Governance and Recordkeeping, September 2019

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ISSN 1916-5714

Download a printable version of September 2019, vol. 6, no. 3 (PDF 291 KB)

In this issue

Section 1—General News


Federal Government—Library and Archives Canada

New Librarian and Archivist of Canada appointed

Ms. Leslie Weir has been appointed Librarian and Archivist of Canada for a four-year term, effective August 30, 2019, replacing Dr. Guy Berthiaume. Ms. Weir was University Librarian at the University of Ottawa from 2003 to 2018.

Federal Government—Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Directive on Automated Decision-Making launched

The purpose of the directive is to guide government departments in the transparent and accountable use of artificial intelligence.
See also: Responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI); Algorithmic Impact Assessment (AIA)

Government of British Columbia

Legislating how government decisions must be documented

British Columbia has become the first province in Canada to enact legislation that formalizes the government’s obligation to document government decisions and make them available and accessible. 
See also: Chief Records Officer Directives and Guidelines: Documenting Government Decisions and video


National Data Advisory Council (NDAC) created

The NDAC will help the National Data Commissioner to find the right balance between streamlining the sharing and release of data and ensuring the protection of privacy and confidentiality.
See also: Best Practice Guide to Applying Data Sharing Principles released


Innovation centre to focus on digital transformation for public sector

The centre will carry out projects based on emerging technologies for application in Brazilian government departments, including artificial intelligence and blockchain.
See also: Public sector information to be consolidated onto single website; In Brazil, we’re putting hundreds of services online – and saving millions


Government introduces national artificial intelligence strategy

The strategy provides a road map that encourages collaboration between Denmark’s public and private sectors and delivers a more open public sector data environment for artificial intelligence.
See also: Partnership agreement on artificial intelligence (Finland)


Directive on Open Data and Public Sector Information approved

The directive (PDF) updates the rules regarding the reuse of public sector information held by public sector bodies and provides updates on the framework for public sector data sharing, in particular the increasing amount of “high value” data becoming widely available.
See also: European Union increases data access for blockchain, artificial intelligence projects


Decree relating to conditions of recovery of documents and data stored by digital safe service in effect (French only)

The decree came into effect on January 1, 2019.


Government public service delivery to be improved

As part of the government’s Public Sector Transformation Programme, the information and communications technology (ICT) network is being revamped to improve public service delivery.
See also: House Passes ICT Authority Bill


Digitization of National Archives data to be completed

The President of Pakistan has directed that the digitization of data in the National Archives of Pakistan be completed. This will connect the data with universities, research institutions and government departments to benefit students and researchers.


Tanzania becomes first total e-government country in East Africa

E-government will facilitate better service delivery of public government information in electronic form to the public.


Personal Data Protection Act passed

The Act is the first consolidated law generally governing data protection in Thailand.
See also: Update

United Arab Emirates

Cloud Centre of Excellence to be established

The purpose of the Centre will be to build capacity for the delivery of cloud services, platforms and training in the public sector.
See also: Government Cloud Service launched; First government cloud launched (South Africa)

United Kingdom

Government Technology Innovation Strategy released

The government has released its Innovation Strategy outlining the national approach to digitization in the public sector. The plan takes “a coherent and strategic approach to data” and addresses legacy technology.
See also: A guide to using artificial intelligence in the public sector; Overview of blockchain guide released (Australia)

United States

Federal Government

Artificial intelligence (AI) to help process Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests

The Justice Department’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) is looking at AI as a new method to increase efficiency in processing FOIA requests (includes audio interview with Melanie Pustay, Director, OIP).
Updated version of Library of Congress digital strategy published

The strategy describes goals including expanding online collections, creating opportunities for deeper engagement, and investing in an innovation culture that supports a changing information landscape.


Digital public services delivery panel created

The Welsh Government has established an expert panel that will provide advice on the use of digital technologies in improving public services.

