Governance and Recordkeeping, January 2019

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ISSN 1916-5714

Download a printable version of January 2019, vol. 6, no. 1 (PDF 1.07 MB)

In this issue

Section 1—General News


Federal Government—Library and Archives Canada

Digitization of Canadian First World War personnel records completed

Library and Archives Canada has announced the completion of the First World War Database. It contains the complete list of more than 620,000 Canadian Expeditionary Force personnel files that can now be accessed online.

Federal Government—Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

New Digital Standards are released

The government has released a set of Digital Standards that form the foundation of the government's shift to becoming more agile, open and user-focused. The standards will guide teams in designing digital services in a way that best serves Canadians.

See also: Developing a new digital policy; "Government of Canada launches Digital Academy"; New minister of digital government services appointed


Government working on blockchain prototype

The prototype blockchain system for government will investigate areas "where blockchain technology could offer the most value for Government services."

See also: Report investigates benefits of distributed ledger technology (DLT) ("a superset of the technologies popularized as 'blockchain'") for digital public services (Scotland); First public blockchain platform to be developed (South Korea); Blockchain technology to be used to improve service delivery to public (Uganda)

Australian Territorial Government launches Centre of Data Excellence program

The program provides government with the ability to better govern, understand and capitalize on the information assets it holds and manages. It will develop data management standards and policies as well as provide the platform and services for directorates to store, discover, analyze and share data in a privacy-safe and secure environment.

See also: Government-wide innovation hub for digital projects


New Open Government Partnership action plan approved

The government has approved its action plan for 2018–2020, which aims to promote open and inclusive policy-making at the national and local levels.


Protection of personal data law now in effect (French only)

The law was passed in 2018.

See also: "Data Sharing and Governance Bill 2018" (Ireland)


Special cabinet committee for digitalization sets priorities

With the goal of helping "shape the digital transformation and use its opportunities for the benefit of the people," the committee has announced that two of its priorities will be artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology. 

See also: Big data panel created (Thailand); University of Tokyo promotes use of big data from public sector (Japan)


Funding to assist in digitizing national collections

As part of the government's Project Ireland 2040, nearly €1.2 billion will be invested in culture, heritage and Irish language works, which will include the digitization of national collections.

See also: National Library of Ireland receives funding


Records and Information Management Policy Implementation and Sensitisation Programme launched

The goal of the program is to ensure that all records and information management activities and decisions of the government are fully and accurately documented, managed and monitored.


Ministry to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) for record management

To be implemented in fiscal year 2021, AI algorithms will "learn" the content of public records and, after the ministry receives information disclosure requests, ensure that every related document is found.

See also:  Artificial intelligence and digital transactions are key government priorities (United Arab Emirates)


Bill on archiving now in force (French only)

The bill came into effect on September 1, 2018.


Public servants to be trained on e-government

The government has announced a program that will train approximately 22,000 public servants on e-government.


Rule change for collection of materials in electronic form

With amendments to the National Library Act, the National Library Board now can collect Singapore-related materials published only in electronic form.

See also: "National Library to archive Singapore websites"


The National Library of Sweden has fully transitioned to linked data

The transition to linked data has been accomplished by deploying a new version of the Swedish Union Catalogue, Libris, enabling the contents of the National Library catalogue to be used by web services outside the library community.

See also: Swedish National Archives makes all their digital collections available free of charge

United Kingdom

"Innovation Map" created

The Government Digital Service has created a tool to map and record innovative use of technology across the country's civil service.

United States

Federal Government

Library of Congress moves towards a "digital-forward" strategy

The Library of Congress has released a five-year strategic plan that includes continuing its "aggressive digitization program" and expediting the availability of new content on the Web.

See also: Podcast

Bills to improve government websites and formalize role of Chief Information Officer

The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience (IDEA) Act would require federal agencies to remove or consolidate outdated or duplicated websites. The Federal CIO Authorization Act would formally create federal chief information and chief information security officer positions.

