The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) published new research on freedom of information (FOI) culture in Victoria and the importance of proactive and informal release of information. “The release of documents under the FOI Act is not the only way that governments can share information with the public” said Information Commissioner Sven Bluemmel. “Governments can also get on the front foot and proactively release information, without the need for individuals to first make an FOI request.” OVIC strongly encourages all agencies to adopt policies and systems that facilitate the release of information proactively and informally. Proactive transparency will help to build public trust, which will assist governments to address complex policy issues and improve service delivery. Read the key findings here.
Information Access Commissioners and Commonwealth Ombudsman have released the findings of their second cross jurisdictional study of community attitudes on access to government information. The 2021 Information Access Study measures citizens’ awareness of the right to access government information, and their experiences and outcomes in exercising that right. Key findings include: The importance of the right to access information is consistently recognised by respondents in each jurisdiction. The majority of respondents in each jurisdiction were aware that they had the right to access information from government departments/agencies. In general, citizens were able to obtain information successfully in each jurisdiction. Read the statement from the Commissioners or view the research findings here.
The Australian Government has agreed or agreed in principle to all 20 recommendations made by the Functional and Efficiency Review of the National Archives of Australia(NAA) referred to as the Tune Review. While the Tune Review recommended a proposed Government Information Management Model (GIMM), where records management across government would be centralised to the NAA, the Government intends as the first step to convene a committee to drive efficiencies and improvements in the short to medium term. Read the Tune review and the Government’s response.
The rise of flexible working arrangements means that collaboration tools, such as videoconferencing and instant messaging tools, as well as cloud-based document creation and sharing services, are increasingly essential to facilitate collaboration. The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner has provided guidance to assist organisations to consider their privacy obligations when implementing and using collaboration tools, plus information security and record-keeping considerations. Read the Guidance here.
The Victorian Information Commissioner’s report into the delay in disclosure of government documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) was recently tabled in the Victorian Parliament. Between 2015 and 2020, the proportion of FOI decisions made on time in Victoria declined from 95% to 79%. The investigation examined the extent and causes of delay at agencies, which included resourcing issues, process, technology, culture, communication and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the report here.
Almost 300,000 records of Australian history including radio recordings of former prime minister John Curtin and a petition to King George V for Indigenous representation in Federal Parliament will be saved after a $67.7 million funding injection into the National Archives. The Tune Review, released in March this year said immediate action was needed to preserve deteriorating records in paper-based form, as well as magnetic tape audiovisual records, photos and film, to ensure they weren’t lost forever. Cybersecurity was also underscored as an urgent priority, with the collection of government records otherwise vulnerable to obsolescence, attack, compromise or loss.
The recently released Tune Report proposes a new integrated, whole of government model for information management and record keeping and for the storage, digitisation and preservation of government records across the Australian federal government. The model seeks to generate efficiencies across government sufficient to support the necessary investment in digital capacity within the National Archives and other priorities. It has three tranches: A major investment in a new 5th Generation Digital Archive (5thGDA) that will bring the National Archives ICT systems into the digital age, enabling end-to-end handling of records from creation through to access A Government Information Management Model (GIMM), with the National Archives having responsibility for information management across Australian Government agencies, to support improved records management, to provide better compliance with the objectives set down in the Archives Act, and to escalate digitisation of the Archives records. This seeks to provide whole-of- government efficiencies A Centralised Storage […]
This article aims to generate discussion about strategies to improve information security – in particular to support people in appropriately handling sensitive information (recognising the human factor as one of the main weaknesses in security programs); leveraging existing systems and frameworks to enhance interoperability; and encouraging knowledge sharing between IG professionals across different domains. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. SUMMARY Both national security and crisis management require highly sensitive information to be securely shared between applications, individuals, organisations and jurisdictions. Vulnerabilities could leave agencies exposed to greater risks during a period with a high threat of espionage. Automation can support people sharing sensitive documents, to reduce manual handling and human error. This could be achieved by enhancing existing capabilities and standards, drawing on frameworks from both information security and records management. Geopolitics and COVID-19 bring renewed focus to cybersecurity Cybersecurity is a priority for all organisations, […]
