation of the policy including this part of Policy Requirement 1. Other than that, you don’t need to let us know who your key role is or if it changes.
Who are your key roles? How are they implementing the Records Governance Policy? What challenges are they facing? Leave a comment below!