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Many strings to a Record Management professionals’ bow: Records Management Network (RMN) meeting, May 2014

iStock_000019297055Small_datadigitalHow do I respond to the rising flood of unstructured data in a records management context?

What steps should I take to protect my organisation’s records in the event of a disaster?

How should I licence my agency’s intellectual property under creative commons?

These were some of the key questions explored by a team of expert presenters at the Record’s Management Network (RMN) meeting in May, hosted by Public Record Office Victoria (PROV).

Held at the Treasury Theatre, East Melbourne, the event featured five guest presenters and was well attended by 130 records and information management professionals.

Alan Kong, Manager Standards and Policy at PROV explains that the wide range of topics covered at this year’s first RMN reflects the increasing complexity of the records management landscape. Technological change and the move to a digitally-dependent economy call for a range of strategies and tools to ensure good records management practices.

Want to know more?

The program had a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ flavour with advice from the presenters about how agencies themselves can manage risk and improves systems in areas such as information governance, disaster preparedness planning and intellectual property assets. The presenters’ slides are available here.

 If you would like to join the mailing list to receive further information about future RMN events, please email standards@prov.vic.gov.au 

Current challenges of recordkeeping

Data storage. Laptop and file cabinet with ring binders. 3dThis blog post from Thinking Records explores the challenges of records management in modern organisations.

The blog post identifies that the key issue for recordkeepers is the tension between the need for stable records management and the need to keep technology up to date. This need is not an Information Communication Technology demand for the latest toys, but a response to the inevitable evolution of product.

Old versions of software are insecure, difficult to integrate into modern systems, and eventually stop working. To manage this records need to be migrated from system to system. This process requires a good records management system, otherwise records risk being left behind.

A related problem is the integration of records management systems with business systems (such as email systems). Without integration recordkeeping is dependent on users manually saving records. The customisation of business systems that is necessary to ensure integration is successful  is also slow and expensive to build and maintain over time.

Unfortunately the blog post doesn’t identify solutions to these problems, but it does offer an interesting  discussion about the challenges we face as recordkeepers. This is an area that we in the Government Services team are actively working on.

latest news

VERS Renewal Draft now released for comments

We have shrunk the revised VERS Standard and Specifications to be less than 40 pages, and we are now asking for comments on the draft.

The focus of the revision is to:

  • Make the Standard simpler (and hence easier to understand and cheaper and easier to construct VERS objects)
  • Making the Standard more suitable for storing long term information within agencies
  • While retaining the long term preservation principles of the original VERS Standard

The draft can be found at http://prov.vic.gov.au/government/recordkeeping-standards-project/vers-standard-renewal.

We are specifically interested in comments about

  • The detail of the proposed and Standard and associated Specifications
  • Any places where the text is unclear or could be better expressed
  • Any implementation issues that could occur

Please send all comments or questions to standards@prov.vic.gov.au. This consultation phase will conclude on 31 May 2014.

New Records Transfers

New PROV logo BLACKThe below records have been transferred into the PROV collection and are now available for ordering and viewing in our North Melbourne reading room.

VA 4204 Court of General Sessions, Melbourne [1852-1968]
VPRS 17020/P2 Criminal Presentments and Final Orders, Melbourne [1937-1938]

VA 3752 Thiess Enviro Services
VPRS 17413 / P2 Water Course Level Height Measurement Files
VPRS 17413 / P3 Water Course Level Height Measurement Files
VPRS 17414 / P1 Water Course Discharge Measurement Notes  
VPRS 17414 / P2 Water Course Discharge Measurement Notes

The Town That Was – Yallourn

Establishment of a Township at Yallourn

Plans for an S.E.C Garden City

Records of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria

VPRS 8916/P1 - Unit 267 (1921) - Detail taken from Report – Establishment of a Township at Yallourn

VPRS 8916/P1 – Unit 267 (1921) – Detail taken from Report – Establishment of a Township at Yallourn

 

VPRS 1585 P3 Unit 3 - Early photo of Yallourn (date unknown)

VPRS 1585 P3 Unit 3 – Early photo of Yallourn (date unknown)

 

Today, located near the Morwell River in the LaTrobe Valley is Australia’s largest open cut coal mine. However this site was once inhabited by a thriving self-contained community called Yallourn. Between the early 1920s and 1950s the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (S.E.C) built the town of Yallourn to house employees at the nearby Power Station complex. Establishment of a Township at Yallourn, located in VPRS 8916 Subject Files, gives a sense of the early planning that went into its construction.

The design of the town was influenced by the Garden City movement coming out of the UK at that time. A method of urban planning, this movement saw value in self contained communities that had an equal balance of industry, green areas and agriculture. Much of what is specified in the report reflects this, for instance it stipulates that each house should have room to grow vegetables.  

Up until 1947, the S.E.C was the sole administrator of the town. This means that in addition to providing housing for their workers, they managed the majority of all other buildings. In addition to housing there were significant green areas, sporting facilities, schools, a hospital and a theatre.

