Digital Authorisations and workflows

Digital authorisations and workflows improve business efficiency, support end to end digital processes and increase the availability of more complete and meaningful information.

Australian Government agencies are required to record business interactions, decisions and authorisations digitally to meet specific targets of Principle 2 - Information is managed digitally of the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy.

Digital Authorisations Framework

In support, the Archives is developing a Digital Authorisations Framework to assist Australian Government agencies transform analogue approval processes to ‘fit for purpose’ digital approvals.

The Framework will be a risk-based assessment tool to help determine an appropriate digital approval method for an individual business process. It will comprise three phases:

Phase 1: Business process risk assessment – Questions to determine risk level associated with a specific business process.

Phase 2: Approval requirements – Four modules, with questions to identify and resolve potential issues when implementing a digital approval method. The modules are:

  • Stakeholder identification and agreement
  • Security and Access
  • Business requirements
  • Information Management
Phase 3: Approval implementation – Questions and guidance for selecting and implementing the most appropriate digital approval method.

Digital approval methods

The Digital Authorisations Framework will provide several digital approval methods, including email, action tracking and system workflows. Other approval methods and controls may be used for higher risk processes, as required by legislation or where available in a particular agency.


In June 2017, a draft of the Digital Authorisations Framework was distributed to the project consultative working group for initial feedback. An updated exposure draft is now available for wider comment, until Friday 1 September 2017, with a final release date planned for October 2017. To help guide your feedback, further information about the Framework is provided below.

Exposure draft

The Digital Authorisations Framework has been reviewed and updated throughout its development based on feedback from the agency project consultative working group. These changes are reflected in the current exposure draft. We anticipate further changes as a result of this broader round of consultation and invite you to provide feedback by close of business Friday 1 September 2017.

When providing your feedback on the exposure draft, please take into consideration:

  • The Digital Authorisations Framework is an assessment based tool to help transform analogue approval process to compliant fit for purpose digital approvals, and is mainly focused on internal processes. However, it may be used to inform low risk or infrequent external approval processes
  • The Framework is software agnostic and designed to help you use existing approval processes (for example, email, workflow) while ensuring appropriate controls are in place  
  • The Framework could be incorporated into, or inform, an agency’s existing practices and advice relating to digital approvals
  • The Framework is intended for use by all business areas without needing additional guidance in most circumstances
  • Your agency’s specific circumstances and operating requirements need to be considered when completing the assessment, particularly for higher risk processes, including agency-specific interpretation of Whole of Government policies (for example, the Protective Security Policy Framework, the Information Security Manual, FOI and privacy requirements)
  • Accompanying web advice, guidance and workflow diagrams of the Framework will be included when the final product is released later in 2017.

Please provide your feedback to by COB Friday 1 September 2017.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017