Governance and Recordkeeping, September 2020



ISSN 1916-5714

Download a printable version of September 2020, vol. 6, no. 6 (PDF 1.18 MB)

In this issue

Section 1 — General News


Federal Government — Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Guidance issued on privacy and the COVID-19 outbreak

The guidance helps organizations subject to federal privacy laws understand their privacy-related obligations during the COVID-19 outbreak. The document provides general guidance on applying the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act in the context of the current pandemic.
See also: Assessment framework to assess privacy-impactful initiatives in response to COVID‑19

Federal Government — Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Policy on Service and Digital in effect

The policy advances the delivery of services and the effectiveness of government operations through the strategic management of government information and data and the leveraging of information technology.
See also: Directive on Service and Digital


Australian Public Service (APS) Digital Professional Stream Strategy launched (includes video)

The aim of the strategy is to improve the digital capability and expertise of the APS workforce to meet long-term capability needs to transform government services.


Public Access to Information code released

The code (PDF) serves as a practical guide for government officers and provides public authorities with the information and guidance necessary for compliance with the administrative components required by the Public Access to Information Act 2010 and the Regulations 2014.
See also: Report on information accountability; Podcast interview with Bermuda’s first privacy commissioner


National Library to promote smart library

The National Library of China will promote innovative digital applications in libraries and public cultural services that explore new forms of smart digital libraries and promote the integration and innovation of public digital cultural projects.
See also: 25 institutions for digital archive storage established


National artificial intelligence (AI) strategy launched (includes video)

The strategy includes promoting AI public-sector pilot projects, enabling automation and better use of data across the public sector, and providing training and awareness programs to support AI in the public sector.
See also: Malta AI home page; AI strategy report

New Zealand

Digital Council launched

The council will advise government on how to maximize the societal benefits of digital and data-driven technologies. Areas of focus include government service innovation and digital development and the impact of specific technologies, such as artificial intelligence.


Guidelines for the management of personal data by public institutions released

The guidelines (PDF) require the processing of personal data by Nigerian public institutions in line with best practices. In addition, all public institutions holding or processing personal data must securely digitize all personal databases.

Northern Ireland

Fund to encourage the use of open data

The innovation and outreach fund encourages the use of open data and the development of apps or other interactive visualizations that make innovative use of data on the Open Data Northern Ireland portal.
See also: Open data strategy for Northern Ireland 2020–2023


Cloud First policy amended

The government has amended (PDF) its Cloud First policy to transition to a “new normal” brought on by COVID-19. The policy promotes cloud computing as the preferred technology for the administration of the Philippines government and the delivery of public services.


Scotland’s councils urged to focus on artificial intelligence and robotic process automation

The Digital Office of Scottish Local Government is encouraging local government to develop the use of artificial intelligence and robotic process automation and to produce a framework agreement for councils to procure robotics solutions.


Central directory of Confederation documents under study (French only)

The Federal Council will conduct a study on the creation of a central directory of official documents. Among the issues to be clarified will be the manner of implementing such a system, the technical solutions, and the responsibilities within the federal administration. The results of this study will be presented by the end of 2020.


Goal: Paper documents to be reduced by 70% (French only)

To achieve this goal, the government has announced the establishment of joint commissions representing the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, which will work together to offer solutions for modernizing and digitizing services.

United Kingdom

Cloud guide for the public sector released

The government has published a guide covering how to enable cross-functional collaboration throughout the cloud lifecycle; realize best practice cloud-service usage; and maximize commercial, technical, security and people capabilities.
See also: Guide to cloud hosting strategy

United States

Federal Government

Library of Congress LOC Collections App released

This mobile app provides an easy, accessible way to search and explore the Library’s growing digital collections. Users can curate personal galleries of items in the Library’s collections for their own reference and for sharing with others. Items currently featured on the app include audio recordings, books, videos, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, notated music, periodicals, photos, prints and drawings.
See also: Access to digital collections to be enhanced; Expanding digital collecting at the Library of Congress; Selected Datasets Collection is online; video: Library of Congress digital strategy

500 million pages of records to be online by 2024

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will make these records available online through the National Archives Catalog by October 1, 2024. This will be accomplished, in part, by integrating digitization into the responsibilities of archival units nationwide and through entering into new public-private digitization partnerships.
See also: Shift to electronic records management for government; New archival storage space for congressional records


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 as of publication.

