Media release: Wednesday, 10 October 2012
The National Archives of Australia has released its priorities for the next five years in its 2012-2017 Corporate Plan. One key aim is to support Commonwealth agencies in moving to digital information and records management.
'Saving information electronically, instead of adding to the existing mountains of paper, will help the government sector work smarter and in a more environmentally-friendly way,' said Director-General David Fricker.
'Using current technology to manage information makes good business and environmental sense, as well as ensuring government records remain more easily accessible by the public.'
'We expect that, by 2015, information that is “born digital” will be stored and managed digitally and transferred to us in digital formats.'
Another key priority is ensuring the National Archives has sufficient storage to secure and preserve the archival resources of the Commonwealth.
'We have a commitment to two new building projects: a new preservation facility in the ACT and major refurbishment of our existing repository at Mitchell in the ACT. We also plan to fund an upgrade of our repository at Chester Hill in Sydney. These projects will allow us to accept records up until 2031.'
Following the success of one-stop archival research centres in Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide, the National Archives will also investigate developing shared services with other state and territory archival organisations.
Another major commitment by the National Archives is to ensure information is accessible by the public, especially in relation to changes to the Archives Act and freedom of information reforms in 2010. These changes introduced the 20-year rule whereby documents will eventually be available to the public after 20 years – taking privacy matters into consideration before information is released.
'The Commonwealth records we preserve are only of value if people have access to them,' said Mr Fricker. 'We are committed to continue working to ensure access in a variety of ways, including online.'