The National Archives of Australia‘s new whole-of-government information management policy, Building Trust in the Public Record: managing information and data for government and community is now in force – https://bit.ly/3nfgGlV The new policy supports a holistic approach to information and asset management using information governance. The aim of the policy is to continue to improve information management capability within the Australian Government (Cth) to meet current and future needs for trusted, authentic and reliable records, information and data for government and community. Accompanying the policy release are new, updated and existing National Archives guides and supporting advice to help government agencies implement the policy and meet each of the 17 policy actions. Learn more about what is required here including reviewing and updating your information governance framework to incorporate enterprise-wide information management including governance of records, information and #data: https://bit.ly/3ndX5CC
Information Governance ANZ was pleased to host an interactive forum with David Fricker, Director-General of the National Archives of Australia regarding the new policy Building Trust in the Public Record: managing information and data for government and community. This interactive session covered: · Key information management requirements for Australian Government agencies · Actions that agencies can take to build information management capability and address areas of low performance · Current and future needs for authentic and reliable information and dat a by government and community The importance of trust David outlined the role of the National Archives and its responsibilities under the Archives Act 1983. NAA identifies archival resources, preserves them and provides the government and community with access to those resources. The Archives also develops standards to help Commonwealth agencies manage data and information – ensuring the integrity and accessibility of these resources for as long as they are needed. The public […]
In celebration of International Access to Information Day and Right to Know Week in NSW 2020, we held an event on AI Transparency in Digital Government with NSW Information Commissioner Elizabeth Tydd, Victorian Information Commissioner Sven Bluemmel and Dr Jat Singh, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. The discussion focused on the duty government agencies have to disclose algorithms used in providing services and making decisions about services and benefits to citizens. The Commissioners highlighted that robust procurement processes are essential where technology using algorithms are being procured by agencies. Commissioner Bluemmel said the bar needs to be set really high where the algorithmic decision-making involves people and their liberties and livelihood. Transparency is necessary to understand how the decisions are made in order to assert our rights. Dr Singh pointed out that transparency needs to be meaningful so that it allows us to be able to interrogate, scrutinize and challenge, and it requires organisations to give careful consideration […]
The National Archives of Australia (NAA) published in July 2020 the draft policy Building Trust in the Public Record: managing information and data for government and community. It was been released together with a list of supporting advice that exists, or will be developed or updated, to support the policy. InfoGovANZ submitted its feedback in response to the new policy, which is available here. The new policy will take effect from 1 January 2021 and will follow the current Digital Continuity 2020 policy (DC2020) which concludes at the end of this year. The policy seeks to improve information management capability within the Australian Government to meet current and future needs for authentic and reliable information and data by government and community.
Posted with permission from Active Navigation, originally published on June 10. In this special guest feature, Dean Gonsowski, Chief Revenue Officer at Active Navigation, InfoGovANZ's Foundation Sponsor, focuses on what steps a company needs to follow to review, understand and clean-up their data to eliminate security risks. As a former litigator/GC/AGC, Dean has a proven track record of accelerating the rapid development of high growth, venture backed software companies (such as Relativity/kCura, Clearwell/Veritas, Recommind/Opentext). He is a seasoned professional with the ability to build/manage teams, run P&Ls in executive leadership roles including Sales, Strategy, Business Development, Marketing and Professional Services. Dean has a JD from the University of San Diego School of Law and a BS from the University of California, Santa Barbara. The volume and variety of data created in the past decade doesn’t show signs of slowing down – nor does the pace of hacking attempts. Unstructured data, also […]
After 37 years we can view the correspondence between the Governer-General and the Palace in the lead up to the dismissal of the Whitlam Government. Watch National Archives of Australia Director-General David Fricker on the release of the Palace Letters – all 1,200 pages, here: https://bit.ly/300Kb0U Congratulations to Professor Jenny Hocking on the historic High Court win enabling the National Archives of Australia to release the records. The Palace Letters are now available to download as PDFs on the National Archives of Australia website.