Section 2 — Events

Annual Meetings and Conferences


October 2020

2020 Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) Virtual Conference

Held throughout October.

November 2020

FWD50 2020 (Virtual)

3–9 November 2020

January 2021

2021 Ontario Library Association Super Conference 

27–30 January 2021
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

April 2021

2021 BC Library Conference 

21–23 April 2021
Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

May 2021

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

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

June/July 2021

2021 Association of Canadian Archivists Conference

30 June–3 July 2021
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada


February 2021

ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association) Information Online 2021 Conference

8–10 February 2021
Sydney, Australia

March 2021

7th Annual Conference on Information Management (ICIM 2021)

27–29 March 2021
London, United Kingdom

April 2021

IASSIST 2021 Conference

7–9 April 2021
Gothenburg, Sweden

Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) 2021

17–21 April 2021
Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Web Conference 2021

19–23 April 2021
Ljubljana, Slovenia

May 2021

28th Annual MER (Managing Electronic Records) Conference (Virtual)

24–26 May 2021

May/June 2021

Open Repositories 2021

31 May–3 June 2021
Stellenbosch, South Africa

Section 3 — Current Trends and Products

Recordkeeping: Current Developments, Projects and Future Initiatives


Concordia University—COVID-19 web archiving project

This web archiving initiative captures sites, blogs and articles linked to Concordia’s reaction and response to the pandemic. These often-ephemeral sites will be preserved for their long-term informational value as well as their look and feel, which often provide additional context.
See also: Archivage du contenu Web relatif à la Covid-19 à l'Université Concordia (French only)


Public Record Office Victoria—Machine-assisted email appraisal pilot project (managing government Lotus Notes emails)

The project (PDF) will develop an end-to-end machine-assisted solution to appropriately appraise, dispose of (and potentially transfer) emails. An eDiscovery tool will be tested on a sample set of Lotus Notes emails, making them more available, valued and better managed.
See also: Proof of concept (PDF); Digital appraisal and disposal research project


#KrattAI project

#KrattAI will be an interoperable network of public- and private-sector artificial intelligence applications. The goal of the project is to enable individuals to access and use the government services they require, through any device, by asking a virtual digital assistant (Siri, Alexa) to interact with government departments on their behalf.
See also: What is Kratt? A Vision and Concept for Artificial Intelligence in Estonia


ARCHIVER (Archiving and Preservation for Research Environments) project

The project will introduce radical improvements in the area of archiving and digital preservation services. Critical gaps will be closed between what is increasingly required by funding agencies, what is requested by data creators and eventual (re)users, and what is currently commercially available.
See also: Additional information


Cultural, Educational, and Scientific project 2017–2020 (PSCE)

The purpose of the PSCE is to strengthen the Archives nationales, both in its role as a scientific research institution based on its archival heritage, and as an institution of cultural mediation. This new program is also designed to establish the Archives nationales firmly in the digital and digital humanities spheres, through the ADAMANT inter-ministerial electronic archiving project.


National Library—Google Books Library project

As part of the project, the National Library of Israel announced that approximately 120,000 books from its collection will be going online for the first time, including all of its out-of-copyright works that have not yet been digitized.
See also: National Library of Israel to digitize 2,500 rare Islamic manuscripts; Digitizing 100,000 historic texts in Belgium


National Archives— project is a complex environment intended for e-archiving. Advanced e-solutions will be provided for storing and flexible accessing of electronic archival records. Procedures are included for submitting digitized and born-digital records into the public archives as well as their processing, long-term preservation (in accordance with valid legislation) and further use.