While the town may not have developed in the idyllic manner that the early plan envisioned, a sense of community grew. This was until further coal resources were discovered to be lying beneath the town. By the early 1980s the town had been closed and removed from the site.

At the Public Record Office of Victoria we hold a significant collection of records created by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (S.E.C) including many relating to the township of Yallourn. These date from the company’s inception in 1919 up until it was disbanded and its responsibilities dispersed in 1994. Prior to this the S.E.C maintained its own archive and library providing access to the records. 

 

Yallourn Technical School, VPRS 15785/P3 – Unit 5 (date unknown)

Yallourn Technical School, VPRS 15785/P3 – Unit 5 (date unknown)

VPRS 15785p3 unit 2 Yallourn Theatre

VPRS 15785 P3 Unit 2 – Statue of John Monash, with Yallourn Theatre in the background 1947

Series:

VPRS 8916 Subject Files

VPRS 15785 Photographic Images, Prints…

Creating Agency:

VA 1002 State Electricity Commission of Victoria

Georgia Harris, Access Services Officer

New Record Openings

New PROV logo BLACK

Newly opened records within our collection for you to now search, order and view within our reading rooms.

VPRS Series Title Agency # OF UNITS TO BE OPENED DATE RANGE TO BE OPENED
VPRS 30/P0 Criminal Trial Briefs VA 2550 – Office of Public Prosecutions (Known as Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 1983-1995) units 2749 – 2808 1938
VPRS 260/P0 Children’s Court Register VA 678 – Ballarat Courts unit 3 1913 – Aug 1914
VPRS 264/P1 Capital Case Files VA 2825 – Attorney-General’s Department (previously known as the Law Department) units 12 & 13 1937 – 1938
VPRS 283/P2 Divorce Case Files, Melbourne VA 2549 – Supreme Court of Victoria units 265 – 283 1938
VPRS 515/P0 Central Register of Male Prisoners VA 1464 – Penal & Gaols Branch unit 91 1937 – 1938
VPRS 521/P0 Register of Names, Particulars and Personal Descriptions of Prisoners Received VA 863 – Pentridge Gaol units 65 – 68 1937 – 1938
VPRS 526/P0 Index to Register of Prisoners Received VA 863 – Pentridge Gaol unit 7 1937 – 1938
VPRS 1792/P0 Children’s Court Register VA 590 – Richmond Courts unit 7 March 1913 – Jan 1914
VPRS 1941/P0 Children’s Court Register VA 4101 – Prahran Courts unit 4 Oct 1912 – Feb 1914
VPRS 2400/P9 General Correspondence Files VA 724 – Victoria Police (including Office of the Chief Commissioner of Police) unit 1 1938
VPRS 2473/P0 Children’s Court Register VA 442 – Oakleigh Courts unit 1 1907 – 1914
VPRS 3524/P0 Criminal Trial Brief Register II VA 2550 – Office of Public Prosecutions (Known as Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 1983-1995) unit 46 1938
VPRS 3524/P1 Criminal Trial Brief Register II VA 2550 – Office of Public Prosecutions (Known as Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 1983-1995) unit 46 1938
VPRS 3581/P0 Children’s Court Register VA 745 – Ballarat East Courts unit 3 Aug 1912 – Jul 1914
VPRS 3848/P0 Master Patient Index Cards VA 901 – Alfred Hospital units 90 – 96 1937 – 1938
VPRS 4527/P0 Ward Registers VA 475 – Chief Secretary’s Department units 105 – 110 Dec 1913 – Nov 1914
VPRS 5334/P1  Divorce Cause Books VA 2549 – Supreme Court of Victoria  unit 7  Dec 1936 – May 1938
VPRS 5335/P4  Index to Divorce Cause Books VA 2549 – Supreme Court of Victoria  unit 2  1933 – 1938
VPRS 6063/P1 Children’s Court Registers VA 2303 – Fitzroy Courts units 6 – 7 June 1913 – Aug 1914
VPRS 7440/P2 Head Attendant’s Daily Report Books – Male Department VA 2840 – Kew Mental Hospital unit 10 July 1937 – 1938
VPRS 7477/P1 Register of Applicants for Permanent Positions VA 2865 – Department of Mental Hygiene unit 3 1920 – 1938
VPRS 7534/P1 Applications for Admissions and Licences for Belmont and Glen Holme and Other Papers VA 2865 – Department of Mental Hygiene unit 1 1910 – 1938
VPRS 7680/P1 Register of Patients VA  2840 – Kew (Asylum 1871-1905; Hospital for the Insane 1905-1934; Mental Hospital 1934-c.1970′s; Mental/Psychiatric Hospital c.1970′s-1988) unit 12 1928 – May 1938
VPRS 7692/P1 Head Nurse’s Daily Report Book – Female Wards VA  2840 – Kew Mental Hospital unit 19 Oct 1937 – Oct 1938
VPRS 7856/P1 Bound Circulated Photographs and Criminal Offences of Convicted Persons VA 2967 – South Australia Police Department units 36 – 37 Nov 1937 – Nov 1938
VPRS 8714/P1 Children’s Court Registers VA 2638 – Cheltenham Courts unit 1 Oct 1907 – June 1914
VPRS 9303/P1 Dockets [Offender Histories] VA 724 – Victoria Police (including Office of the Chief Commissioner of Police) units 131 – 148 1938
VPRS 10263/T2 Workers Compensation Agreements, Awards and Determinations VA 686 – Public Record Office [also known as Public Record Office Victoria from c.1996] units 1 – 71 1973
VPRS 12739/P1 Tramway Employees Record Cards VA 2694 – Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board units 51 – 53 1957 – 1958
VPRS 13531/P1 Accident Compensation Claim Register, Claims Branch VA 2876 – Victorian Railways unit 17 1957 – 1958
VPRS 13531/P3 Accident Compensation Claim Register, Claims Branch VA 2876 – Victorian Railways unit 1 1952 – 1958
VPRS 15746/P1 Minutes, State Film Centre Council VA 2325 – State Film Centre units 1 – 3 1984 – 1997
VPRS 16484/P1 Board Minutes VA 1350 – Physiotherapists Registration Board of Victoria (I) (previously known as Masseurs Registration Board of Victoria 1923-1978) unit 2 Sept 1960 – June 1963

