Standardisation how New Zealand contributes to international records management Standards

Standardisation graphic

Issue 35 – February 2012

Records management is essential for good governance, efficiency, and effectiveness. Records management Standards ensure information is created properly, kept, protected, and available for use when needed. We talked to Patrick Power and Trish O'Kane about how New Zealanders are helping to develop International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standards for records management.

Patrick Power is Manager, Recordkeeping Capability, at Archives New Zealand, which is part of the Department of Internal Affairs. Patrick is a member of the New Zealand 'International review group' (IRG) for ISO Technical Committee (TC) 46, 'Information and documentation', Subcommittee (SC) 11, 'Archives records management'. Archives New Zealand sponsors the IRG to ensure New Zealanders can contribute to international Standards on archives/records management.

Trish O'Kane is the Chair of the IRG, a consultant, and associate of The Knowledge Warehouse.

New Zealanders take part in international Standards decisions

'It's essential for New Zealanders to participate in international Standards,' says Trish. 'We are consumers of the Standards and we have great expertise that we can contribute.

'Fifteen organisations are represented on the IRG – this enables industry to provide input into records management Standards, vote on ISO Standards, and influence how New Zealand votes on whether to adopt Standards.

'People enjoy taking part in the IRG as they gain expertise, develop networks, and can contribute to Standards.'

Archives New Zealand administers the Public Records Act (PRA) 2005 for public sector archives and records management. 'It's our role to keep information over time and to set standards for how records are managed in the public sector,' says Patrick.

'It's important to consider international trends and that's why we contribute to the IRG. Through the IRG, we can also put forward New Zealand work to be included in ISO Standards. For example, the Archives New Zealand digitisation Standard became ISO/TR 13028. Every country involved in ISO TC 46 SC 11 had an opportunity to review and comment on it, which gives us more confidence in the Standard.

'Several members of the IRG are also members of the joint Australia/New Zealand committee IT-021, 'Records management systems'.

IRG is part of an international community that develops robust Standards

'Working with the International review group is very rewarding,' says Trish. 'There's a great deal of pride in getting involved in the international community and helping to develop Standards.'

IRG members attend ISO TC 46 SC 11 meetings, held overseas one or two times each year. Members report to the IRG and to the industry on the latest Standards work.

'It's stimulating being in an ISO meeting with people from all over the world,' says Patrick. 'It makes you think. People come to the table with their own ways of doing things; however, they work together to come up with an international Standard that works for everyone – this results in a robust document.'

The IRG meets four times a year and Archives New Zealand hosts the meetings. 'There's a lot of records management standardisation happening now,' says Patrick. 'The IRG is popular – the group keeps growing and the members are very engaged.'

The IRG includes representatives from the public and private sector, as follows.

  • Archives and Records Association of New Zealand
  • Archives New Zealand
  • Association of Local Government Information Management
  • Auckland Council
  • Fonterra
  • Health Information Association of New Zealand
  • Hutt City Council
  • Inland Revenue Department
  • Ministry of Social Development
  • New Plymouth District Council
  • New Zealand Law Society
  • Powerco
  • Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia – New Zealand Branch
  • Universities New Zealand
  • Victoria University of Wellington School of Information Management

Standards provide a framework and international best practice

ISO TC 46 SC 11 is an active subcommittee with multiple working groups. Its key Standards include:

  • management systems for records (MSR) Standards (ISO 30300 and ISO 30301) provide managers, auditors, and risk managers with a framework for records management:
    • New Zealanders help to develop the MSR Standards through the IRG.
    • Archives New Zealand is looking to incorporate the MSR Standards into the Public Records Act 2005 framework, which may include adopting the ISO 30300 series as Standards under the Act.
  • records management Standards, which provide records management practitioners with guidance on how to create and manage records. ISO 15489 Records management, which is based on Australian Standard AS 4390, is the key Standard for records management practitioners:
    • Archives New Zealand endorses ISO 15489 as a code of best practice for government recordkeeping and has incorporated its principles into the 2008 'Create and maintain recordkeeping standard' for the public sector.
    • ISO 15489 is under review and New Zealanders are involved in the review through the IRG.

Related Standards

  • AS/NZS 1015:2011 Records management – Physical storage
  • ISO/TR 13028:2010 Information and documentation – Implementation guidelines for digitization of records
  • ISO 15489-1:2001 Information and documentation – Records management – Part 1: General
  • ISO/TR 15489-2:2001 Information and documentation – Records management – Part 2: Guidelines
  • ISO 16175-1:2010 Information and documentation – Principles and functional requirements for records in electronic office environments – Part 1: Overview and statement of principles
  • ISO 16175-2:2011 Information and documentation – Principles and functional requirements for records in electronic office environments – Part 2: Guidelines and functional requirements for digital records management systems
  • ISO 16175-3:2010 Information and documentation – Principles and functional requirements for records in electronic office environments – Part 3: Guidelines and functional requirements for records in business systems
  • ISO 23081-1:2006 Information and documentation – Records management processes – Metadata for records – Part 1: Principles
  • AS/NZS ISO 23081.2:2007 Information and documentation – Records management processes – Metadata for records – Conceptual and implementation issues
  • ISO 23081-2:2009 Information and documentation – Managing metadata for records – Part 2: Conceptual and implementation issues
  • ISO/TR 23081-3:2011 Information and documentation – Managing metadata for records – Part 3: Self-assessment method
  • ISO/TR 26122:2008 Information and documentation – Work process analysis for records
  • ISO 30300:2011 Information and documentation – Management systems for records – Fundamentals and vocabulary
  • ISO 30301:2011 Information and documentation – Management systems for records – Requirements

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