United Kingdom

British Library—Library's News Content Strategy for 2019–2023

The world of news is changing, and the British Library is responding to that change in how the news collection is collected, preserved, described and presented. The goal is to transform a world-class newspaper service into a world-class news service.
See also: Visualisation workshop report; What are newspapers made of?

United States

University of Virginia Library—Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Cooperative

The aim of the SNAC Cooperative is to improve the economy and quality of archival processing and description. Simultaneously, SNAC addresses the long-standing research challenge of discovering, locating and using distributed historical records, through the creation of a freely available global social-document network built and sustained by both computational methods and human curation.
See also: Continuing Education to Advance Web Archiving project (lead: Virginia Tech Libraries), including the University of Waterloo (Canada)


How the Welsh Government planned and migrated their technology systems, services and data to the cloud

The Welsh Government wanted to modernize their technology and deliver services in new ways. A strategy was developed that was more aligned with the United Kingdom government’s policy. Topics include preparing for migration, overcoming obstacles and future plans.
See also: How the Office for National Statistics changed workplace culture to get the best out of cloud (United Kingdom)

Products and Tools from Around the World


Library and Archives Canada—Guideline supporting MIDA 2018/013: Digitization Guidelines

These guidelines set out best practices for digitization activities and are written to assist Government of Canada institutions in ensuring that they have defensible digitization processes. Following these guidelines will ensure that institutions’ digitized records will fulfill the same ongoing business needs and meet future requirements as did the source record.

Simon Fraser University Library—Digital Preservation Framework

The framework identifies high-level principles and priorities for implementing digital preservation action plans for content groups identified by the library in support of its strategic plan. It includes preservation levels and access goals.
See also: Digital Preservation: Building a Trusted Digital Repository (Dalhousie University); Digital Preservation Strategy (Concordia University); Webinar: Digital Preservation (United Kingdom)


Monash University—Managing redundant, unstructured data

Monash University has developed a Three Point Policy for the management of redundant, unstructured data (includes video that explains the rationale for the policy and what each step of the policy involves).

National Archives—Information and Data Governance Framework

This framework has been developed to assist the National Archives of Australia to strategically manage its information and data assets. It provides a basis for decisions and activities relating to the National Archives information and data assets.
See also: Digital Continuity 2020: principles, implementation targets and pathways for 2020


National Library—Long-term digital preservation technology

The National Library of Hungary is digitally preserving its manuscripts using a purpose-built technology, piqlFilm.
See also: From pilot to portal: a year of web archiving in Hungary


Fujitsu Storage ETERNUS DSP (data services platform)

This high-volume data management solution enables organizations to keep control of fast-growing data volumes by implementing an agile, highly automated and intelligent as well as scalable storage-as-a-service approach.

New Zealand

National Archives—Updated instruction to local authorities and new guidance

Physical storage and preservation of protected information and records; instruction to local authorities; and best practice guidance on digital storage and preservation have been updated.

United Kingdom

British Library—Open Refine (open-source software for processing data)

Finding an efficient, low-cost method to process large volumes of metadata generated by hundreds of unique teams is a challenge. Some of the Open Refine methods that the Endangered Archives Programme is using to process large volumes of metadata are highlighted.

Information Commissioner’s Office—Data protection self-assessment checklists

The checklists assess compliance with data-protection law and determine what is required to ensure that people’s personal data is secure (includes a records management checklist).

United States

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)—Universal Electronic Records Management Requirements, Version 2

The requirements identify high-level business needs for managing electronic records and are a starting point for agencies to use when developing system requirements. They contain a change log, an abstract, a list of life cycle and transfer format requirements, and a glossary.
See also: Video Presentation: A Transition to Digital Government: NARA’s Federal Electronic Records Modernization Initiative

State Archives of North Carolina—Online Tutorials

The State Archives have produced a series of online tutorials.
See also: tutorial video: Do I Need To Keep This Record?; Records Management home page (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries)


Portail international archivistique francophone—New versions of Communication des archives and Valorisation des archives modules (French only)

The purpose of the Communication des archives module (French only) includes presenting the major issue of communication and the reuse of archives in the archival process. The purpose of the Valorisation des archives module (French only) includes giving very precise indications for the organization of an event or a work sequence and presenting examples in each area.

