Principle 2 – Information is managed digitally
Principle 2 is focused on digital assets and processes.
By 2020 agencies will transition to entirely digital work processes. This means that business processes including authorisations and approvals are completed digitally, and that information is created and managed in digital format.
Digital information and processes enable greater productivity and efficiencies through direct engagement between the public and government. Digital information provides opportunities for process improvements and innovation, and is more useable and can be shared more easily at less cost.
1 January 2016 Target
Under the Digital Transition Policy all information created digitally by government agencies from 1 January 2016 is to be managed in digital formats with records created digitally from this date and eligible for transfer to the National Archives accepted in digital formats only.
If your agency did not meet the 2016 target, you will need to implement mitigation strategies to manage and protect your digital business information and report these strategies to the National Archives through the Agency Service Centre.
Target changes – Digital Authorisations Framework
To support the uptake of the Digital Authorisations Framework, available in October, strengthen the requirement to implement digital approval processes and provide pathways for agencies to meet existing DC2020 targets, a new target is being introduced:
- 30 June 2019 – agencies identify remaining analogue approval processes and assess against the Archives' Digital Authorisations Framework to implement completely digital authorisations and workflow processes.
An adjustment to the existing target is also being made to ensure that all processes that are not exempted by legislation or specific agency requirements, are converted to digital.
- 31 December 2020 – agency interactions, decisions and authorisations are recorded digitally. Exemptions are based on legislative or agency specific requirements and are endorsed by the agency's Information Governance Committee.
What success looks like
Digital continuity will be achieved if by 2020:
- agencies have entirely digital work processes and keep information in an accessible digital form.
- where there are benefits for agency business, information in analogue formats is migrated to digital format.
Case study – Federal Court of Australia
The Federal Court is the first Australian court to implement electronic court files (ECFs). The transition from paper to electronic court files has created a streamlined flow of digital documents and delivered significant time savings and a more efficient working environment. The process was implemented using off-the-shelf technology customised to suit the Court's requirements. Further developments have enabled interoperability with the Court's legacy systems, and delivered efficiencies in the retention, disposal and storage of documents through the use of metadata. Implementation of ECFs streamlined the way in which the Court operates allowing users to focus on resolving disputes as quickly, inexpensively and efficiently as possible.
Key targets and implementation pathways for agencies
31 December 2016
- Agencies identify high-value and long-term information assets, evaluate risk and management requirements, and implement strategies.
31 December 2017
- Agencies transform most paper-based business processes to digital, and routinely make and record decisions using digital authorisations and workflows.
31 December 2018
- Agencies identify all information assets, evaluate risk and management requirements, and identify strategies.
30 June 2019
- Agencies identify remaining analogue approval processes and assess against the Archives' Digital Authorisations Framework to implement completely digital authorisations and workflow processes.
31 December 2019
- Agencies implement strategies for the management of all information assets.
31 December 2020
- Agencies' business interactions, decisions and authorisations are recorded digitally. Exemptions are based on legislative or agency specific requirements and are endorsed by the agency Information Governance Committee.
- Information in analogue formats is migrated to digital format, where there is value for business.
Policy implementation resources
- Reviewing business processes
- Reducing paper stockpiles
- Scanning incoming paper
- Conducting an information review
- Risks to digital continuity
- Digitising a business process to eliminate 'wet' signatures – National Archives of Australia case study
- Types of digital records
- Network drives
- Social media
- Whole of Government Digital Records Platform
The Archives will continue to issue supporting products, tools, strategies, standards and advice to assist agencies in the implementation of the policy.