See also: Updated: (IDEA) Act; Updated: The Federal CIO Authorization Act

Section 2—Events

Annual Meetings and Conferences, National

May 2019

2019 Archives Association of Ontario Conference

8–10 May 2019
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Canada Privacy Symposium 2019

23–24 May 2019 (Certification Training: 21–22 May; Workshops May 22)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

June 2019

Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians Conference (CAPAL 19)

1–7 June 2019
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

ARMA Canada 2019 Conference

3–5 June 2019
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

48e Congrès de l'Association des archivistes du Québec (French only)

5–7 June 2019
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada 

2019 Association of Canadian Archivists Conference

6–8 June 2019
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Annual Meetings and Conferences, International

May 2019

IRMS Annual Conference 2019

19–21 May 2019
Newport, Wales

IASSIST 45th Annual Conference 2019

27–31 May 2019
Sydney, Australia

Open Government Partnership Global Summit 2019

29–31 May 2019 
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

June 2019

Open Repositories 2019

10–13 June 2019 
Hamburg, Germany

July 2019

2019 NAGARA Annual Conference

18–20 July 2019
St. Paul, Minnesota, United States

July/August 2019

6th Annual International Conference on Library and Information Science

29 July–1 August 2019
Athens, Greece

Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists and the Society of American Archivists

31 July–6 August 2019
Austin, Texas, United States

Section 3—Current Trends and Products

Recordkeeping: Current Developments, Projects and Future Initiatives


Canadiana—Héritage project

Consisting of a wide variety of unique records from the holdings of Library and Archives Canada, this project will digitize and make available some of Canada's most popular archival collections encompassing approximately 60 million pages of primary-source documents.

See also: "National Heritage Digitization Strategy: 21 projects approved for funding across Canada"

University of British Columbia—Series on web archiving at the UBC Library

The series includes "Web Archiving at the UBC Library"; "Planning a web archiving project" and "Importance of web archiving for government information."


National Library—The Bates Online project

This project is using cutting-edge methods to make the Daisy Bates collection available online. The text of all the vocabularies is encoded with XML tags, which means they can be linked to the image of the source document. A map of locations provides an entry point to the vocabularies.

State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales—"Case Study—External Pilot—Machine Learning and Records Management"

The Digital State Archives team explored the application of machine learning to records management with a specific focus on digital disposal. An internal and an external pilot project were conducted.

See also: Machine learning and its possible applications in the management and use of records (National Archives of the United Kingdom)


National Library—Born Digital pilot project

The pilot project is designed to collect born digital content and manage it from acquisition through to making it available to the public as part of a full collection management life cycle. It aims to develop, document and trial workflows around a number of different content types, including both textual and visual material. By the summer of 2018, new born digital content was ingested in the library's repository and made available for online delivery.

See also: "Processing Born Digital Accessions at National Records of Scotland"


Federal Archives—Online Access project

Two projects have been launched to provide access to all files of the Swiss Federal Archives online, with analogue files being digitized to order. Implementation of the projects will take place by creating an online access portal and setting up a digitization infrastructure.

United Kingdom

British Library—Integrated Preservation Suite (IPS) project

This project will improve the Library's preservation planning capabilities for their digital collections through the preservation of software and the capture of information about digital formats and hardware. This will ensure access for the long term.

See also: "Preservation Planning for Emerging Formats at the British Library"

National Archives—Government Web Archive upgrades

The Web Archive recently underwent an upgrade, moving its records to the cloud and implementing a new search function that makes it easier to browse its online archives.

See also: "How to move a 120 TB web archive to the cloud in two weeks"; "Opening up web archives to research and innovation"

United States

Stanford University Libraries—Implemention of linked data metadata environment project

This project will integrate library data into the Web, in a semantic way, so it can be discovered intelligently in Web searches as well as in a library's catalogue. The goal is to change how libraries create metadata and improve how users discover library holdings.

See also: Video: SHARE Virtual Discovery Environment in Linked Data project (Library of Congress); "Audiovisual Metadata Platform (AMP) Planning Project: Progress Report and Next Steps" (various organizations)

United States and the United Kingdom

Council of State Archivists and Preservica—Risks of Long-term Digital Government Records Access project

The risks to electronic state government records because of file format and technology obsolescence will be examined. The project focuses on quantifying the increasing backlog of long-term (10+ year retention) digital government records held by agencies and in centrally managed systems that are not adequately protected from the risks of file format and technology obsolescence.

Products and Tools from Around the World


Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ)—"Recueil de règles de conservation des documents communs des ministères et des organismes gouvernementaux" (French only)

Updated in 2018, this document is used by all government departments and agencies to develop and update their retention schedules.

Federal Government—Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat—"Directive on Personal Information Requests and Correction of Personal Information"

The objective of this directive is to establish consistent practices and procedures for processing requests for access to, or correction of, personal information that is under the control of government institutions and has been used, is used, or is available for use for administrative purposes.

See also: "Guidelines for obtaining meaningful consent" (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada)


Government of Queensland—"Defending your defensible process"

The government recordkeeping section provides advice on what needs to be considered when developing a digitization disposal policy.

