To support the adoption of VERS across government, the VERS Centre of Excellence was established in 2002. The Centre houses a team with expertise established through the implementation of a number of practical VERS projects. Specific team skills include project scoping, project management, records and information management analysis, contract negotiations, marketing and change management in relation to VERS. The Centre provides a range of services designed to support agencies in adopting VERS including:
The implementation of effective digital records management from capture to disposal or transfer to the PROV is a challenging task. The departments have embarked on strategic planning and implementation approaches that require continuing support from the Centre to ensure appropriate outcomes. Experts from the Centre are available to provide consultancy input to strategic reviews, business case development, and funding bids aimed at delivering improved digital records management capabilities. In many cases the departments have engaged the VERS Centre experts due to their knowledge, skills and experience in digital record keeping rather than seek external assistance from commercial organisations.
Access to VERS Intellectual Property developed as part of the program
As solutions are implemented across government to deliver effective digital records management it is crucial that any new embedded VERS Intellectual Property (IP) is made available to all departments. By sharing approaches and solutions this reduces the costs of implementing VERS.
Supporting Software and Services Vendors to deliver more products to the marketplace through the certification process
As more business processes are supported by software applications departments want the certainty that these are compliant with VERS requirements. The probability that the departments are able to find and secure appropriate business solutions with VERS capability built-in will depend on the software vendor efforts to deliver this off-the-shelf. In the situation that the software has to be modified/upgraded to build VERS in then the resulting software or service must be made available to the rest of government.
Ensuring that VERS keeps abreast of developments in National and International Standards
To ensure that the departments have the widest possible capability to transfer, manage and access digital records over distance and time requires that the VERS standard keeps in step with National and International standards.
Annual Departmental Assessment
To ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of departmental capability will allow the departments to both address their own issues and allow the VERS Centre to tailor its services to meet the needs of its customers. It will also provide a yardstick by which VERS can gauge the effectiveness of its program and provide government with a measure of success
VERS expertise (on call) to support all project phases
As departments implement business initiated projects which create and manage digital records there is a need to determine how VERS requirements need to be met. Experts in the different aspects of VERS are valuable in the design, development and implementation of the project. The Centre, by having a range of expertise, is well placed to support these projects and deliver real cost savings (in comparison to external suppliers) and improved outcomes.
Provision of Advice and Guidance on all aspects of digital records
As more is learnt about the methods of effectively managing digital records this information can be made available to all departments from a centralised function. In the future, as government business is supported more and more by embedded ICT, the requirement for authoritative and useful advice and guidance is expected to increase.
Undertaking Research on digital preservation providing a WOVG benefit
As more business processes are starting to use an ever increasing number of digital formats and applications there is value in undertaking a research program to determine effective solution. By undertaking this research in the Centre it can be done at a lower cost and is more consistent than all departments undertaking the research independently.
Training on all aspects of VERS ( Business, Technical and End-User)
Staff training is required as the departments implement VERS across their business requirements. Training targeted for business managers, ICT Staff, Information Managers and end users is needed.
Advice and Guidance
Development of advice and guidelines for specific areas related to digital record keeping. In particular, the development of authoritative and well-researched advice on legal and regulatory areas will be useful to departments in a changing and dynamic legal environment.