This is a time of innovation and transformation for the National Archives. We are responding to the challenges of the digital environment and embracing the opportunities it presents to improve our business processes and service delivery. To this end we have developed a Digital Transformation Plan that will guide us over the next four years.
At the same time we will continue to ensure the appropriate storage and preservation of analogue-format documents and audiovisual records, and continue to make more of these records available through digital channels.
In line with government and public expectations, we will seek to exploit emerging technologies to improve service delivery and maximise the public’s engagement with the national archival collection.
We will also exploit advancing technologies to save as much of our obsolete or deteriorating audiovisual records through digitisation as our resources allow. The content of these records is irreplaceable cultural heritage that may well be inaccessible beyond 2025 unless we intervene with a program of digital preservation.
The Archives plays a critical role with respect to the management of information across the Commonwealth. We will demonstrate leadership, providing direction and establishing standards for the creation and handling of information, particularly in effective management of digital information through the Digital Continuity 2020 policy.
Our existing outcome framework, business activities and priorities will be regularly reviewed to ensure alignment with relevant Australian Public Service reforms. The Archives will look for new opportunities to improve our governance and business operations – the way we work and deliver our services – so that we operate more effectively, particularly within a tight financial environment.
A highlight of the year ahead will undoubtedly be the relocation of our Canberra-based collection and some of our operations to the custom-designed National Archives Preservation Facility in Mitchell, ACT, which will provide a contemporary facility for the storage and preservation of records and for our staff.
I, David Fricker, as the accountable authority of the National Archives of Australia (the Archives) present the four-year Archives Corporate Plan commencing in 2016–17 for the period 2016–17 to 2019–20, as required under section 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The plan is prepared in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.
The purpose of the Archives is established by the Archives Act 1983, which identifies our key roles and responsibilities. In particular, the objects of the Archives Act are:
The Archives has four purposes, to:
The relationship between these purposes and the outcome statement and program in the Archives' Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17 is shown below.
|PBS outcome||PBS programs||Archives purposes|
|To promote the creation, management and preservation of authentic, reliable and usable Commonwealth records and facilitate Australians’ access to the archival resources of the Commonwealth||Identifying and protecting records of national archival value by transferring them from entities to appropriate custody for secure storage, description and preservation to support continued use by the Australian Government and the public||Identify, secure and manage the archival resources of the Commonwealth|
|Providing access to, promoting and interpreting the collection||Promote, interpret and make available the archival resources of the Commonwealth|
|Guiding entities in building their digital records and information management capability to better equip them to manage their business requirements and meet their obligations under the Archives Act 1983 in an appropriate, contemporary and cost-effective way||Provide information management leadership to the Australian Government|
|Developing archival initiatives that will strengthen Australia's ties with other countries||Maintain and enhance Australia's involvement with the international archival community|
The records and information produced by government represent an invaluable resource for present and future Australians. The effective identification of significant records and their long-term preservation for future access is critical to ensuring the benefits of this resource can be realised.
Over the period 2017–20 the Archives will continue to identify and preserve records of archival value and increase the percentage of the total collection described at item level. It will complete the delivery of its building program thereby securing its capacity to transfer records in Canberra to 2031. It will work towards achieving reduced physical storage costs through implementation of the Digitise and Dispose Policy, and expand capacity for preservation and archiving of digital information including documents, objects and audiovisual records.
By 2020, 36 per cent of the total collection will be described at item level.
|At-risk items provided with preservation treatment in accordance with the National Preservation Strategy and Plan||200,000||200,000||200,000|
The records and information managed by the Archives form the collective memory of the nation. They are valued and accessed by a wide range of users – including government, researchers, historians and members of the public – to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of Australia's heritage, democracy and place in the world. The Archives has a key role in promoting awareness of this resource, and interpreting it to increase understanding of the actions and decisions of government that have shaped Australia.
Over the period 2017–20 the Archives will seek to increase and enhance its interaction with the public, particularly by online means and increasing the number of records digitised and accessed. Delivery of the outreach immigration program will continue through to 2019.