See also: "Destroy records" homepage; "Records governance policy"

State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales—"Using auto-classification to classify unmanaged records"

A migration project consisting of 400,000 electronic documents, contained in 31,000 folders, presented a number of challenges. It was the perfect opportunity to use auto-classification, as manual classification was not a practical solution.

See also: "Benefits and Limitations of Auto Classification in Records Management" (Texas State Library and Archives Commission—United States)


OmniScan Web 3.0

This scanning solution offers advanced document scanning capabilities to assist organizations to fast-track processes by capturing data and converting it into actionable business information.

New Zealand

Open Data Home Page

The homepage contains information about the open government data program; open data in New Zealand; and the open data policy.

See also: Open Data Case Studies homepage; E-Government Standard: Linked Open Data (Switzerland)


Federal Archives—SIARD (Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases) Suite (Version 2.1)

SIARD enables long-term digital archiving of databases independently of their software.

The Netherlands

"Preservation Metadata Dictionary 2.0"

The goal of the Preservation Metadata Dictionary is to describe the attributes of digital objects in the Digital Archive as well as how these objects are to be processed and managed.

United Kingdom

Preservica—"Cloud Edition for consortia"

Cloud Edition for consortia safeguards and provides greater public access to valuable long-term and permanent government records.

United States

National Archives Records Administration—"Guide to the Inventory, Scheduling, and Disposition of Federal Records"

This guide provides essential information, guidance and tools necessary for federal agency records managers to establish, manage and operate an effective records disposition program within their agencies. It also covers the core processes of scheduling.

See also: Video: "The Controlled Unclassified Information Program"; "Controlled Unclassified Information Updated Training Videos"; "Essential Records Guide" 2018

State Archives of North Carolina—"Functional Schedule for North Carolina State Agencies"

The functional schedule was revised in 2018.

See also: "FAQ: Triggers for Retention"; "University of North Carolina General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule"; "Best Practices Guide: Records Management for the Digital Era" (AvePoint, Inc.) [PDF]

Studies and Surveys


"National Moving Image Survey 2018"

Commissioned by the Film Heritage Advisory Group and conducted by specialist audiovisual consultants, Moving Media.

This is the first survey undertaken of moving image collections in Ireland. Fifty four organizations that hold moving image collections of film reels, video tape or digital video files were surveyed and interviewed to gather information regarding their collections, what they contain, and how they are managed. A number of recommendations have been made, including the development of a nationally coordinated approach to preservation, in line with European programs; the delivery of funding to assist organizations in preservation work; and the development of service centres for any organizations with insufficient technical capabilities.

United States

 "2018 Public Sector Text & Mobile Communications Survey" (Download is free)

Conducted by Smarsh.

A sample of professionals from federal, state, county and city government organizations across the United States were surveyed to understand how agencies view electronic communications sent on mobile devices among their staff for business; what tools and technologies they have in place to manage public records; their confidence in their ability to process requests promptly; and general practices around public records request fulfillment. The survey revealed a significant gap between the communication channels that government agencies allow for business, and the retention and oversight necessary to respond to public records requests.


"Cataloguing and Metadata Practices Survey" 2017.

Administered by the Survey Working Group on behalf of the Visual Resources Association's (VRA) Data Standards and VRA Core Oversight Committees.

The survey collected data from 157 respondents whose work involves cataloguing and metadata practice. The purpose of the survey was to: understand the scope of cataloguing and metadata practice of visual resources professionals; evaluate the use of, and satisfaction with, the VRA Core 4.0 data standard, with 6 questions out of a total of 29 concerning its use; and determine how the VRA can best support the needs of cataloguing and metadata professionals.

Section 4—Selected Readings and Recordings

Articles, White Papers, Presentations, Reports, Videos and Podcasts


Video: "Alex Benay: 5 core tenets to digital transformation at the Government of Canada"

Published August 17, 2018.

Alex Benay, Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada, talks about the leading- edge transformation projects at governments around the world and how Canada is pursuing its own modernization effort. Mr. Benay details five core tenets of moving forward with a modernization effort in government.

Article: "Considerations for moving government data into the cloud"

Written by Renee Sylvestre-Williams, journalist and owner of Invite Content. Featured in IT World Canada, July 6, 2018.

This article discusses the reasons why governments are moving to the cloud. It includes the free webinar on demand: "Moving government data to the cloud—addressing the challenges."


