Friday, May 20 2022

Archives New Zealand, Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga has published a report on the results of its third annual survey, which monitors the progress of information management in the public sector.

Archives New Zealand (Archives NZ) is the regulatory body under the Public Archives Act 2005, ensuring that public sector information is well managed.

The report reflects the key survey indicators reported in the Annual Report on the State of Government Recordkeeping, published last December. Both reports indicate that there is still room for improvement in information management.

“A third year of investigation has provided further assurance as to the consistency of the information and data collected in the series,” says Chief Archivist Kaipupuri Matua Stephen Clarke.

“While we are pleased with the openness and transparency of responding agencies, the report did not confirm any significant improvements in information management in the public sector.

“To reiterate what I said in the annual report, Archives NZ has a growing set of oversight tools, but government record keeping processes, policies, platforms and practices have not kept pace with the pace of technological advances.

“An information management system designed for the digital age will ensure that there is no excuse for poor record keeping. We must actively use the processes and tools available.

“Archives NZ adds value to New Zealand and the public service, by having a memory we can remember, to make better decisions to improve our service delivery to our people. We preserve the past for inform the present, to achieve a better future.

The Archives is currently working on an Assessment, Disposal, and Implementation (ADI) redesign project to see how it can work toward effective management of digital information by design across government. . An Information Maturity Assessment for Government Agencies already provides clear and specific self-assessment guidance on the Archives’ information management maturity expectations.

A key finding from the 2020/21 annual survey and the first cohort of audits of the new audit program shows that change continues to be slow. There has been little improvement, and sometimes regression in categories such as information management personnel and disposal, over the past decade.

“In the age of the rapid pace of data, standing still is going backwards,” Clarke says.

While the number of organizations establishing governance groups for information management has increased from 52% to 60%, greater effort is required from the remaining organizations to also establish groups.

“An active governance group is the foundation for elevating the importance of information management in organizations and integrating it into business operations,” says Clarke.

“When a formal governance group is present, the organization is more likely to embed information management requirements into new business systems.”

Additionally, only a marginal increase, from 50% to 52%, of information management requirements built into enterprise systems implemented in the past 12 months was of concern.

“This is unacceptable, especially since information management requirements have been mandatory for over a decade now. It is of great concern to see the low number of organizations that have integrated information management requirements into new business systems. »

The survey was sent to 258 public sector organizations between June 8 and 25 last year, including 180 public offices that had to respond. Overall, the response rate was 84%, up from 80% last year. Thirty-three public offices did not respond to the survey, including 15 public offices. A complete list can be found in the appendices of the report.

The archives will engage more with public sector organizations on recent publications, to raise awareness and communicate expectations.

The findings report can be seen here.

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