It’s been over a year now since the Records Governance Policy was released, and you’ve had a chance to get used to it and start thinking about how to make it work in your agency. In that time, you’ve asked us some questions… what to do, how to do it, what does this bit mean etc.
Here’s some of the FAQs we’ve had since it’s release.
When do I have to be compliant by?
You do not need to be compliant straight away.
The goal is to work towards better, more strategic records management over time.
How do I measure how I’m doing?
You can use the Recordkeeping Maturity Assessment Tool to help gauge your agency’s level of maturity against each policy requirement now.
The MS Excel version of the tool also includes an Action Plan that you can use to identify what areas need improvements and how you can do that.
How do we do this bit or that bit?
There is no one way to meet the Policy. How each agency meets the requirements will look different because every agency is different.
How do vital records fit in?
Vital records are not mentioned in the Policy because we are moving away from this terminology. Any vital records will be high-value, but high-value records are not necessarily vital.
When we refer to vital records (for example, on our website) we are specifically referring to the records necessary to keep an agency running in the event of a disaster.
What’s the difference between ‘complete and reliable’ and ‘full and accurate’?
The change in terminology is not a change in requirements.
We have adopted ‘complete and reliable’ in order to give further guidance on the characteristics a record should have to meet an agency’s recordkeeping requirements.
If we’re compliant with IS40 and 31, do we need to do anything to be compliant with the policy?
Possibly. Because of the shift from an operational to a strategic focus, agencies that were compliant with IS40 and 31 will not necessarily meet the requirements of the Records Governance Policy.
What are the differences between this policy and IS40/31?
There are a few, so we developed a factsheet to help – What’s changed? The new records governance policy factsheet .
How do I provide feedback on the new Policy?
We are keen to hear your thoughts about the policy, what’s working as well as any issues you may be having with implementation. Tell us what you think.
When will this policy be reviewed again?
We have plans to formally review the policy in 2020.
If we implement something to meet a policy requirement, can you check it to make sure it’s right?
We can really only provide general guidance as your agency is better placed than anyone else to define and shape your recordkeeping practices.
Does it apply to me? Who does it apply to?
All public authorities in Queensland as defined by Schedule 2 of the Public Records Act 2002. If you’re still not sure, contact us and we can help you out.
I’m not a Government Department, does this apply to me?
The Policy is applicable to all public authorities as defined in the Public Records Act 2002.
Although the QGEA, where the policy is published, is primarily applicable to Government Departments, the Policy has extended applicability to cover all public authorities.
Who approves ‘approved business systems and applications’? Can you tell me what should be approved?
Your agency is responsible for determining what business systems and applications it will approve and on what basis.
This is to ensure that the systems and applications meet your agency’s unique needs and circumstances.
You do need to make records discoverable and accessible for use and re-use, which includes keeping records in business systems and applications approved for use, and actively monitoring the health of records.
A traditional electronic document and records management system (eDRMS) may not suit all agencies or situations.
You may need the ability to:
- Link the record to business context
- Manage the records so they remain complete and reliable
- Keep and destroy records as required
- Facilitate importing and exporting.
For more information, have a look at our advice on determining business and technology requirements.
Other archives have also published advice on this too – check out Assessing information management functionality in business systems from the National Archives of Australia and the Checklist for assessing business systems from NSW State Archives and Records.
Is this a QSA policy or a QGCIO policy?
The Records Governance Policy is a State Archivist-approved policy that is part of the QGEA (which is administered by the QGCIO).
Records management is a legislatively enforced domain within the Information Management Framework and this gives weight and authority to the nature of the RGP.
This looks like a big change – what should I do first?
Third, talk to people in your agency about the changes.
Then you can start thinking about the gaps between your current records management activities and the new policy requirements.
What do you mean by governance framework?
Your governance framework is the how your agency does its work. It includes your agency’s strategies, methodologies, policies, people, structure and your business context.
You can find more information about this on the website. More advice on this topic will be coming soon.
What do you mean by broader agency frameworks? What if my agency doesn’t have any other governance in place?
This part of the policy is about consistency, coherency and integration.
Consider how your records management framework fits in with the rest of the agency. Is it part of every other part? Is it discussed in strategic plans and long-term goals? Take parts of what is working in other areas of your agency and use this to embed recordkeeping into your current functions, activities and processes.
Are you going to give us templates for the documents you want us to include in our governance framework?
There are no templates as there is no one way to meet the Policy.
How each agency meets the requirements will look different because every agency is different. The policy is designed to allow for flexibility.
What about my records that aren’t permanent, high-value and high-risk – do I just ignore them?
Just like under IS31 and IS40, temporary records still need to be managed and disposed of appropriately.
Policy Requirement 4 requires your organisation to prioritise your permanent, high-value and high-risk records. This is about where you devote your energy, resources and focus.
How do I know what’s high-value and high-risk records in my agency? Can you help me with this?
We cannot help your agency identify its individual permanent, high-value and high-risk records because your agency is better placed than anyone else to define and shape your recordkeeping practices.
You will need to think about your agency’s business, operating environment and strategic priorities to determine what records are high-value and high-risk.
Well that’s the main questions we’ve had. If we didn’t answer a question you think we should have, then send us an email and ask away.
Here’s some key links and resources in case you need them:
- Records Governance Policy
- RGP Implementation Guideline
- Recordkeeping Maturity Assessment Tool
- Records Governance Policy blog post series
- What’s changed? The new records governance policy factsheet
- Building digital capability – Records governance baseline survey