Getting started with information management

Information that you create, send or receive as part of your work for the Australian Government is a record. It provides evidence of what your agency has done and why.

In the Australian Government context, we use ‘information as an encompassing term for data, information and records in any format, whether analogue or digital.

Legislation

All information that your agency creates, uses or receives as part of its business is subject to the Archives Act 1983. This information needs to be managed according to its value, as described in relevant records authorities.

Several other laws affect how Australian Government agencies manage their information. These include the Privacy Act 1988 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Your agency’s enabling legislation might specify additional information management requirements.

Standards, policies and strategies

To create and manage information effectively, and to develop sound information management practices, your agency needs to implement information management standards and apply policies and strategies.

Information management responsibilities in your agency

Information is a valuable asset that requires a skilled person or team to manage it properly. Information and records managers are responsible for the strategic management of all information generated in your agency.

However, all government employees (including contractors and consultants) are responsible for creating and capturing information into systems that manage and support its use over time. 

You need to ensure that your agency:

  • recognises the importance of information management to the agency, the government and the nation
  • creates, manages, maintains and stores information properly
  • enables people to access the information when they need it
  • destroys or transfers information to the National Archives when it is no longer needed for business
  • uses a robust information governance framework to support business outcomes.

Professional development

Our e-learning products can help you build digital information management knowledge and capabilities.

Our Information management and data capabilities let you and your agency assess the skills and knowledge needed to create and manage information effectively to meet your business and accountability requirements.

Professional organisations such as Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia (RIMPA), Australian Society of Archivists (ASA), and the Data Management Association (DAMA) can also help with your learning and professional development needs.

The links below provide advice on how to manage information in your agency.