Case study – Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Championing Information Management reform by challenging the norm


Awards for Digital Excellence winner 2017

The Department of Industry, Innovation & Science took an innovation approach to increase its compliance with the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy by embracing information governance and creating a programme of work to transform and improve the understanding of and compliance with digital information management.

Agency overview

David Fricker presenting Rebecca Lee with individual award

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science - winner individual category for the case study: Championing Information Manangement reform by challenging the norm

The vision of the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science is to enable growth and productivity for globally competitive industries. To help realise this vision, the Department has four key objectives: supporting science and commercialisation, growing business investment and improving business capability, streamlining regulation and building a high performance organisation.


With the introduction of the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy staff in the department voiced concerns with regards to the move to digital records management and how it would be implemented in the department. As a result, consultations were undertaken with staff across the department in October and November 2015 to understand current record keeping practices and processes and to gauge what staff needed in a record keeping system moving forward.

Coupled with the above, the 2015 Check-up Digital submission identified the department’s compliance with the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy as being below average compared to other Commonwealth departments.

As a result, an Information Management Programme was established to address concerns of departmental staff and increase the department’s compliance with the DC 2020 policy through a number of projects including digital documents management, paper reduction and policy update etc.

Project objectives

First and foremost, the project’s objectives were to consult with staff across the department to listen to their concern with regards to digital documents management. The second key objective was to increase the department’s awareness of and compliance with the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy through the establishment of key information management governance documentation and a programme of works.

Project execution

Ms Lee championed the establishment of an information management programme (IM Programme) of work aimed at increasing the department’s compliance with the Digital Continuity 2020 policy.

The IM Programme sat separate from the records management function. Staff on the project consisted of non-records management staff but included a records management subject matter expert in the early planning and design stages. By having non-records management staff in the IM Programme it allowed staff on the project to think outside the box and to challenge the traditional record keeping practices in the department and broader community.

Key governance documents were developed in close consultation with the National Archives of Australia whereby traditional approaches to information management were challenged, resulting in updates to guidance and changes to policy to accommodate issues found in real world implementation.

Once key governance documents were endorsed, a number of key projects were established under the IM Programme, including:

  • Digital Documents Management (DocHub) Project
  • ISO Business Systems Checklist Project
  • ISO16175, Part 3 (Manage-in-place) Review & Upgrade Project
  • Paper Reduction Strategy Project
  • Digital Transition Processes & Policies Project
  • Progressive Digitisation of Archival Files Project, and
  • Enterprise Search Exploration Project

While the day to day oversight and running of the IM Programme and projects where the responsibility of Ms Lee, the progress, risks and issues with the IM Programme and included projects reported through to the IM Programme Board. Oversight of IM Programme Board ensured information management was at the forefront of the CIO and COO which in turn assisted with building a culture that values digital information within the organisation.

Project outcomes

Establishment of a number of governance documents to provide direction for the department with regards to information management, including:

  • Information Management Governance Framework
  • Information Management Strategy
  • Information Management Roadmap

These key governance documents were also supported by ‘I can…’ statements which visibly identify user expectations and ensured a user centric approach to the programme.

Through the rollout of a new digital documents management solution (DocHub) there has also been an increase in the awareness and accountability of information management in the department. Over 2000 staff in the department are now saving documents in a records compliant system. More than 58000 documents have been saved in DocHub since commencement of rollout in July 2016.

Establishment of an Information Management Programme Board comprising the Chief Information Office and Chief Operations Officer along with the Programme staff to meet the requirements of the Digital Continuity 2020 policy.

Project impact

A key project impact is the department’s increase in 16 of the 18 criterion in the Check-up Digital 2016 survey. The department has now moved past the average performance of Commonwealth departments as reported in January 2016.

Staff awareness of record keeping requirements has increased and as a result, requests for assistance with redesigning existing paper based processes to work with digital record keeping are now being actioned.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2018