Governance and Recordkeeping, January 2021

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SSN: 1916-5714

Download a printable version of January 2021, vol. 6, no. 7 (PDF 842 KB)

In this issue

Section 1 — General News


Federal Government — Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Access to information review launched

The government has announced the launch of the first review of Canada’s access to information process. The review will seek the input of Canadians on the changes brought in through Bill C-58 in 2019 to ensure that the access to information regime is responsive to our ever-changing digital world.

See also: Ontario government launches consultations to strengthen privacy protections of personal data

Government of Quebec

Act to modernize legislative provisions as regards the protection of personal information

Bill 64 proposes to update the existing framework applicable to the protection of personal information by amending various laws of the Province of Quebec.

See also: A quick comparative survey of Quebec’s proposed privacy legislation


Public cloud set as default standard for agencies

The New South Wales government has announced that adopting public cloud will now be the default for all state agencies under its new cloud strategy.

See also: Agencies will use public cloud for at least 25% of information and communications technology services by 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) strategy released

The New South Wales (NSW) government has released its inaugural AI strategy prioritizing the development of AI skills in government. In addition, the NSW Government AI Review Committee will be established to oversee the implementation of the strategy and use of AI across the government.


National Archives Administration (NAA) places emphasis on blockchain technology

Focusing on the development of informatization, the NAA has studied the possibility and feasibility of transformation in archival work through the application of blockchain technology and explored the application of blockchain technology in archives management.

See also: Turkish government announces blockchain strategy


Funding approved to digitize public records

This funding will enable the government to digitize archives and other public records to facilitate online searches. According to the chair of the parliamentary finance committee, “Digital public records data from different government entities could be integrated, and eventually the government will provide more seamless and efficient public service delivery.”

See also: More than 500,000 documents digitized


National Library begins digitization of documentary holdings (French only)

The National Library has announced the launch of the process of digitizing its documentary holdings. This digitization work will facilitate access to records for a wider audience.


National Diet Library launches Japan Search

Japan Search is a national platform for aggregating the metadata of digital resources from various fields and providing an integrated search service, as well as an application programming interface to promote the use of content.


Additional funds for artificial intelligence (AI)

The government is investing funds in AI through the Dutch AI Coalition in order to research and develop AI technologies.

See also: AI Coalition: Putting the Netherlands on the AI map


National Digital Transformation Awareness Campaign launched

The campaign, aimed at ministries, departments and agencies, directs them to begin automation of files and records, and it provides an in depth understanding of the concept of digitization, digitalization and digital transformation.


President focuses on adopting “e-office culture” at government departments

The President of Pakistan emphasized the need to adopt innovative information and communication technologies at public departments to improve their performance and efficiency. The President also mentioned ensuring easy access to public government offices through effective use of social media tools.


Government continues to implement public sector cloud migration plan

The plan will enable the majority of the government’s on-premise IT systems to move to a commercial cloud environment, which will speed up the delivery and improve quality of government services to the public.

United Kingdom

Guidance on government data sharing published

New metadata standards for government, along with a guidance document on how to use them, have been published. The guidance and standards create a consistent way to record and share data in and across government departments to ensure that the data is used appropriately.
See also: National data strategy published; 500 public sector employees to be trained in data science; “Teaching Public Service in the Digital Age” launched (Global) (includes Carleton University: Canada).

United States

Federal Government

Cloud-based approach for interacting with digital collections

The Library of Congress announced that it is seeking a cloud-based approach for interacting with digital collections as data. The goal is to “help produce models for supporting cloud-based research computing, and will make the costs and possibilities of this work more transparent to the broader cultural heritage community.”

See also: Opening the Library of Congress to cloud-based computational research; $150 million to be spent on cloud services

Using artificial intelligence to search digital records

Virginia Tech has been awarded a planning grant to work with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and universities nationwide. The purpose is to understand the opportunity for using artificial intelligence to search digital records, including the large-scale collection of government records at NARA.

