Managing records in Microsoft 365

Australian Government agencies using Microsoft 365 (M365) are responsible for managing the records created by the software. This webpage refers to advice published by The Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA) and some related National Archives’ advice for Australian Government agencies.

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 (M365) is a suite of office productivity software, including:

  • office applications
  • email
  • file hosting
  • collaborative platforms
  • social networking
  • workflow management
  • analytics
  • identity management
  • security and compliance management.

It is increasingly being used by Australian Government agencies to do business and to create and manage their information assets. Every instance of M365 varies depending on the type of licence adopted, local configuration, and possible integration with third party products.

Managing records

In December 2021, CAARA published Functional Requirements for Managing Records in Microsoft 365. This sets out principles and functional requirements for managing records in any system that uses M365 as a core component. The National Archives of Australia contributed to its development in partnership with a working group established by CAARA’s Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative.

The National Archives endorses the use of Functional Requirements for Managing Records in Microsoft 365 for use by Australian Government agencies. Agencies also need to consider our information management advice. We recommend the following resources:

The evolving nature of M365 requires information professionals to monitor their agency’s configuration to meet business needs and information management requirements over time. While all M365 licences come with some information management functionality, some local configuration or governance may be needed to ensure it continues to be fit-for-purpose. In some instances, M365 implementations may require integration with other third-party products – such as an Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) – to be suitable.

For more information, please contact the Agency Service Centre.