The future of Australian Government records management has been a topic of discussion and debate across the Australian Public Service and external electronic digital records management systems vendors for many years.
The Initiative is a whole-of-government initiative focused on supporting the development of modernised digital records and information capability across Australian Government and applies to non-corporate Commonwealth entities.
The Government has agreed to modernise the common function of recordkeeping by taking advantage of new technologies, particularly those that automate the capture and classification of records.
Finance released the Digital Records Transformation Initiative Sourcing Strategy Framework – currently in Live Beta phase.
Finance commenced co-design with Commonwealth entities and the private sector, with Discovery and Alpha phases conducted at the Digital Transformation Agency.
November - December 2018
Finance released the Digital Records Transformation Initiative – Sourcing Strategy Discussion Paper and subsequent Findings and Next Steps.
Finance undertook a 12-week Demonstration of Concept (the Demonstration) to test the concept of automating records capture and categorisation via machine learning and semantic data technologies. It was concluded that while the Government is best placed to describe its functions, industry is working towards automation and would be best placed to provide the digital records management systems that would be compatible with the government-developed Australian Government Records Interoperability Framework.
Finance hosted a series of Market Days to investigate the records management industry’s capabilities to provide a whole of government platform based on the proposed approach found in the Position Paper on the Indicative Strategy for the Development of a Whole of Government Digital Records Platform. Key strengths demonstrated included connectivity to external systems, automation using rules-based approaches, and the move in the market towards microservices architecture. Apparent gaps were around the support for a machine learning auto-classification approach and support for ontology management, which are key to the proposed approach. The panel found that automation capabilities were mainly demonstrated through rules-based classification rather than through Artificial Intelligence technologies.
2015 Pre-Feasibility Study
Found there was sufficient commonality of the records management business process pattern across agencies to undertake a Feasibility Study into a Whole of Government EDRMS solution.
Finance undertook a Request for Information with the purpose of understanding innovation within the records management industry - results indicated that industry was not yet developing a service capable of automating records management in the Government context.
Feasibility Study to examine the business, technical and financial costs and benefits of a Whole of Government EDRMS - A major finding of the Study was that industry, users and the records management profession agreed that current records management practices are not sustainable due to the rapid growth of government data. To effectively manage this growth, recordkeeping should happen automatically in the background, rather than being the responsibility of end-users.