See also: NARA moves to a multi-cloud acquisition strategy


Microsoft 365 Customer Advisory Board created

The board will provide the records management community with a direct relationship with the Microsoft 365 development and leadership teams to influence the future direction of the platform’s capabilities and issues. Representatives on the advisory board include Library and Archives Canada.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please be advised that certain conferences may be held online, postponed or cancelled. This is the most recent information available at date of publication.

Section 2 — Events

Annual Meetings and Conferences


May 2021

Archives Association of Ontario Conference 2021

12–14 May 2021
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Congrès de l’Association des archivistes du Québec 2021 (French only)

26–28 May 2021
Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, Canada

International Association of Privacy Professionals Canada Privacy Symposium 2021

27–28 May 2021 (Training 25–26 May; Workshops 26 May)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Archives Society of Alberta 2021 Biennial Conference (Virtual)

28 May 2021

May/June 2021

InfoCON CAN 2021: ARMA Canada Conference

31 May–2 June 2021
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

June 2021

Atlantic Provinces Library Association 2021 Conference

8–11 June 2021
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Association of Canadian Archivists 2021 Virtual Conference

8–11 June 2021


April 2021

National Association of Government Archives and Records Administration (NAGARA) Spring Online Forum: Emerging / Surging Technologies: Thinking Outside the Records Management Box 

30 April 2021

May 2021

Information and Records Management Society Annual Conference 2021

24–26 May 2021
Birmingham, England

June 2021

International Internet Preservation Consortium General Assembly and Web Archiving Conference

14–16 June 2021
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

66e congrès de l’Association des Bibliothécaires de France (French only)

17–19 June 2021 Dunkerque, France

LIBER 2021 Annual Conference

23–25 June 2021 Belgrade, Serbia

June/July 2021

DCDC21 Conference (Virtual)

28 June–2 July 2021

July 2021

Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations—Digital Humanities 2021

13–17 July 2021
Tokyo, Japan

8th Annual International Conference on Library and Information Science

26–29 July 2021
Athens, Greece

Section 3 — Current Trends and Products

Recordkeeping: Current Developments, Projects and Future Initiatives


Canadian Research Knowledge Network transcription project

The project is a pilot initiative to crowdsource transcriptions for content in the Héritage collection, part of the Canadiana collections, that includes 41 million pages of archival records, approximately 60% of which are handwritten.

See also: Demo recording of the transcription tool


ASEAN Cultural Heritage Digital Archive (ACHDA) website project

The first phase of the ACHDA website has been launched. The ACHDA has digitized more than 160 items from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The second phase of the project will continue to digitize cultural artifacts from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, with other ASEAN member states to follow.


National Library—Australian Joint Copying Project

The project was recently converted from microfilm to digital format and is available online. The project is a collection of unique historical material relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific dating from 1560 to 1984.

See also: Webinar (published October 13, 2020)


Royal Library (KBR)—BESOCIAL project: The value of social media

The project aims to set up a sustainable strategy for archiving and preserving social media in Belgium. The challenge is as complex as the data: social media are challenging from the point of view of conservation, preservation and accessibility. This is due to their uniqueness and ephemeral nature in particular.

See also: Toward a sustainable strategy for social media archiving in Belgium; Video


Project “TODO—Twinning Open Data Operational”

This project leverages the interdisciplinary scientific excellence and innovation capacity of the University of Zagreb in the field of open data to boost the supply and use of open government data in Croatia and beyond.


Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC) project

The goal of the project is to provide a full-fledged SSHOC where data (including sensitive and confidential data that can be shared and used), tools and training are available and accessible for users of social sciences and humanities data.


National Archives, National Library and CSC—High-Performance Digitization project

The purpose of the project is to create a service for memory organizations to facilitate the processing of data. The aim is to create an intelligent annotation pipeline for semi-automated annotation (adding metadata) and enrichment of archived material, and to develop an automated subject cataloging service for the National Library of Finland. The National Archives of Finland will develop methods for processing the material created in mass digitization.

