Establishing an information governance framework

An information governance framework is the structure an organisation uses to manage its information assets in legal, regulatory and business contexts.

Documenting and assessing your agency's legal, regulatory and business requirements is an essential step in implementing an effective information governance framework.

An information governance framework describes:

  • The broad environment in which information is created and managed.
  • The factors and business drivers affecting the creation, management and use of information. These include legislation, regulations, compliance, risk, and business needs.
  • The principles that guide the creation, management and use of information.
  • An overarching description of how information is governed, with emphasis on whole-of-agency coordination, planning and leadership.
  • Your organisation’s commitment to information governance, including senior management endorsement.

Find out more about developing an information management strategy and an information management policy. These help agencies develop sound records management practices.

Documenting an information governance framework

Components

Your information governance framework should include these basic elements:

  • Title
  • Date and version number
  • Scope
  • Purpose

Organisational information principles

Your agency's information principles provide a foundation for testing your information governance. These principles should reflect your agency’s circumstances and approach to managing its information assets.

Some example information principles include:

  1. All information we create is ready for re-use. It is interoperable across the Australian Government and is available and usable for as long as needed.
  2. All information is discoverable across our agency by those with legitimate need.
  3. Our information is accurate, up-to-date and complete.
  4. Our governance mechanisms ensure that information management practices support good decision-making. Integrity, accountability and transparency are essential to delivering good business outcomes.
  5. Our systems protect information from unauthorised alteration, deletion or misuse.
  6. Our people understand and appreciate the value of information as an asset for the organisation and the Australian Government, as Australia's intellectual property and cultural heritage.

The broader environment

Describe the broader environmental factors that influence your business. Describe the impact and the accountability requirements they have for your agency.

The organisational environment

Explain why embedding information governance into all aspects of your agency's business is important. Describe how this will be achieved.

Organisational culture

Outline why it's important to have an organisational culture that supports information governance. Detail how this will be achieved. An example could be getting management to openly support the value of information and the importance of sharing information.

It may also include:

  • using the role and profile of the agency’s information governance committee (or equivalent) to highlight the value and importance of information
  • valuing and supporting information management and ICT professionals
  • providing ongoing capability development for information-management and ICT professionals
  • providing relevant training and guidance to all staff

Accountability

Describe how accountability is at the core of an information governance framework. Identify the people who:

  • have overall responsibility for how information is managed and used
  • are responsible for each significant information asset

In addition to this, you should identify the roles and information management responsibilities relevant to your agency's business areas (see 'The operational environment' for details).

The operational environment

Describe the operational factors that affect your information governance framework.

Promoting the framework document

Outline who needs to be aware of the framework. Note how they will be made aware of it, as well as any subsequent changes and updates.

Senior management endorsement

Provide evidence that the CEO or the information governance committee chair has endorsed the framework. This could be a brief paragraph, signed by the CEO or the information governance committee chair, that recognises the importance of information governance in the agency and directs staff to comply with the framework's requirements.

Reviewing your framework

Review the framework regularly to ensure it remains current. It should also be reviewed after events that might affect information governance arrangements, such as major administrative change.