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Better Recordkeeping For small NSW public offices. Cassie Findlay and Dawn Routledge 24 February 2004. Program. Records & recordkeeping Policy & procedures Recordkeeping systems & tools Training & education Other help. What is a record?.

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Better Recordkeeping For small NSW public offices

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Better RecordkeepingFor small NSW public offices

Cassie Findlay and Dawn Routledge

24 February 2004


  • Records & recordkeeping

  • Policy & procedures

  • Recordkeeping systems & tools

  • Training & education

  • Other help

What is a record?

  • ‘information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business’

    • AS ISO 15489 (2002), Records Management, Part 1: General, Clause 3.16

What is good recordkeeping?

  • creating records to:

    • support ongoing business

    • meet accountability requirements

  • capturing records into recordkeeping systems

  • managing records for maximum use and value over time

Why good recordkeeping is important

  • better performance, decision making

  • effective corporate governance

  • better compliance with business, regulatory requirements

  • protection, support in litigation

  • better reuse of business information

Mandatory requirements

  • create and manage records to support your business

  • do not destroy records without approval

  • store records appropriately

  • protect records from disaster

  • keep electronic records accessible

Key strategies

  • develop and implement recordkeeping / records management policy

  • Develop and implement recordkeeping systems / tools

  • conduct training & education

Develop and implement policy, procedures

  • covering all record formats

  • describes official recordkeeping systems

  • rules for recordkeeping

  • records management services

  • responsibilities

Develop and implement recordkeeping systems and tools

  • avoid practice of information silos – where staff members keep ‘their own’ records

    • no information sharing

    • poor business practice

    • illegal and inappropriate records management practices

What are recordkeeping systems?

  • recordkeeping systems are systems that capture, maintain and provide access to records through time

    • AS ISO 15489 (2002), Records Management, Part 1: General, Clause 3.17

What does a recordkeeping system look like?

  • can take a variety of forms

    • paper – files and supporting indexes

    • electronic – off the shelf software, custom built system, configured standard tools such as Excel

    • combination of above

  • key features:

    • shared, supported by policy and procedure, staff are trained in its use, incorporates recordkeeping tools, maintains authentic, useable and protected records

What are recordkeeping tools?

  • recordkeeping instruments that help you manage your records accountably and appropriately

    • disposal authorities

    • classification schemes

    • security schemes

    • recordkeeping metadata

How do you improve recordkeeping systems?

  • work with staff to eliminate duplication

  • implement recordkeeping tools

    • basic classification scheme

    • disposal rules

  • review system functionality regularly

    • are people actually using it?

    • is it meeting staff and business needs?

How do you improve recordkeeping systems?

  • regular monitoring of

    • system use, downtime, etc.

    • automated features such as date/time

    • file audits

    • emails being captured

  • identify problem areas and training needs

Training and education

  • All staff need to:

    • realise that recordkeeping is a significant part of their job – it’s not just the role of records staff

    • know that they make and keep records and that these records need to be appropriately managed and made accessible

    • understand the systems and rules you want to implement

    • understand that these rules apply to records in all formats, including email

Tips for change management and staff education

  • you can never start too early

  • acknowledge that people can feel possessive about ‘their’ records

  • explain reasons and benefits of changes you’re making

  • be clear about the effect on staff and the way they do things

Other help

  • Guidance

    • GRK Manual, particularly ‘Create and Capture’ and ‘How to take control of your records’

  • State Records’ training courses

    • Records Management Fundamentals

    • IRDA/Implementing GDA 10

    • Using a keyword thesaurus

Contact State Records

  • for any tips or advice about implementing good recordkeeping, please contact us:

    • 02 8247 8627


  • visit web pages for small public offices:

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