The Information and Privacy Commissioner NSW has developed a fact sheet to provide guidance about the definition of record, in particular digital records under the GIPA Act and what it means for agencies. The fact sheet also outlines the importance of agencies maintaining good digital recordkeeping practices to ensure it is able to comply with its legislative obligations.
IAM2020 was launched by Director-General of the National Archives of Australia, David Fricker with an engaging panel discussion with Information Commission NSW – Elizabeth Tydd, digital media expert on the role of information and impact of misinformation Dr Timothy Graham, and Kathryn Dan, Blue Shield Australia. The critical roles of data, access to information and the challenges of misinformation were highlighted in the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as the recent Australian bushfires. You can access the recording of the session here: IAM2020 Launch High Res Recording | IAM2020 Launch Low Res Recording
To celebrate Information Awareness Month (IAM2020) and Privacy Awareness Week (PAW2020), we kicked off with an online panel discussion on the myriad of Information Governance issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our panellists included – Melanie Marks, Christopher Colwell, Sonya Sherman, Dr Peter Chapman, Matthew Golab and the discussion was facilitated by Susan Bennett. The importance of connectivity and of access to trusted information, the role of fit for purposes systems to capture records during a crisis and accountability for decisions made during the pandemic period were all highlighted. Discussion around the COVIDSafeApp emphasised that privacy by design and governance of data are key for user trust. A key focus of the discussion were increased information security and cybersecurity risks with the move to working from home. These include the risks of data leakage, data breach, shadow IT and cyber-crimes. In summary, the discussion emphasised that the myriad of information, records, […]
The theme of Building Trust was the focus of the FOI in WA conference recently. Trust was explored in two ways. Firstly, considering how Freedom of Information (FOI) can build public trust in government; and secondly, advice and inspiration to help practitioners trust themselves and the FOI process to meet the objects of the FOI Act (WA): to enable the public to participate more effectively in governing the State’ and to make the persons and bodies that are responsible for State and local government more accountable to the public. Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop AC gave the keynote presentation. He discussed the role of openness as a foundation for democracy. This is based on the view that information held by government is a public resource which should be used for public benefit; and that the community has a right to be informed about government operations. FOI and information governance FOI is […]
RIMPA Live 2019 was held at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, marking 50 years of RIMPA and its 35th Annual Conference. It was a conference filled with a keynotes, plenary sessions and roundtables over the three days of the conference. There were several keynotes including CTO and entrepreneur Gus Balbontin, Richard Foy, New Zealand’s Chief Archivist, information thought-leader Randy Kuhn Esq from the US and Kevin Sheedy AO, AFL Legend. The first fifty years of RIMPA The conference kicked off with David Moldrich Life FRIM outlining the history of the Australian recordkeeping profession and some of the key moments in the professions’ history such as the establishment of the Records Management Association of Australia (RMAA now RIMPA) and the development and implementation computer-aided records management systems and their successors the Electronic Document and Records Management System or EDRMS. David highlighted the contribution of the Australian recordkeeping profession to the state […]
Information Governance is by its very nature interdisciplinary. Of course it needs leaders, but great information governance leaders are those that enable a multi-disciplinary team approach to thrive. This is best done by allowing the distinct approaches to information brought by members of the team to exist in both cooperation and creative dissent. The organisational context and information culture determines exactly which skills are brought into the collective mix of information governance, but typically it includes compliance, risk, privacy, risk, security, recordkeeping, data management and analytics (and more in the American context, e-discovery). Each of these focus areas bring specific approaches to their patch of information governance – the trick is to get each to play to their strengths without drowning out or diminishing the important roles of others. Playing nicely across information disciplines is not a given, and fostering that capability is the skill of the information governance leader. […]