Monday, June 07, 2010

Report to The National Archives on local authority digital continuity

The National Archives in the U.K.has produced specific guidance for records managers in central and local "to devise a coherent electronic records management policy, an implementation strategy and performance assessment." One of their reports on the topic was recently released (see announcement below).

Archives Sector Development at The National Archives has recently published a report on the digital continuity risks of large local authorities in England, accessible from:

Digital Continuity requires strategic alignment, senior understanding and commitment and effective working relationships between Senior Information Risk Owners, ICT Managers, information assurance and governance officers and those responsible for business processes as well as records and information management. This report is not part of the central government-funded Digital Continuity project but was commissioned to provide an evidential basis for future dissemination of that project's findings to the wider public sector.

The main findings are:
  • Varying degrees of senior engagement exist in the authorities concerned;
  • A few authorities have information management strategies capable of delivering continuity but only one of the 35 respondents appeared to be addressing it at the strategic, board level;
  • Many information management programmes are partial and disconnected, indicating significant continuity risk; and
  • Many authorities appear to be struggling with coordinating the main internal players in information management.

The underlying survey, analysis and report writing were conducted by our contractors, Richard Jeffrey-Cook of In-form Consult and Philip Lord of the Digital Archiving Consultancy.

In addition to our contractors, we'd like to thank Socitm, the Records Management Society and the Association of Chief Archivists in Local Government (now part of the Archives and Records Association [UK & Ireland]) for their cooperation and facilitation in running the survey. We hope that the report will be useful not just to us but also in providing levers for local authority information managers to influence their senior management.

Please address any comments or queries to:

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