Digital transition policy

Policy as approved 2011

Background

The Australian Government Digital Transition Policy was developed by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and approved in July 2011. The National Archives of Australia is lead agency for implementation of the Policy.

Scope

The Government Digital Transition Policy applies to all Commonwealth agencies, regardless of their legislative status. This includes portfolio departments, statutory and non-statutory agencies, prescribed agencies and other Commonwealth entities including Commonwealth authorities, Commonwealth companies, and Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) bodies. These are referred to in the Policy as 'Australian Government agencies'.

Digital information and records management means that the majority of agency records will be created, stored and managed digitally and, where possible, incoming paper records will be scanned so that new paper files are not created.

For many agencies the Policy means moving from paper-based records management to digital information and records management.

Purpose

The purpose of the Digital Transition Policy is to move Australian Government agencies to digital information and records management for efficiency purposes.

Requirements from July 2011

Requirements for agencies

Requirements for the National Archives

The Archives, in consultation with other agencies, is required to develop a Digital Continuity Plan to provide practical guidance to agencies on the management of digital information for as long as it is needed.

The Archives, with the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), will provide opportunities for agencies to receive additional guidance and advice on the policy. This will be done through AGIMO, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and National Archives networks, including the Archives' GAIN Australia online and face-to-face forums.

Requirements for AGIMO

AGIMO will collect details of agencies' current records management systems including proposed upgrades or replacement of those systems, as part of the Government Solutions Register (GSR) annual refresh. The information gathered will allow AGIMO to advise on opportunities for improved efficiency, consistency and collaboration in Government. The GSR is refreshed in consultation with agencies annually, and updated data is made available to agencies through GovDex in the third quarter of each year.

Reporting

The Archives, in consultation with AGIMO and the OAIC, is required to report annually for three years to the Minister, commencing in March 2012, on the status of agencies' information and records management practices, and advise on opportunities and strategies to improve efficiency.

The Minister will report to the Prime Minister in 2014 on the progress of agencies in transitioning to effective digital information and records management and provide options for any additional strategies that may be required to achieve this goal.

Additional Policy requirements since July 2011

Clarifications

Agencies

Following the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act), which came into effect 1 July 2014, agencies are now known as corporate or non-corporate entities. The Policy applies to all entities.

Check-up

Meeting the minimum requirements in Check-up 2.0 meant achieving a rating of 'adequate' against each of the 33 minimum requirements for information and records management.

Check-up Digital has replaced Check-up 2.0 from 1 July 2014 and is a practical online survey designed to gauge digital information management maturity and set clear direction for improved digital practices.

Government Solutions Register (GSR)

The Government Solutions Register has now been replaced by the Agency Solutions Database that is available through Govshare on the Department of Finance website.