Case study – Australian Fisheries Management Authority

Australian Fisheries Management Authority EDRMS Project


Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) recordkeeping has been paper based and although the practices in the paper environment have been sound, with the appropriate framework and policies in place it was clear that digital recordkeeping had to be implemented. The challenge was to implement a fully functional EDRMS with limited resources.  A small team of three people with assistance from consultants delivered a fully functional EDRMS over a period of three months. The team still delivered a business as usual service to AFMA staff. The project was delivered at a small cost with the major cost being the upgrade of TRIM to HP Records Manager 8 (RM8).

As a result AFMA is now in a position to meet the requirements of the Digital Transition Policy and is now well placed to meet the requirements of the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy. AFMA can now look forward to make more efficient use of information for its business needs and for accountability purposes.

A period of consolidation will now follow to ensure full take up of the EDRMS and to leverage it to use information in a more reliable and efficient way.

Agency overview

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is the Australian Government agency responsible for the efficient management and sustainable use of Commonwealth fish resources on behalf of the Australian Community.


AFMA is a small agency with limited resources to undertake an EDRMS project. A pilot was undertaken using a SharePoint integration to TRIM in 2015 which proved to be too costly in terms of maintenance and usability over time for a small agency. A new direction was set for the implementation of EDRMS in September 2016. This involved upgrading TRIM 7.1 to HP Records Manager 8 (RM8) and configuring the Desktop as the user interface. The system was rolled out in November 2016. The implementation team configured RM8 to be EDRMS ready for users. Given that AFMA recordkeeping has been a paper based process, staff had limited experience and exposure to digital recordkeeping. The overall principle was to provide basic functionality for digital recordkeeping via the RM8 Desktop. Standard Operating Procedures were developed which formed the basis of staff training in using the EDRMS.

Project objectives

  • provide an EDRMS system which meets the Government’s standard for digital recordkeeping set out in the Digital Transition Policy which is underpinned by the Archives Act 1983 and the Records Management Standards ISO 15489
  • provide an EDRMS to meet the AFMA information and records requirements 
  • train AFMA records staff in the use the EDRMS
  • train and update AFMA records staff on the EDRMS and to communicate to AFMA staff their recordkeeping requirements and the benefits of doing so 
  • an easy to use EDRMS system AFMA which will provide the infrastructure to digitally manage records and information across the organisation 
  • business improvement through improved discoverability, sharing of information and document version control 
  • all records to be stored managed and retrieved digitally as a single source of truth and meeting Government standards

Project execution

A small team of three undertook the implementation of EDRMS following the upgrade of TRIM 7 to HP Records Manager 8 (RM8). The team still had to provide a day to day records management service, offices services and a mail and courier service.

The project in its present form commenced in September 2016 with a deadline to have RM8 ready for users by 1 November 2016.

As AFMA records management operation was entirely paper based it was decided that at this point only the basic EDRMS functions be provided until users are comfortable and confident in using the system.

RM8 was configured accordingly, technical and procedural processes developed. User Standard Operating Procedures for RM8 Desktop, including Help Cards. Training commenced in early November 2016 and all workplaces have been provided with training. This has been followed up with training for smaller groups and individuals. As some staff were not available to attend the scheduled sessions follow up training will be provided.

Training sessions and user feedback have raised a number of issues, such as naming conventions and structure of record containers. These are being addressed.

The project was overseen by the General Manager, Corporate Services.

Project outcomes

  • improved compliance with Australian Government Digital Transition Policy, Australian Government Digital Continuity 2020 Policy; AS ISO 15489 Records Management Standards and Archives Act 1983
  • improved business efficiency and a reduction of risk in legal action through greater discoverability of information, reduction in information duplication, improved version control, increased auditability and management of information
  • improved sharing and use of information in digital form
  • improved responsiveness to FOI, Government and public requests for information
  • assisted in the storage of critical records to enhance the capability of business continuity planning
  • facilitated information disclosure, Freedom of Information requests and eDiscovery
  • supported the communications strategy by providing up-to-date information at the right time to the right person
  • heightened awareness on the benefits of good recordkeeping
  • developed policy clarifying access and sharing

Project impact

It is early days for the project but there are a significant number of staff who are active in its use and have welcomed the EDRMS particularly by staff who recently joined AFMA who have had previous experience in using an EDRMS.

There is still some change management to do to ensure adoption by staff. The main objective to provide an EDRMS for staff has been achieved. This will now provide a significant stepping stone to build systems, practices and processes for AFMA to capture and use information/records digitally by default as required by the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy.

Other Comments

AFMA has in place a Records and Information Management Framework and a Records Management and Information Management Policy. An Information Governance Committee has also been established. To complete the governance arrangements an Information Management Strategy is planned to be developed in 2017.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2018