Innovative national travelling exhibitions focussing on the war service of Indigenous Australians and the history of Australia's intelligence agencies will be added to the outreach program from 2017 to 2020.
|Additional record pages digitised and made available online in accordance with the National Digitisation Strategy and Plan||2 million||2 million||2 million|
The Archives provides leadership and direction on information and records management in the Australian Government to achieve sound governance and effective administration, and ensure that future archival resources are readily identifiable and accessible.
Over the period 2017–20 the Archives will continue to assist entities implement the Digital Continuity 2020 policy to achieve progressive targets that support efficiency, innovation, interoperability, information re-use and accountability. The aim is that 90 per cent of entities manage information digitally by default by 2020. In 2017 the Archives will report on entity transition to digital information and records management to the Prime Minister.
The Archives' engagement with the international archives community is consistent with Australian Government policies relating to foreign relations and digital business. Collaborative relationships allow the Archives to deliver more efficient outcomes for the Australian Government and contribute to public diplomacy and the effectiveness of Official Development Assistance through improved accountability. It is also essential for the Archives to have access to and adopt international best practice in, fields such as information policy, document preservation and digital archives management.
The Archives will continue to build capacity in information and records management and archival management in the Pacific region, and advocate for the benefits of information management in the context of sustainable development in all world regions. Tools developed by the Archives for use in the Australian Government context will be adapted and adopted in other jurisdictions for improved public-sector information management capability.
The Archives is in the information business; every aspect of its operations is undergoing profound change as a result of the ‘digital disruption'.
For the Archives this means having the capacity to continue to preserve and manage its existing analogue collection (paper, photographic, film and audiovisual), as well as the analogue records still to be transferred from entities, while adapting our systems and processes to accommodate records and information created in digital formats. Similarly, all of our services to entities and the public must transition to a digital-by-default setting to take every advantage of new and emerging technology.
Under the Digital Continuity 2020 policy, all born-digital records created by entities from 1 January 2016 must be managed digitally, and transferred to the Archives in digital format. While we will continue to receive records in analogue format for some years to come, the Archives must have the capability to ingest, store, preserve and provide access to increasing numbers of born-digital records.
Entities will continue to expect the Archives to provide leadership and direction on managing records, but this means increasingly dealing with digital information. The Digital Continuity 2020 policy was developed by the Archives to address this requirement, and its staged implementation will require the Archives to monitor and guide entities over the next four years.
Government policy and community expectations create an environment in which more services are to be delivered more quickly through online platforms. As with all other entities this will require us to transform and accelerate our service channels, making more and more records readily searchable and deliverable digitally.
The Archives' legislative framework has not been substantially altered since its establishment in the early 1980s. In response to increasing public expectations and demand, the Archives has developed proposed amendments to the Archives Act 1983 to modernise service standards and provide more equitable access to the collection.
Governments and the public also expect the Archives to preserve our cultural, scientific and political heritage captured in records in the collection. Without preservation activities, including digitisation, many historical records will disappear. In recognition that by 2025 only about 30 per cent of magnetic tape formats will have survived, the Archives is working collaboratively with other cultural institutions to preserve as much of its at-risk magnetic tape collection as current resources allow.
The Archives will also have to consider the services it delivers and develop innovative ways of operating with a constrained fiscal environment forecast over the next four years. The delivery strategies outlined in this Corporate Plan reflect the challenges of adapting to change.
The Archives' capability framework and strategic workforce plan will provide support in a dynamic, rapidly changing and demanding public service driven by technological advancement, changing demographics and service delivery reform.
