Digital records

Digital records are records created, communicated and maintained by means of computer technology. They may be 'born digital' (created using computer technology) or they may have been converted into digital form from their original format (e.g. scans of paper documents).

The Government Digital Transition Policy requires agencies to move to digital information and records management and away from paper-based records management. This means that the majority of your agency's records will be created, stored and managed digitally.

The Digital Continuity Plan provides practical advice on managing digital information to ensure that it remains accessible and usable for as long as it is needed.

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Agencies create and store digital records in a variety of ways and these records are subject to legal requirements the same as records on paper or any other format.

Your agency should consider a number of key areas in digital records and information management including:

Managing digital records involves:

Obsolescence: digital technology evolves at a rapid rate. Your agency needs to develop and put in place strategies to ensure information is available in the long term, both for business use and to meet requirement in legislation.

Accessibility versus security: digital records can quickly and easily be updated, deleted, changed, moved and copied. Your agency needs to protect your records from unauthorised access to ensure records are secured and available as evidence (doc, 207kb).

Searching and access: capturing and maintaining information that describes records (metadata) is essential to describe the content and context of the record and ensures records can be searched effectively allowing for information reuse.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2016