Studies and Surveys


2020 Public Sector Records Readiness Report: A survey of Australian government agencies' maturity and challenges in the digital era
Survey conducted by Ecosystm on behalf of AvePoint.

The results of the survey (PDF) were based on the input of 100 records management professionals from small, medium and large government agencies across local, state and federal governments. The report explores the current state of records management in Australian government agencies, along with the priorities and challenges for records management professionals.
See also: Survey Results: Top Concerns and Priorities of Records and Information Management Professionals


Study: Open Data Maturity Report 2019
Written by: Marit Blank, Consultant, with contributions by Cosmina Radu, Senior Consultant; Eline Lincklaen Arriëns, Consultant; Esther Huyer, Senior Consultant; all with Capgemini Invent. Last update: December 2019.

This report (PDF) assesses the level of open-data maturity in the European Union 28 member states plus the European Free Trade Association countries to gain insights into the developments achieved in the field of open data in Europe. A questionnaire was sent to the national open-data representatives working in collaboration with the European Commission and the Public Sector Information Working Group. The assessment measures maturity against four open-data dimensions: policy, portal, impact and quality.
See also: report: Open data best practices in Europe: Learning from Cyprus, France and Ireland (PDF) and Webinar

South Africa

The South Africa 2020 Databerg Report: See What Others Don’t: Identify the value, risk and cost of your data
Published by Veritas.

This research was conducted independently by Coleman Parkes, surveying (PDF) 100 South African information technology leaders across multiple sectors and job roles to gain insight into how South African organizations are handling the growing Databerg.

The “Databerg” is analogous to an iceberg, where the majority of mass hides below the waterline, unseen to the naked eye. The Databerg comprises clean data, Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial (ROT) data, as well as dark data, which contains both clean and ROT data. This year’s Databerg report uncovers the data trends and issues lurking below the surface in South African businesses.

Section 4 — Selected Readings and Recordings

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


Article: The Transformational Impacts of Big Data and Analytics (PDF)
Written by Christy Walters, Canadian Region Director of ARMA Canada, and Crystal Walters, Programmer Consultant in Data and Electronic Information Management. Featured in Sagesse Winter 2020 Edition, Volume V, Issue 1.

The current literature regarding big data and analytics and its transformative power is evaluated, and the innovative ways that data analytics has evolved and how it is transforming today’s business landscape are discussed. The authors then draw a conclusion on the impacts of big data and analytics on present-day information-management practice, and they address the skills that are required for information-management practitioners to create value for organizations in this age of big data.
See also: ARMA Canada Video: Sagesse Live (includes presentation of article)

Article: Toward a Competency Framework for Canadian Archivists
Written by Anne Daniel, Amanda Oliver and Amanda Jamieson, Western University. Featured in Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies Vol. 7, Article 4 (2020).

The authors present the view that the Canadian archival workforce is overdue for a competency framework that is robust and reliable. Meant to capture all facets of managing an archives, including activities such as governance and human resources, this competency framework is intended to define and communicate our skills and knowledge.


Article: A Masterclass in Transformation at the University of Sydney
Featured in idm (information & data manager), March 20, 2020.

With the legal and compliance division leading the way, the university has achieved a wide variety of process transformations by expanding the reach and utilization of its recordkeeping system, TRIM/Content Manager.
See also: A Case Study of Automated Records Management in Government

Australia and New Zealand

Podcast: The Current State and Future of Records and Information Management
April 17, 2020.