 

 

Storage Standard Review: Draft Specifications for Comment

We invite you to review and comment on proposed amendments to the Specifications associated with the PROS 11/01 Storage Standard. We would like the amended Specifications and associated Checklists to be practical and easy to implement, and to achieve that aim your feedback is invaluable.

The amendments were made following  review of facilities holding State Archives on behalf of the Keeper of Public Records against the Storage Standard in 2012-13. The review identified a number of areas for possible improvement, including the separation of the Agency and APROSS requirements into separate Specifications, as well as clarification and streamlining of requirements to help implementation.

The documents are available for download from our website here: http://prov.vic.gov.au/government/recordkeeping-standards-project/storage-standard-review

The commenting period will close on COB Friday 9 May. Please send all feedback and enquiries to standards@prov.vic.gov.au

Please be aware that the documents contain proposed amendments and are draft only. The actual changes will be based on feedback received and any additional investigation required.

New Records Transfers

New PROV logo BLACKThe below records have been transferred into the PROV collection and are now available for ordering and viewing in our North Melbourne reading room.

VA 5022: Castlemaine Cemetery Trust
VPRS 17484 / P1 Minute Books (1858-2013)

VA 3675: Brimbank City
VPRS 17069 / P1 Minute Books

VA 3752: Thiess Enviro Services
VPRS 17413 / P1 Water Course Level Height Measurement Files
VPRS 17415 / P1 Water Level Charts- Kiewa River at Kergunyah
VPRS 17416 / P1 Daily Water Level Reading
VPRS 17417 / P1 Return of Water Deliveries
VPRS 17418 / P1 Distribution of Water-Goulburn River System
VPRS 17419 / P1 Distribution of Water- River Murray System
VPRS 17420 / P1 River Gaugings
VPRS 17421 / P1 Water Level Charts
VPRS 17422 / P1 Lake Dartmouth Reservoir Water Level Recorder
VPRS 17423 / P1 River Discharge Measurements
VPRS 17424 / P1 Coliban Water Lost Investigation Files

2014 Privacy Law Reform

The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Privacy Amendment Act) introduced significant changes to the Privacy Act. These changes commenced on 12 March 2014. The Privacy Amendment Act enhances the protection of privacy in Australia.   For more information please visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s privacy law reform page  http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/privacy-act/privacy-law-reform

So how will this impact the Victorian public sector?
 
Below is an excerpt taken from the media release published by the Office of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner;

Acting Victorian Privacy Commissioner, David Watts, has welcomed the recent changes to federal privacy laws. “These changes came about as a result of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s 2008 report on their review of Australian privacy laws,” explains Mr Watts.  “One of the benefits of privacy laws is that they give people the right to know why an organisation is asking for their information and what they are going to do with it. These rights have been strengthened for organisations bound by the federal laws. This benefits both consumers and the organisations themselves who can have a better relationship with their customers,” says the Acting Commissioner.

“It is important for the public and Victorian government organisations, local councils and contracted service providers to understand that the federal changes do not affect the Victorian Information Privacy Act 2000  which is administered by the Victorian Privacy Commissioner. This includes when state contracts made with private organisations or Commonwealth agencies include provisions relating to personal information,” Mr Watts says.

“Personal information collected and used by the Victorian Public Sector is covered by the Victorian Information Privacy Act 2000. This law requires organisations to be transparent with their customers and staff when collecting personal information and to ensure that personal information sent outside Victoria is accompanied by appropriate privacy protection. The law also provides the opportunity for a person to make a complaint if they believe their personal information has been improperly administered,” explains Mr Watts.

Detailed information about the Victorian Information Privacy Act can be found at www.privacy.vic.gov.au.

To read the media release, please visit http://www.privacy.vic.gov.au/domino/privacyvic/web2.nsf/files/federal-privacy-law-changes-do-not-affect-victorian-privacy-legislation

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