The Archives' workforce will be:
We will continue to review the Archives' organisational structure and re-engineer our traditional roles to provide a workforce that ensures we meet our outcome and support e-government and the digital environment. This will also ensure that we seek to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of our outcome to the government and public in an environment that is forecast to remain fiscally tight.
|Knows the National Archives||Knowledge of the people, processes, technology and frameworks that are essential for working successfully in the Archives and the broader Australian Government context|
|Drives for results||A strong commitment to make things happen, to set and achieve goals, and a determination to find ways to deliver positive outcomes for the Archives' visitors and stakeholders|
|Flexible thinking||The ability to respond flexibly to situations, issues and challenges|
|Self-confidence||An inner confidence in your own capability, and the dedication to find effective ways to overcome obstacles to achieve the best outcomes for the Archives|
|Collaborative working||Being committed to working and engaging constructively with others|
|Strategic insight||The capacity to identify shifts or key trends in the environment, integrating complex issues and new concepts in order to ensure the strategic positioning of the Archives|
|Builds organisational capability||The ability to build the Archives' organisational capability (processes, systems and people) to meet the goals and challenges of the future|
|Leading people through change||Communicating the vision and rationale for change, and engaging and facilitating others to work collaboratively to achieve lasting change|
To guide its digital development up to 2020, the Archives will develop and implement a Digital Transformation Plan. The plan will guide the Archives as it defines its role in the digital future, capitalising on its intellectual property and establishing a digital culture, leadership and workforce by enhancing the Archives' leadership capability at all levels and empowering creativity, innovation and decision-making. The objectives of the plan are to ensure that for all outcomes, outputs and services the Archives' default position is digital, supported by appropriate processes and technology.
In preparing for the digital future the Archives will undertake functional reviews to ensure it is committing its efforts to the right things and in the right way.
The success of the Archives' digital transformation is dependent on it being highly effective and efficient in the delivery of today's outputs and services, and adopting a digital-first operating model underpinned by a philosophy of innovation, creativity, partnering, and rapid design and implementation.
Risk management is an integral part of the Archives' business planning processes. All strategic priorities and operational pathways have a risk component that is considered throughout planning, development and delivery phases to support the achievement of our key business objectives.
The Archives' Risk Management Framework and Policy sets out the intention and direction in which the Archives approaches and manages risk. It is intended to provide the overarching framework for dealing with the entire risk spectrum to which the Archives is exposed, including specific risks, strategic risks, operational risks and business continuity risks.
This Risk Management Framework and Policy adheres to the Australian/New Zealand Standard International Standardisation Organisation (AS/NZS ISO) 31000:2009 Risk Management: principles and guidelines, and applies to all Archives employees, contractors and temporary workers including volunteers.
The Archives aims to strengthen its understanding of risk in its business operations by improving the visibility and accountability of managing risk towards the achievement of its strategic priorities. Ensuring cyclic, structured and consistent business planning practices will facilitate risks to be better managed across significant investments, projects and major changes affecting the organisation.
Business plans and risk registers are regularly reviewed and reported on to project boards, senior management and the Archives' Audit and Risk Committee.
The Archives' risk attitude is for all employees to be risk aware, not risk averse. With the Risk Management Framework in place and maintained, the Archives is prepared to tolerate a degree of both operational and strategic-type risks through effective and efficient controls.
The Archives recognises that, in a changing environment, risks can emerge and evolve. It will work continuously to identify, monitor and manage risks that might impact on achieving its purposes.
Strategic risks and the key mitigation strategies currently identified by the Archives are shown on the next page. The key mitigation strategies are supported by a range of other measures.
The Archives is committed to achieving its Corporate Plan and strategic goals, and recognises that the factors that generate risks can also create opportunities for delivering positive results.
|Purpose||Risk||Key mitigation strategy|
|All purposes||Strategic development of human capital to meet future challenges.||Develop a workforce plan and mobility principles to support staff|
|Promote, interpret and make available the archival resources of the Commonwealth||Inability to deliver access to records||Review programs and activities to support the delivery of services|
|Inadvertent or deliberate release of classified and/or sensitive material||Monitor procedures and continue to work with entities on process improvements if necessary|
|Identify, secure and manage the archival resources of the Commonwealth||Reduced capacity and capability to ingest, preserve and describe records and to provide effective custodian facilities to enable future access to these records||Implement a digital end-to-end process and review the National Preservation Plan|
|Provide leadership on information management to the Australian Government||Failing to identify or impose records creation and retention requirements and the minimum standards for digital government records||Develop whole-of-government information and records management policy and metadata standards|