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Issue: 2nd Quarter

A Public Record

Victorian Electronic Record Strategy- Refresh

For more information about these projects and all things VERS, please contact:
Cathy Meynell-James, ph: 0419 580 865 or email: 

The VERS team have been busy in the first quarter of the financial year and forging ahead with the various projects identified in 2011 by the VERS Refresh Strategy report.
Work has been commenced across several areas of Government Services, with the VERS team concentrating on the following projects:
  • Structured Data – Consultant Barbara Reed is preparing an issues paper and literature review on the challenges of managing ‘Structured Data’ (e.g. databases, websites, spatial data systems), with a view to develop a standard in early 2013.
  • Measurement Framework - Phase 1 involves developing an online Information Management Maturity Assessment tool, which agencies can use to asses their progress towards a proactive, organisation-wide IM model. Consultant Howard Quenault has been working with individuals and stakeholders to develop the tool parameters and content. The model has already received good feedback from our major stakeholder, the Government Services Division in DTF.
  • Workbench – The Workbench is a software tool for agencies to prepare non-VERS-compliant electronic records for transfer to PROV’s Digital Archive.  We are currently reviewing the conversion tools being used in Victoria and Australia, to identify opportunities for aligning the VERS Workbench more closely with them.
Amongst these activities, the VERS Team has had the opportunity to present at the International Council of Archives in Brisbane and the Transitioning to Digital Recordkeeping Conference in Canberra.

Standards & Policy

For more information on Policy, please contact Allison Hunter:                                   9348 5708 or

The Standards and Policy team is currently conducting its first formal Standards Review. The Strategic Management suite will be the first of the seven recordkeeping standards to be reviewed. This suite consists of the Standard, Specification, seven guidelines, three fact sheets and a training manual.
We are seeking feedback from all interested parties on whether the standards are practical, implementable and up-to-date. We also seek to identify any gaps in coverage that could be addressed by new documents.
The initial consultation period has begun and will run through to December 2012. A survey is available on our website:
for users to provide feedback on their experiences in implementing the standards documents.
Detailed feedback on the Strategic Management standards documents can also be sent via email to:

An issues paper will follow in 2013 to address the feedback received. The paper will explore the significant issues and outline proposed revisions to existing products, and new products to be developed.

Work on the Government Services Training Strategy is also progressing. The Strategy sees a move away from the face-to-face delivery of general recordkeeping training to an online model. The Standards and Policy team are preparing to issue a Request for Quote for the provision of services required to develop and deliver new online training modules.

Product Compliance

For more information on compliance, contact Marcus Dowd, ph: 03 9348 5734, email: 

It has been a busy time for product compliance with four products from three vendors undergoing testing in this time period and a further vendor indicating their intent to seek VERS compliance. Opentext SAP achieved full VERS compliance on 22 August for their mobile product, Opentext Everywhere and for their product, Opentext for SAP on 17 September. Testing continues for IBM’s Enterprise Manager product, Canon’s Therefore product and ELO Digital’s product ELO Professional/Enterprise product. Oracle has indicated their intent to seek VERS compliance in the next few weeks.

Retention and Disposal Authority Progress

For more information about the Disposal program, email: or contact Julie McCormack, Manager, ph: (03) 9348 5630, email: 

We are reviewing our approach and process for authorising records disposal. The project commenced mid-year with client workshops that examined issues with the current approach and process and possible ways to reach the ideal future state. Thanks to all the participants who generously gave their time to contribute. The feedback was very useful and will be included as options to be considered by the  executive team here at Public Record Office Victoria.

Consultation has also occurred with other recordkeeping professionals and we are busy researching national and international developments.  We are now holding a number of workshops to work through the ideas and develop possible options. Watch this space for more news and updates!