Section 2—Events

Annual Meetings and Conferences, National

November 2019

FWD50 2019: Use Technology To Make Society Better For All

5–7 November 2019
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

January/February 2020

2020 Ontario Library Association Super Conference

29 January–1 February 2020
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

February 2020

Association of Canadian Archivists@University of British Columbia 12th Annual Seminar and Symposium

13–14 February 2020
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

April 2020

2020 BC Library Conference

15–17 April 2020
Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

May 2020

2020 Archives Association of Ontario Conference

13–15 May 2020
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

June 2020

2020 Association of Canadian Archivists Conference

11–13 June 2020
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Annual Meetings and Conferences, International

February 2020

15th International Digital Curation Conference

17–20 February 2020
Dublin, Ireland

March 2020

6th International Conference on Information Management (ICIM 2020)

27–29 March 2020
London, United Kingdom

April 2020

The Web Conference 2020

20–24 April 2020 
Taipei, Taiwan

May 2020

National Conference on Managing Electronic Records (MER 2020)

4–6 May 2020
Chicago, Illinois, United States

ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association) National 2020 Conference

4–8 May 2020
Sydney, Australia

IRMS (Information and Records Management Society) Conference 2020

17–19 May 2020
Birmingham, United Kingdom

IASSIST 46th Annual Conference 2020

19–22 May 2020
Gothenburg, Sweden

Section 3—Current Trends and Products

Recordkeeping: Current Developments, Projects and Future Initiatives


Federal Government—National Film Board of Canada—Webrecorder project

Webrecorder is an open source web archiving platform used to collect, store and share interactive captures of web pages to be used by the National Film Board as it works to preserve more than 100 interactive web-based productions in its collection, safeguarding Canada’s audiovisual legacy for generations to come.
See also: Cobweb: Collaborative Collection Development for Web Archives (United States)

University of Manitoba Libraries—Digital Preservation: How UM Libraries are Confronting the Challenges of Record Keeping in a Digital World

The University of Manitoba Libraries share some of their ongoing digital preservation initiatives to safeguard the University of Manitoba’s digital heritage and ensure it remains discoverable, accessible and reusable over time (includes Digital Strategies home page).
See also: FRED (Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device)


National Library—Australian Web Archive (podcast interview)

In a world first, the National Library of Australia has launched a searchable archive of 9 million websites comprising 9 billion records, allowing users to access all websites published under the Australian domain (.au) since 1996. The Director General of the National Library of Australia, Dr. Marie-Louise Ayers, talks about the Web Archive.
See also: Launch of Australian Web Archive; Australian web pages preserved online

Public Record Office Victoria—Digital Archive Program
Scheduled to be completed in early 2020, the overall aim of the program is to increase the value and use of digital and digitized records (list of projects and description included).


State Archives—SODA (Social Sciences Data Archive) project (French only)

The project will develop a prototype (an operational data archive) for the Belgian service provider of the European network Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). It will offer a number of specialized services designed to meet the needs of social scientists.


Digital Services project (World-Class Digital Services [WCDS])

The project’s goal is to implement an integrated approach to accelerate the process of digitization and automation in Denmark’s public sector.


Software Heritage project

This ongoing project’s purpose is to collect, preserve and share all publicly available software.
See also: Le premier partenaire académique canadien : L’UQAM (French only)

United Kingdom

British Library—Emerging Formats project

The project has been investigating the rise of new complex digital publications that could pose new challenges for libraries and other cultural institutions in terms of collection and preservation. In particular, this project has chosen to prioritize three formats: eBook mobile apps, web-based interactive narratives and structured data.

University of Surrey—ARCHANGEL project

The University of Surrey has been working with the Open Data Institute and the National Archives in the United Kingdom to develop ARCHANGEL. This highly secure, decentralized computer vision and blockchain-based system safeguards the long-term future of digital video archives by combining blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies.
See also: ARCHANGEL: Tamper-proofing Video Archives using Temporal Content Hashes on the Blockchain

United States

Library of Congress—By the People (crowdsourcing program)

The program connects the Library with virtual volunteers to transcribe, review and tag digitized images of manuscripts and typed materials from its collections, enabling anyone with access to a computer to experience first-hand accounts in history while contributing to the Library’s ability to make these treasures more searchable and readable.
North Carolina State University—DNA Enrichment and Nested Separation (DENSE)

Researchers have developed new techniques (DENSE) for labelling and retrieving data files in DNA-based information storage systems, two of the key obstacles to the widespread adoption of DNA data storage technologies.
See also: DNA-based data storage system (includes video) (Microsoft and University of Washington)

Products and Tools from Around the World


Federal Government—Library and Archives Canada—Co-Lab crowdsourcing tool

This easy-to-use tool allows the public to transcribe, tag, translate and describe digitized records found in Library and Archives Canada’s collection.

