Functionalities are the purposes that a records governance framework is expected to be able to meet.
For example, the ability to identify records based on whether they are permanent, high-value or high-risk, the ability to hold specific metadata, the ability to assign retention periods to classes of records, etc.
Functionality considerations for physical records
Functionalities for physical and digital records are largely the same. However, it is particularly important to consider practical limitations when it comes to physical records as processes will need to be performed manually.
Considerations for manual processes include:
- how long processes will take (capture, maintenance, discovery)
- who will be responsible (what roles or positions)
- what training is needed and how it will occur
- risks such as human error and cognitive overload.
Functionality considerations for digital records
For digital records, functionalities to consider include the ability to:
- Link the record to business context: Your application should let you create documents and place them in files that have been titled in line with a business titling standard. Saving the document in a file links it to the business context.
- Manage the records: Records should remain complete and reliable–this is usually the type of functionality that needs to be built into an application.
- Keep and destroy records: Records need to be kept for specific retention periods then legally disposed of. This is usually managed by set rules within the recordkeeping application. The application will also need to be able to report on your disposal activities (like when a record is due to be disposed).
- Facilitate importing and exporting: This will assist you with migrating records from one application to another (to ensure they remain accessible over time or when business systems are decommissioned).
Some technology your agency uses to support your business may be based in the cloud (e.g. storage, services, systems and applications). Managing cloud storage and cloud-based services is a form of outsourcing with its own unique recordkeeping considerations.
International standard on records in electronic office environments
The International standard on records in electronic office environments (ISO 16175) developed by the International Council on Archives outlines the main principles and functional requirements for applications and systems that create, control and dispose of digital records.
Though not a mandatory requirement for Queensland agencies, the standard represents industry best practice and may provide valuable insight into digital records management.
The standard contains three parts:
- Part 1: Overview and statement of principles (ISO 16175-1:2010)
- Part 2: Guidelines and functional requirements for digital records management systems (ISO 16175-2:2011)
- Part 3: Guidelines and functional requirements for records in business systems (ISO 16175-3:2010).
You can use the standard and the guideline (1.87 MB) to:
- understand and meet your recordkeeping responsibilities
- implement the principles in the standard
- develop specifications and requirements for a new system
- design recordkeeping software or other business information systems
- review the functionality of existing systems.
Business applications without recordkeeping functionalities
If a business application does not have automated recordkeeping functionalities, you will need to ensure its records are appropriately managed by:
- capturing and retaining logs of business/software applications which can act as the source of recordkeeping metadata
- extracting records for migration so they are kept for their authorised retention periods
- developing processes to show that records have been disposed of in line with authorised retention periods
- using application programming interface (API) technology to move records from business applications into a recordkeeping application or eDRMS
- supplementing any needed functionalities with manual processes.