United Kingdom

National Archives (project lead)—Deep Discoveries project

The Deep Discoveries project will explore new machine-learning methods to create a computer vision-search platform that can identify and match images across digitized collections on a national scale. The project will contribute to an overall understanding of the criteria necessary for image collections across the United Kingdom to be linked, and it will survey the searching needs of diverse audiences.

United States

Library of Congress—Newspaper Navigator

A new effort from the Library of Congress has digitized and organized photos and illustrations from centuries of news using state-of-the-art machine learning. Newspaper Navigator collects, and brings to the surface, data from images from some 16 million newspaper pages (and counting) throughout American history.

Various Organizations—REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) project

Research is being conducted on how long the COVID-19 virus survives on materials that are prevalent in libraries, archives and museums. The project will draw upon the research to produce authoritative, science-based information on whether, and how, materials should be handled to mitigate exposure to staff and visitors.

See also: Webinar; Covid-19 : le virus serait indétectable sur des documents de bibliothèque très diffusés après 3 jours (French only)

Products and Tools from Around the World


Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ)—Guide concernant les formats recommandés par BAnQ (French only)

The guide (PDF) presents the selection criteria on which BAnQ relied to draw up a list of favoured and acceptable formats for long-term preservation.

See also: National Heritage Digitization Strategy—Digital Preservation File Format Recommendations (Canadian Heritage Information Network)

Carleton University—Records Management Webinars

These mini-webinars on records management topics are presented by the Carleton University corporate archives.
See also: Records Management Services home page


Public Record Office Victoria—Case studies of innovative recordkeeping practices

The case studies highlight the challenges, processes, technologies and achievements encountered when undertaking recordkeeping and information management projects and transfers within government agencies in Victoria.


Alibaba Cloud 2.0

This upgraded cloud computing platform will make it easier for organizations to move their workloads to the cloud.

See also: Unisys CloudForte framework (New Zealand)


Commission nationale Informatique et Libertés—Guide pratique : les durées de conservation (French only)

This practical guide (PDF) aims to provide answers to the most frequent questions from professionals on the principle of limiting data retention. It details the key elements of this obligation and provides practical advice to implement it in a concrete way within public or private organizations.


Cohesity (backup and data management solution)

Cohesity manages backup and recovery, data storage, and long-term archival requirements and can be managed centrally through an easy-to-use “single pane of glass” user interface.

See also: Cohesity Selected for Worldwide Data Management Role by Siemens AG


Revised Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) Guidelines for Preparing Metadata

The Dublin Core and the Digital Repository of Ireland Version 3 and the Qualified Dublin Core and the Digital Repository of Ireland Version 2 have been published.

United Arab Emirates


WIZO is a cloud-based personalized humanoid robot aimed at optimizing the human experience, improving work efficiency and reducing costs in sectors including government services. Features include data analysis and management capabilities, and facial and voice recognition.

See also: DGWorld apporte l’avenir de l’IA et de la numérisation avec « WIZO » (French only)

United Kingdom

Information Commissioner’s Office—Explaining decisions made with artificial intelligence (AI)

Divided into three parts, the guidance looks at how organizations can provide users with a better understanding of how AI systems work and how decisions are made. The processes and services that go into AI decision making are explained so that individuals will be better informed about the risks and rewards.
See also: Guidance on AI and data protection; Webinar: AI accountability and governance (includes slides); Article

United States

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)—Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Records Scheduling and Appraisal

There are 16 FAQs on records scheduling and 6 FAQs on appraisal.

See also: Guidance on Scheduling the Early and Late Transfer of Permanent Records

Smarsh—Federal Archive

This cloud-based mobile text message archiving solution is purpose-built to help federal government agencies capture, retain, search and produce employee text messages in support of records preservation, Freedom of Information Act and litigation preparedness initiatives.
See also: Voice capture and archiving for Microsoft Teams; Creating Records at Home, Part 1: Microsoft Teams (Texas State Library and Archives Commission); Retention in Microsoft Teams (United Kingdom)


World Bank—Records Management Roadmap

The Records Management Roadmap is a multi-part toolkit, designed to help governments and public-sector organizations implement strategic and coordinated improvements in records management.