Association des archivistes du Québec—De l'importance de connaître vos besoins numériques (French only)

Before an organization begins a digital transformation project, it is important to carry out a needs analysis. The importance, the steps involved and the consequences of not doing so are explained.
See also: 8 tactiques pour valoriser les archives d’entreprise (French only)


Government of Queensland—Recordkeeping maturity assessment tool

The assessment tool is designed to allow agencies to monitor and improve their recordkeeping maturity, to take full advantage of records and information, and to achieve their strategic goals more efficiently and effectively.
See also: How the tool works; Video; Conducting an assessment of your recordkeeping

Information and Privacy Commission: New South Wales—Information Governance Agency Self-assessment Tools

The tools enable government agencies to conduct an assessment of their systems and policies, measure the maturity of their information governance systems, and implement plans to further develop those systems to ensure their compliance with privacy and information access requirements.
See also: Information Commissioner calls for cultural shift to open access; Information Access Guideline 7: Open Data and Opening Government Data

State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales—Standard on records management Implementation Guide

The guide was published in November 2018.
See also: Information Management Framework (PDF) (New South Wales Government)


NumaHOP (French only)

This tool allows organizations to manage the entire document digitization process.

Hong Kong

Government Records Service Records Management home page

Subjects include “Guidelines on records management in the Government.”
See also: Records Management and Retention Policy (Ireland); Policies home page (Northern Ireland)


Dataffinic Computing

Fujitsu Laboratories have developed technology for distributed storage systems that handles data processing while also fulfilling their original storage function, in order to speed up the processing of large volumes of data.

New Zealand

Updated Web Standards

The New Zealand Government Web Standards have been updated effective July 1, 2019.

United Kingdom

Sheffield City Council—Engagement Management offerings for government and public sector (Verint® Systems Inc. Cloud Solutions)

The solutions will enable the council to simplify, modernize and automate its approach to further improve digital services for citizens across all channels, including the council’s customer portal, online forms, social media and web chat.

United States

National Archives Records Administration (NARA)—Regulations with Digitization Standards for Temporary Records Issued

The electronic records management regulation has been revised to include standards for digitizing temporary federal records so that agencies may dispose of the original source records, where appropriate and in accordance with the Federal Records Act amendments of 2014.

Society of American Archivists—Digital Processing Framework

The Digital Processing Framework suggests a minimum processing standard for digital archival content, bringing together archival processing practice with digital preservation activities. Ten practitioners in the field designed this framework to be practical, usable and adaptable to local institutional settings.

Studies and Surveys

United States

The 2018 State CIO Survey: State CIO as a Communicator: The Evolving Nature of Technology Leadership
Released by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, Grant Thornton LLP and CompTIA, October 2018.

The survey (PDF) includes responses from all 50 state chief information officers (CIOs) on a range of issues, from evolving business models, to workforce and budget, to access to innovation, and facing the future. Respondents to the survey represent more than 150 years of collective service as a state's top technology official.

The 2018 State CIO Survey also highlights critical success factors for CIOs, legacy modernization funding and procurement, digital transformation, and emerging technologies.

Survey: The Social Government Benchmark Report 2018: Challenges and opportunities for governments adopting social media (free download)
Conducted by GovLoop and the social media management company Hootsuite.

There were 169 responses received from federal, state and local government employees currently involved in social media strategy within their agencies. Social media allows government agencies to interact directly with citizens.

The results of the survey of public sector employees currently involved in social media strategy and execution within their agencies are analyzed. The survey explores issues around proving the value of social media, identifies key benefits of improving agencies’ social strategy, and shares insights from Ben Cathers, principal value consultant at Hootsuite, about best practices for planning and implementing enterprise social media management for government.

See also: Are federal agencies doing enough with social media?


The 2019 Intelligent Information Management Benchmark Report (PDF)

M-Files commissioned a survey of 1,500 office workers, in nine countries, to understand several factors related to how their organizations manage company information and the challenges encountered when accessing and managing corporate information. The survey was conducted by the independent market research firm Vanson Bourne.

Section 4—Selected Readings and Recordings

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


Podcast: L’accès aux collections
Interview with Dr. Guy Berthiaume, then Librarian and Archivist of Canada, May 29, 2019. (French only)

The importance of protecting personal information while providing the public with access to Library and Archives Canada’s collections, along with the issues and challenges faced, are discussed.
See also: Library and Archives Canada — Three-year Plan 2019–2022 and Indicators

Report of the Open Forum
Published by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), March 2019.

This report presents the themes and outcomes from the @Risk North 2: Digital Collections forum held in November 2018, providing a critical overview of the topics discussed and opportunities identified to further strengthen Canada’s digital preservation capacity and initiatives.
See also: Video of forum – morning and afternoon; CARL Strategic Framework for 2019–2022


Podcast interview: Collections Part 2: Digitisation
Featuring David Fricker, Director-General of the National Archives of Australia, and Sue McKerracher, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Library and Information Association, March 15, 2019.