Transfers in Progress

For more information about Transfer Activities, please email:

A major milestone in one of our largest ever transfer projects was achieved in October when the first of 3.8 million paper title records was transferred from Land Victoria (DSE) to our huge repository. This is a long term project which will see all of the paper land titles transferred to Public Record Office Victoria over the next few years.  Further information about the project can be found on our website:
Recently completed transfers include:

  • Office of Public Prosecutions: Prosecution & litigation records
  • Horsham Rural City Council: Committee Records
  • Office of the Public Advocate: General Subject and Case Management Files
  • City of Moonee Valley: Rates and Registers
  • Supreme Court: Divorce Case Files & Companies and Miscellaneous Application Files
  • Melbourne City Council: Correspondence Records
  • Campaspe Shire: Rate and Valuation Books
  • Probate, Supreme Court: Wills


Transfer projects currently in progress include:
  • 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission: Records of the Commission
  • Department of Treasury and Finance: Correspondence
  • Supreme Court: Jury Records, Divorce, Criminal Case Records
  • Gippsland Water Authority: Letter Books and Plans
  • Heritage Victoria: Slide Collections, Digital and Physical
  • DSE: Historic Records Plans and Pre-emptive Rights Plans
  • Corinella Cemetery trust: Minute Books and Other Trust Records
  • County Court: Criminal Presentments and Final Orders
  • Victorian Law Reform Commission: References and Community Law Reform Projects
  • VicTrack: Railway Line Drawings and Plans, Correspondence and Photos
  • Office of the Administrator (SECV): Photographic Collection
  • Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority: Donor Linking Records
Local Government transfers include:
  • Dandenong Shire
  • Brimbank City Council
  • Corangamite Shire
  • Queenscliff Borough
  • Melbourne City Council
  • La Trobe City Council
  • Wellington Shire
  • Loddon Shire
  • Gannawarra

Government Services Staff Member of the Month

Christine Mitchell - Records and Archives Adviser

Time flies when you are having fun!  I have worked at Public Record Office Victoria since January 2002.  What was meant to be three weeks of work when I returned to Melbourne after working at National Archives of Australia in Canberra has now been over a decade and I am very happy to still be here.

While it was more the public programs side of archives that first attracted me (I'm sorry to say I never really used archives in my uni studies - in my defence I was studying Journalism), I'm glad I've found my niche in the Government Services side of the organisation.  And while I still like the work involved in arrangement and description in records transfer - I really do love disposal. Helping agencies develop RDAs is challenging but really interesting work in that I get to see what different agencies do, how they intersect and I can see where our work will have an impact on the collection in the future.

Outside of work my life is busy with my family - my daughter started prep this year and my son will turn two very soon.  We also have a giant dog named Scarlett.
In my spare time I love to go to the footy and the races.  In the footy I barrack for the Blues (so the less said about 2012 the better), and now that the season is over I can turn my attention to the Spring Carnival.  These warm Spring days we are starting to have always make me think of walking past the roses at Flemington and hoping to get the trifecta in the Melbourne Cup (because there is always a roughie in the top three that makes it good value).

Topical News:

Recordkeeping and the Public Records Act

You might be interested in some entries in the PROV Blog on:

  • Recordkeeping and the Public Records Act
  • Nudge and Behavioural Insights.
The PROV Blog is a great place to read up on topical issues and activities relating to information and records management.

VAGO also recently issued a report on Major Projects Victoria. In this report, the Auditor General makes some very clear observations and recommendations around records management.  These provide further evidence that poor recordkeeping is poor business.
In other news, the Public Affairs and Estimates Committee's (PAEC) recent report on the 2012/13 Budget Estimates - Part Two, makes an interesting recommendation (see p122 Recommendation 34):

"The Auditor-General undertake regular audits of  departments’ performance information systems. These audits should ensure that the systems provide accurate and consistent data for reporting on performance measures."

These reports highlight significant benefits in implementing Records Management Standards and Specifications.  They provide guidance on how to ensure that recordkeeping systems are appropriate and that records are adequate. Implementation of the Standards and Specifications will help agencies:
  • meet their obligations to government and the community
  • being audited by VAGO/Ombudsman
  • implement efficient processes and improvements (giving better value)

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