Anne Cornish, General Manager of Records and Information Professionals Australasia (RIMPA), discusses how the way we work with information has changed over the past 20 years, how the industry is being impacted by the current COVID-19 situation, and where we are headed in the future.
See also: Podcast interview with Anne Cornish: The Power of Information


Cadre stratégique commun de modernisation des archives 2020–2024 (French only)
Published by: Délégation interministérielle aux archives de France, April 8, 2020.

The common strategic framework (PDF; French only) for the modernization of archives is an essential tool for the coordination of state policy on archives. The framework was developed by the members of the interdepartmental committee at the national archives of France for the period 2020–2024. Five areas of transformation are identified, broken down into 15 strategic objectives and 44 operational objectives.
See also: Poster summarizing the 44 operational objectives of the framework (PDF; French only)

South Africa

Article: Meet legal requirements with electronic signatures
Issued by Kyocera Document Solutions. Featured in IT Web, June 1, 2020.

COVID-19 has changed the way that business is conducted, including the signing of documents. It is important to be aware of the legal requirements as well as the benefits. Digital signing and approval solutions offer convenience, increased productivity, reduced risks and improved customer experience. The author explains the electronic signature process and what e-signatures are most widely used for in business purposes.
See also: Web-based Electronic Signature Dashboard

United States

OCLC Research Position Paper: Responsible Operations: Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI in Libraries
Written by Thomas Padilla, Practitioner Researcher in Residence, December 2019.

Responsible Operations (PDF) is intended to help chart library community engagement with data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). This research agenda presents an interdependent set of technical, organizational and social challenges to be addressed en route to library operationalization of data science, machine learning and AI.


Digital Preservation Coalition Technology Watch Report: Preserving Email (second edition)
Written by Chris J. Prom, Associate Dean for Digital Strategies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 2019.

This report reviews the current state of email preservation and offers recommendations for information professionals (such as organizational leaders, records managers, IT professionals, librarians, archivists and curators) who seek to preserve email for its cultural, legal or administrative value.
See also: Video: Email Archives: Challenges and Opportunities (United States); Digital Archiving at the University of York. Preserving Emails. How Hard Can It Be? (United Kingdom)


Selected Readings

Hirsh, Sandra and Susan Alman, eds., Blockchain (Library Futures Series, Book 3) (2019)

Blockchain technology is examined, a concept with far-reaching implications for the future of recordkeeping. Technology experts and the editors build on their ongoing research to discuss how blockchain’s potential use as a convenient system for recordkeeping could lead to more government documents, historical records and other information migrating to such a system.

Hunter, Gregory S., Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives (third edition) (2020)

Providing in-depth coverage of both theory and practice, the third edition is newly revised and updated to more thoroughly address our increasingly digital world, including integration of digital records and audiovisual records in each chapter.

Oliver, Gillian and Fiorella Foscarini, Recordkeeping Cultures (second edition) (2020)

Fully revised and updated, thisbook explores how an understanding of organizational information culture provides the insight necessary for the development and promotion of sound recordkeeping practices. An innovative framework is detailed for analyzing and assessing information culture, and indicates how to use this knowledge to change behaviour and develop recordkeeping practices that are aligned with the specific characteristics of any workplace.

Sapp, Gregg, ed., Access Services in Libraries: New Solutions for Collection Management (2019; first published in 1992)

This book establishes a theoretical base for access services while also suggesting connections between theory and practice. New experimental designs and results are presented for creating contemporary organizational solutions and adopting innovative techniques for increasing users’ access to library materials within constrained budgets. Readers will benefit from the philosophical and theoretical articles as well as practical advice on the design, delivery and evaluation of responsive library services.
See also: Collection Management Basics

Vincent, Nicole and Camille Kurtz, Images et patrimoine numerisé : Enjeux et nouveaux usages (2019) (French only)

This book is intended for audiences who are eager to demystify digital images but have no prior computer knowledge and are curious about the visual representations of their heritage. Many questions can be posed: What can we expect from digitized heritage? What new opportunities are offered to users? What is a digital image?

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