The minimum metadata set is a practical application of the Australian Government Recordkeeping Metadata Standard 2.2 (AGRkMS) which:

The minimum metadata set identifies nine properties required for the efficient and effective management of your business information, regardless of what it is and where it is held.

The set is cumulative, with the Core properties applying to all systems, the Additional properties added for systems which hold and manage higher value and longer-term business information, and the Transfer properties added to complete the set for systems holding business information of archival value.

Any relevant property in the minimum metadata set should be used when required for business purposes. For example, you may create relatively low value but sensitive information needed for a short time (Core). In this case you would also apply a Protective Marking (from the Additional set).

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Digital Continuity 2020 requirements

Under Principle 3 of the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy, all information should be managed based on format and metadata standards for information governance and interoperability by 31 December 2020. The requirements of the minimum metadata set should be reached progressively in accordance with the following interim targets:

  • All new business systems procured from 31 December 2016 onwards must meet the minimum metadata standard.
  • By 31 December 2017 all business systems containing high-value and long-term information assets must meet the minimum metadata standard.
  • By 31 December 2020, all business information will be managed based on format and metadata standards for information governance and interoperability.
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Digital Continuity 2020 targets apply to both business systems and systems specifically designed to manage information such as Electronic Document and Records Management Systems (EDRMS).

Systems should be designed or adapted to capture the level of minimum metadata appropriate to the information they hold and manage.

For example systems:

  • solely managing low-value information, with no need to capture additional metadata, need only capture the Core minimum metadata
  • managing a mix of low-value and higher value information assets, excluding information assets of archival value, should capture at least Core and Additional properties
  • including business information of archival value should capture the full minimum metadata set (Core, Additional and Transfers).

Any relevant property in the minimum metadata set should be used when required for business purposes.

To meet Principle 3 of the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy, agencies will need to review their current business and information systems, and consider what they need to do to meet the minimum metadata standard. For new systems, the ability to capture the minimum metadata should be included as a requirement in procurement documentation.

The Business System Assessment Framework will assist with identifying minimum metadata requirements for both new and existing systems. An information review may also be undertaken to identify the value of information in your agency.

If you would like to suggest additional tools or documents that your agency would find useful, or have any other comments on the minimum metadata set, please contact the Agency Service Centre.