Studies and Surveys

United Kingdom

Survey: Information in Transition: Smarter Working in the New Normal, 2020
Commissioned by SynApps and GovNewsDirect

The survey (PDF) was compiled from the responses of 427 public sector employees, 68% of whom work in central government, local government and the National Health Service or associated healthcare services. The survey examines public-sector information management processes, highlighting their significance in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the technical and cultural factors affecting workers’ ability to access the information they need to provide public services. The survey found that public sector workers are widely using unconnected, legacy information systems, and some are even using paper-based systems in parts of their operations, making flexible, remote working a stretch goal for many organizations.

United States

Survey: Continuity After COVID-19: Rising to the Challenge of Remote Work, 2020
Conducted by GovLoop partnered with Citrix

There was a time when telework was not mission-essential to many agencies, but now the pandemic has forced agencies to think differently. Remote work is anything but normal; however, it has become the only way for many agencies to continue essential operations safely and effectively. And despite the fact that they have the tools they need to do their jobs from the safety of their homes in a secure manner, many workers are struggling to adapt. In March 2020, over 800 government employees were surveyed (PDF) to understand what kinds of remote work measures were in place at the agencies where they work, what tools they had been given to work from home, and the challenges they faced in doing so.


2019–20 Digital Preservation Community Survey
Published by the Open Preservation Foundation, 2020

What are the most common digital preservation activities? How do organizations carrying out digital preservation go about developing a preservation policy? What are the current attitudes and approaches to open source within the digital preservation community? The survey gathered responses from 98 organizations in 31 countries. The results provide a detailed picture of the digital preservation landscape today. Asking these questions and many more, our aim was to build a picture of the current state of play in digital preservation: understanding trends in practice, tools and resources, and identifying gaps and areas for improvement across the community.
See also: Webinar: Results from the survey

Section 4 — Selected Readings and Recordings

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


Article: Le fonds d’un premier ministre canadien à l’ère du numérique (French only)
Written by Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert and Alex Lavoie, Library and Archives Canada. Featured in Convergence, the Association des archivistes du Québec blog, October 5, 2020.

This article offers an overview of some of the complex issues faced by the authors’ project on a daily basis. Three elements are addressed: the importance of collaboration with internal and external partners, the challenges posed by the volume and diversity of formats, and the processing tools and approaches developed by the team for the assessment and understanding of digital documents.

See also: L’archiviste et les médias sociaux : communautés de pratiques et défis pour les institutions de mémoire relevant du secteur public (featuring Rachelle Chaisson-Taylor, Library and Archives Canada) (French only)

Article: Case Study: Migrating a Billion-Dollar Government Agency to a New Records System (PDF)
Written by Jas Shukla, Gravity Union. Featured in Sagesse Winter 2020 Edition, Volume V, Issue 1.

This case study takes an in-depth look at a successful electronic content management (ECM) project with a provincial government agency and details how that project was rolled out over a period of 18 months. Best practices and learnings to help inform your next ECM project are detailed.

See also: Webinar: A Large-Scale Government Digital Transformation Case Study


Article: Driving ahead modernized systems at Bathurst Regional Council
Featured in idm: information & data manager, September 18, 2020.

The council was facing a pressing need for technology modernization. Desktop hardware, operating systems and software were outdated, and there was a desire to move nearly 400 networked users to the Office 365 cloud. Faced with a choice between dealing with all of these tasks individually or going for the big bang approach, they chose the latter, which presented challenges.

See also: Digital Dividend for Georges River Council


Article: Signature électronique : les conseils pour bien choisir sa solution (French only)
Written by Eric Le Ven. Featured in, July 22, 2020 (updated).