In the digitization process of archival and library collections, decisions have to be made on which materials to prioritize and who they should be made available to. Topics include born-digital and social media records, technological obsolescence of material, the cost of digitization, and addressing the donation of digital records such as e-books.
See also: David Fricker – Video presentation: The Case for a Chief Information Governance Officer: Digital Continuity 2020; Podcast: Digital Preservation at Canberra’s cultural institutions (National Library of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive)


Article: L’archivage électronique au cœur de la transformation numérique des organisations 
Written by Florian Delabie, Digital Wallonia Champion. Featured in digital, January 17, 2019. (French only)

The author sets out the legal framework and the challenges of electronic archiving in Belgium, and discusses the study day organized on this theme by the association of Francophone archivists in Belgium.


Open Data Maturity in Europe Report 2018: New horizons for Open Data–driven transformation
Published by Capgemini Invent. Last update: November 2018.

The report (PDF) measures Open Data maturity across Europe, recording the different rates of progress at which European countries are moving in their Open Data–driven transformation and the different priorities they have set to enable this progress.


Case study: the University of Glasgow’s digital preservation journey 2017–2019
Written by Alison Spence, Valerie McCutcheon and Matt Mahon. Published on March 20, 2019.

This case study documents the University of Glasgow’s digital preservation journey during 2017 and 2018, and shares the authors’ reflections on the questions that emerged about metadata, workflows and integrating systems.

United Kingdom

Article: The unstructured data pandemic
Written by Kevin Widdop, commercial digital transformation consultant at Crown Records Management. Featured in Information Age, March 26, 2019.

The author discusses the risks of having too much unstructured data, how the risks can be reduced, its challenges and benefits.
See also: Unstructured data: How to turn the risks into rewards (Canada)

United States

Article: Big Bucket Retention: Objectives, Issues, Outcomes
Written by William Saffady, PhD, FAI, a New York City-based information governance and information management consultant. Featured in ARMA International IM Journal, December 7, 2018.

This article summarizes an interview-based study of the objectives, issues and outcomes of current big bucket retention initiatives in 14 organizations. The study (PDF) was conceptualized and underwritten by the ARMA International Educational Foundation.

Article: What blockchain means for records management
Written by Federal Computer Week (FCW) staff. Featured in GCN, February 27, 2019.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is looking at whether distributed ledger technology could be useful in ensuring the authenticity of records, especially through features such as long-term storage of digital signatures (includes blockchain white paper).
See also: Exploring blockchain technology for information management


Selected Readings

Edited by Amanda Wakaruk and Sam-chin Li, Government Information in Canada: Access and Stewardship (2019).

Public access to government information forms the foundation of a healthy democracy, but because this information can be precarious, it needs stewardship. This book provides analysis about the state of Canadian government information publishing. Practitioners from across the country draw on decades of experience and hands-on practice to offer a broad, well-founded survey of history, procedures and emerging issues, particularly the challenges posed by the transition of government information from print to digital access.

Edited by Jason Griffey, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Libraries (2019).

This book argues that the near future of library work will be enormously impacted and perhaps forever changed as a result of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems becoming commonplace. Through essays on theories and predictions of the future of these systems in libraries, and on current events and systems being developed in and by libraries, a variety of librarians will discuss their own AI and machine learning projects, how they implemented AI and to what ends, and what they see as useful for the future of libraries in considering AI systems and services.
See also: Machine Learning in Production: Developing and Optimizing Data Science Workflows and Applications (2019)

Edited by Luciana Duranti and Corinne Rogers, Trusting Records in the Cloud: the Creation, Management, and Preservation of Trustworthy Digital Content (2019).

This book presents up-to-date research and offers concrete guidelines for records professionals concerned with challenges to records in the online environment including privacy, accessibility, portability, metadata and ownership. Trusting Records in the Cloud presents the key findings of the InterPARES Trust project, which has investigated issues of trust and trustworthiness of records in the cloud environment.

Cécile de Terwange and Karen Rosier, Le Règlement général sur la protection des données (RGPD/GDPR) : Analyse approfondie (2018). (French only)

This book provides an in-depth analysis of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The key concepts and the various obligations and conditions imposed by the GDPR for the processing of data are discussed. Additional topics include the impact on certain activities and sectors such as archiving.

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