More about the Digital Records Transformation Initiative

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 was a whole-of-government initiative focused on supporting the development of modernised digital records and information capability across Australian Government and it applied 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.


June 2021

A joint ministerial media release 'Australian company raises the bar for digital data management', by the Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, and the Minister for Government Services, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, is available from the Ministers website.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission provided details of their recent procurement on AusTender.

March 2021

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) announced finalisation of their procurement on AusTender. The DTA applied the Initiative's Sourcing Strategy Process to approach the open market for an innovative, end user focused records management solution. The DTA sought an 'as-a-service' records management solution that could automatically capture and classify records from multiple sources, including SharePoint Online and Microsoft Exchange, into a single searchable asset with minimal user input.

August – October 2020

The Department of Finance (Finance) and the procuring entities led Proofs of Concept (POCs) with shortlisted vendors. Due to COVID-19, these POCs were conducted online with the end users of records solutions actively testing each product against a series of problem statements' that detailed known issues with content management.

May - July 2020

4 Approaches to Market were released on AusTender by the procuring entities. The kinds of functionality sought included automated capture and classification of records with minimal user intervention, full enterprise search, and the ability to 'manage in place' rather than saving a record into a separate business system.

July 2019 - March 2020

Finance released the Digital Records Transformation Initiative Sourcing Strategy Framework in July 2019. From July 2019 to March 2020, over 30 problem definition workshops with Commonwealth entities were led by Finance.

February 2019

Finance commenced co-design with Commonwealth entities and the private sector, with Discovery and Alpha phases conducted at the Digital Transformation Agency.

Early 2018

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.

September 2017

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.

Early 2016

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.

October 2015

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.

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