Despite all its advantages, the electronic signature can quickly become a headache for business leaders: Which solution to choose? Based on what criteria? For what use? How to choose your provider?
See also: Signature électronique : faut-il tout signer? (French only)


Article: Data Lifecycle Management: Policies and Procedures for Security and Compliance
Written by Monique Magalhaes, DP Executive and facilitator of data protection and information governance. Featured in TechGenix, August 3, 2020.

The management of the electronic data life cycle should not be left to chance. It must be precisely managed with clear policies and procedures to govern the data and ensure the security and compliance of the data.

United Kingdom

Information and Records Management Society Podcast—Microsoft Teams: a Records Management Perspective, August 12, 2020.

Rob Bath, Information Management and Compliance Practice Lead at Intelogy, speaks about the records management implications of the recent meteoric rise in adoption of Microsoft Teams.
See also: Information Records Management Society (IRMS) North Lunch and Learn Webinar: Records and Governance in Teams with Rob Bath

Article: Top tips for implementing an enterprise work management solution
Written by James Murray, vice president and EMEA managing director at Workfront. Featured in Information Age, April 27, 2020.
The author explores how to implement an enterprise work management solution.

United States

Video interview: Cloud-to-cloud record preservation at the National Archives
Published on July 13, 2020.

Leslie Johnston, Director of Digital Preservation at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), explains how NARA’s new Digital Preservation Framework is helping agencies transfer their records to the National Archives cloud as part of a digitization effort driven by law. See also: Video interviews: Record Management Goals; Workforce Changes; NARA’s Capstone Approach; Managing Records at the Strategic Level

Video presentation: Solving the Ultimate Information Governance Challenge ... Classification, May 20, 2020.

There are several data classification challenges that organizations are facing today, including number of categories, overlapping categories, training set size, availability of training sets and availability of subject-matter experts. Speakers from Iron Mountain and Active Navigation share best practices for tackling the ultimate information governance challenge: classification!

See also: ARMA International Webinars: Making the Business Case for Information Governance; Information Governance: Business Alignment Is a Must; What the IG Maturity Index Report – 2020 Is Telling Us


Selected Readings

Collective authors, under the direction of Lydiane Gueit-Montchal, Abrégé d'archivistique, fourth edition, redesigned and expanded, 2020. (French only)

Intended for a broad audience, including student and professional archivists, this fourth edition has been the subject of an in-depth overhaul to update the content in line with the evolution of the principles, practices and regulations of archives. All archival concepts are addressed in a concrete way, based on practical examples.

Hellwig, Daniel, Goran Karlic and Arnd Huchzermeier, Build Your Own Blockchain: A Practical Guide to Distributed Ledger Technology, 2020.

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to blockchain and distributed ledger technology. With detailed examples and in-depth explanations of how to build and run a blockchain from scratch, and through its conceptual background and hands-on exercises, students, teachers and crypto enthusiasts can launch their first blockchain while assuming prior knowledge of the underlying technology.

Edited by W. Wat Hopkins, The U.S. Freedom of Information Act at 50, 2020.

This book examines the role and effectiveness of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), comparing the FOIA world with the pre-FOIA world, rating its effectiveness compared to other access laws internationally, examining ways in which it can be improved, and questioning whether it should be dismantled and replaced. Note: This book was originally published as a special issue of Communication Law and Policy.

Matthews, David R., Electronically Stored Information: The Complete Guide to Management, Understanding, Acquisition, Storage, Search, and Retrieval, second edition, 2020.

Details are provided regarding the how, what, when and where of electronically stored information (ESI). With easy-to-understand explanations and guidelines, this guide provides the practical understanding you need to effectively manage the complex world of ESI.

Edited by Susan L. Mizruchi, Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age, 2020.

The role of archives and libraries in our digital age is one of the most pressing concerns of humanists, scholars and citizens worldwide. This collection brings together specialists from academia, public libraries, governmental agencies and non-profit archives to pursue common questions about value across the institutional boundaries that typically separate us.

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