Develop a strategic recordkeeping plan
Your strategic recordkeeping plan describes how recordkeeping is done in your agency. Your agency’s recordkeeping system will inform the development of your strategic recordkeeping plan.
Table of contents
Good recordkeeping practice:
- helps to achieve open, transparent and accountable government and prevent corruption
- supports business efficiency
- documents the identity and history of the people of Queensland.
Recordkeeping is about creating, managing, and maintaining accurate records of business activities.
The recordkeeping framework covers the main principles and activities to effectively manage records:
Right records for business needs
You need to know which records to create, capture and manage to ensure that your business needs and requirements are met now and in the future.
Ensure you have the right rules and tools to make your recordkeeping system work. Rules, tools and guidance can be formal or informal.
Find an application or system that meets all of your agency’s business and technology requirements.
Your recordkeeping system must include legislative and legal requirements that govern what records need to be kept, by who, why, how long, and when (and if) records can be destroyed.
It should also include:
- the people in your agency who are responsible for making and keeping records, and the dedicated person or team responsible for developing and managing your recordkeeping system
- your agency's business needs to know how recordkeeping supports and works with your business–which records you need to keep and how different elements of your recordkeeping system will fit together
- technology and applications that create and manage records, including dedicated recordkeeping applications (e.g. eDRMS), business applications (e.g. SAP), shared network drives and collaborative applications (e.g. SharePoint)
- a formal recordkeeping policy that outlines principles, values, rules, requirements, roles and responsibilities
- procedures covering recordkeeping rules, including guidelines and manuals for creating and capturing records (procedures are usually more detailed than policies)
- recordkeeping tools to help manage and control records in the system, like business classification schemes, naming conventions, or instructions for using retention and disposal schedules.
See an example of how the elements of a recordkeeping system work together.
Review or change your recordkeeping system
If you have a recordkeeping system, but you’re not sure whether you have all the components covered, take some time to review your recordkeeping practices.
If you are going through a machinery-of-government (MOG) or administrative change, you should review your recordkeeping system to understand how the change will impact recordkeeping in your agency, identify potential issues, and what you can do to make the change easier.
If the MOG or administrative change is an amalgamation or merger with one or more other agencies, you will need to review your existing recordkeeping processes to establish new ones for the new merged agency.
Transition between recordkeeping systems
System upgrades or MOG and administrative changes may require you to transition between recordkeeping systems.
You should review recordkeeping practices in your agency and identify areas for improvement. Improvements can be implemented in the new system.
You will need to plan for the transition. Consider:
- the current elements of your recordkeeping system—tools, procedures, policies, technology, people, and your business requirements
- what elements of your current system will change and how
- which elements will stay the same
- changes to tools, procedures, services and resources
- what delegations are in place and whether changes re necessary
- the impact on staff
- what training and communication is required
- the timing–when should the transition happen and how long should it take
- legislative requirements and ensuring responsibilities will continue to be met.
If you are merging systems (e.g. as part of a MOG or administrative change), you’ll need to discuss the transition with the other agencies and agree how the new system will work. You can:
- implement a completely new recordkeeping system
- combine elements of both agencies’ systems into a revised system
- maintain one system and discontinue others
- continue using elements of separate systems as required.
Note: Some elements may need to be updated or developed to suit or you may need to use a combination of the above options.
Find out how to migrate records between business systems and applications.
Find out what you need to do in a machinery-of-government or administrative change.
A strategic recordkeeping implementation plan (SRIP) provides a structured and compliance-based approach to recordkeeping and a way of implementing your recordkeeping system.
It will help ensure rules about how records are to be captured, kept, and disposed of are applied consistently across your organisation.
Note: Recordkeeping can be included as part of your agency's strategic planning process–it does not have to be a separate plan.
Your SRIP should include processes and objectives that work for you and your agency. Focus on developing recordkeeping objectives and making sure these are incorporated in wider strategic planning.
You can use the strategic recordkeeping implementation plan (SRIP) template to help you develop and implement your recordkeeping system and plan, or develop your own method based on your agency’s requirements.
The SRIP template can be adapted and modified to suit specific business needs. It is a guide only and may not include all issues to be addressed within your own strategic recordkeeping plan.
See a example SRIP .
What to include in your plan
Your SRIP should be based on your recordkeeping system and your agency’s specific recordkeeping, legislative, technology and business requirements.
Note: Not all identified issues will need to be included in your final plan. The amount of detail you include will depend on your agency’s needs and how complex your strategy is. More detailed project plans may be required to implement specific strategies.
Your SRIP should include the following:
A profile of your agency and its background will help you clarify your functions and activities, your obligations, the existing elements of your recordkeeping system, and the current standard of recordkeeping.
People’s roles and responsibilities
Roles, responsibilities and lines of accountability should be clearly defined.
Look at any role changes or adjustments to responsibilities that may be necessary to improve recordkeeping, including integrating recordkeeping into business processes, ensuring appropriate access and security permissions.
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis
Assess your agency’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats based on specific areas of your recordkeeping system.
You can use the SWOT analysis tool in the template to help you do this.
- staff perception of recordkeeping or the recordkeeping team
- overall recordkeeping awareness
- accessibility of the recordkeeping application
- whether good recordkeeping practice is observed and enforced
- recordkeeping responsibilities–devolved to staff vs centralised
- existing disaster preparedness plans.
A vision statement
This should be about the recordkeeping future your agency wants to achieve to provide a direction for your plan and a basis for strategic and operational decisions.
Strategic outcomes based on your vision, risk assessment, and your recordkeeping, legislative, technology and business requirements.
Consider your agency’s needs and what is possible to implement.
This is how your agency will implement to achieve each of the plan’s stated objectives.
Use your SWOT analysis to identify broad strategies to achieve your objectives. They should exploit opportunities and strengths, neutralise threats and avoid weaknesses.
Consider customer and community expectations, learning and development, your recordkeeping system, and internal governance.
Key performance indicators and monitoring plan
Develop a plan to monitor, review and report on recordkeeping, including key performance indicators you can use to measure or verify how well your agency has realised the outcomes of each strategy.
Policies, procedures, rules and tools
These act as guides for how to achieve your outcomes and will help ensure your agency’s requirements are met.
A governance framework
Your governance framework should link all of your requirements together into a structure you can use as a basis to implement your plan.
Look at your agency’s broader information management framework and if/how recordkeeping is integrated into business processes and procedures.
Your governance framework should outline high-level requirements, expectations and responsibilities. This will help ensure everyone has a clear understanding and acceptance of the strategic direction and their role in implementing the plan.
A senior management sponsor, recordkeeping champion or implementation team may be needed to take responsibility for the implementation of the plan and monitoring progress.
Note: An implementation team should include representatives from all areas of the business.
Endorsement of your plan
Your CEO is responsible for recordkeeping within your agency and will need to endorse your strategic recordkeeping implementation plan. They or their authorised delegate can sign the plan as a means of endorsing it and ensure approval is recorded.
It does not require approval by QSA.
The following case studies recognise and promote good recordkeeping practice. These examples demonstrate practical and innovative approaches to meeting legislative and policy responsibilities, and achieving the business benefits of good information management.
- Digital Transformers: Pages of Extinction (Blog post)
- Born Digital, Stay Digital–A case study (Griffith University)
- Paper mountains case studies.
Your agency’s business continuity plan (BCP) will need to include recordkeeping considerations and requirements, your agency's vital records, and disaster preparedness and response planning. Alternatively, you can develop a separate BCP for recordkeeping functions within your organisation.