Public servants need new skills

Media release: Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Every public servant needs the skills to create and manage digital government information, not only a small group of specialists, says the National Archives of Australia.

'The days have long gone when a handful of people had total responsibility for managing records and information,' said David Fricker, Director-General of the National Archives.

The Archives has just launched a digital information 'capability matrix' which sets out the relevant skills and knowledge required by public servants at all levels. The online resource also includes links to relevant training courses, policies and standards to help staff develop the skills they need.

'Today, every public servant, from new recruits to agency heads, needs to recognise the value of the government information they are creating and handling,' said Mr Fricker.

'Rapid advances in technology, the growing volume of information, and the increasing complexity of the online environment all mean that Australian government agencies face significant challenges in managing their business information.

'The National Archives is responsible for advising all government agencies on how to manage their information for business efficiency and effectiveness, and also to ensure transparency and accountability.'

The skills listed in the 'capability matrix' range from operational staff needing to understand information as a business asset, through to SES officers needing to take responsibility for information management as part of their role.

The matrix is divided into three sections which target different groups: all staff, ICT specialists and information and records management specialists.

Among the many requirements for public servants is the need to understand:

  • the link between information management responsibilities and accountability
  • the value of information as an asset
  • the purpose and benefits of metadata
  • that information cannot be destroyed without appropriate authorisation
  • that risks to information may arise from malicious or inadvertent destruction
  • that information should be accessible and usable for as long as it is required.
 The 'capability matrix' was launched on 27 May 2015 to an audience of senior agency staff.  Guest speaker was Ian Fitzgerald, the Chief Human Capital Officer of the Australian Public Service Commission. He reinforced the importance and value of professional information management skills and knowledge for everyone working in the public sector.

Contact information

  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0417 247 157 e elizabeth.masters@naa.gov.au
  • Vivienne Zelig (Government Communications Manager)
    t 02 6212 6269 m 0415 489 487 e vivienne.zelig@naa.gov.au

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