Article: "Making government record-keeping work"

Written by Stephen Bounds, Executive of Information Management at Cordelta, a Canberra professional and management services firm. Featured in Image & Data Manager, June 21, 2018.

Public sector organizations are continually facing challenges to comply with record-keeping requirements as many organizations view record-keeping as adding work without adding value. But what if there was a way to demonstrate practical records compliance while allowing teams to optimize their processes at the same time?

Podcast: "Archives race to back-up tape records" October 27, 2018

David Fricker, Director-General of the National Archives of Australia, discusses the approaching deadline to digitize thousands of records still stored on magnetic tape before they become unreadable.

See also:  Podcast: "Exploring Australia's archive systems" January 1, 2018.


Report : "Observatoire du dépôt légal 2017" (French only)

Published by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, July 20, 2018.

This latest report contains a summary, with statistics, on national editorial production based on deposits and collections made through legal deposit.

New Zealand

Video Presentation: "An Argument for Developing a Digitisation Strategy"

Presented by Andy Fenton, Managing Director for New Zealand Micrographic Services, and Gavin Mitchell, who has an extensive background in strategy and large program delivery. Published July 19, 2018. 

The why, when, what and where questions of a digitization strategy are discussed.

United Kingdom

Article: "Sitting on a data goldmine"

Written by Steve Clarke, Public Sector Solutions Manager at Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business. Featured in GovTech Leaders, March 14, 2018.

Despite the fact that organizations are overburdened with data, the author discusses how this data can be a valuable asset (a goldmine) that public sector organizations can gather, manage and use to their advantage.

Article: "5 ways to show the true value of cloud for public sector"

Written by Gary Wilson, Head of Public Sector UK&I at Talend. Featured in IT ProPortal, July 27, 2018.

Convincing government organizations to fully adopt the cloud is not easy. So, how are the public sector's concerns regarding cloud adoption addressed?

See also: "Simplifying complex public sector environments through cloud: A guide"; "How Local Governments can Unlock the Power of the Cloud"

United States

 "The Future of Email Archives: A Report from the Task Force on Technical Approaches for Email Archives"

Published by the Council on Library and Information Resources, August 2018.

Email is an increasingly important part of the historical record, yet it is particularly difficult to preserve, putting future access to this resource at risk. This report reviews what makes email archiving so complex and describes emerging strategies to meet the challenge.

See also: "Strategies for managing email—a multi-pronged attack at the University of Sydney" (Australia)

 "Illinois Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Task Force Final Report to the General Assembly"

Published by the State Government of Illinois.

The report was released on January 31, 2018.

See also: "The Core of Government Blockchain & 4 Major Challenges"

Books, Selected Readings

Alex Benay, Government Digital: The Quest To Regain Public Trust (2018)

Governments all over the world are consistently outpaced by digital change, and are falling behind. Good governance will take nothing short of a metamorphosis of the public sector. With contributions from industry, academic and government experts, including Hillary Hartley, chief digital officer for Ontario, and Salim Ismail, founder of Singularity University, Government Digital lays down a blueprint for this radical change.

Patricia C. Franks, Records and Information Management (2nd edition) (2018)

This second edition has been updated and expanded to address emerging technologies, most notably blockchain, and evolving standards and practices. Subjects covered include the records and information life cycle model, encompassing paper, electronic (databases, office suites, email), and new media records (blogs, chat messages, and software as a service).

Y. Charalabidis, A. Zuiderwijk, C. Alexopoulos, M. Janssen, Th. Lampoltshammer, E. Ferro, The World of Open Data: Concepts, Methods, Tools and Experiences (2018)

This book discusses the latest developments in the field of open data. It contributes to the systematic analysis and publication of cutting-edge methods, tools and approaches for more efficient data-sharing policies, practices and further research.

Brian J. Baird, Practical Preservation and Conservation Strategies for Libraries (2018)

This book provides librarians with practical information to help them deal with specific preservation challenges by identifying areas of concern, optimizing the use of resources put towards preservation, and establishing goals for continual improvement over time. It helps a library to reduce immediate and long-term preservation costs and to strengthen a library's collection development goals.

Jonathan Barbier and Antoine Mandret-Degeilh, Le travail sur archives : Guide pratique (2018) (French only)

Archival work is one of the essential investigative techniques in many fields: human and social sciences, but also journalism or genealogy. By addressing all aspects of this work, this book provides essential information for the consultation and analysis of archival documents and is intended to convey archival fundamentals, provide information about centres and services, and provide practical advice for making the most efficient use of archival records.

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