ANZ team leads development of record-keeping standards

Australian and New Zealand archives to the fore

An Australian and New Zealand led multinational team of archival institutions has developed a global standard for record-keeping software.

The National Archives of Australia [NAA] and Archives New Zealand worked with national archive organisations from 11 nations to develop the standards, which will apply to record-keeping software products.

Working under the auspices of the International Council on Archives, the Principles and Functional Requirements for Records in Electronic Office Environments were launched this week at the International Congress on Archives in Malaysia.

Director-general of the NAA, Ross Gibbs, says the completion of the project is a milestone for the archives industry.

"Over the past decade some countries have issued their own requirements for software to manage electronic records. Now the world's archival institutions have agreed on a single set of standards."

Gibbs says the standards promise significant benefits to the software industry, with an agreed set of requirements eliminating confusion caused by varying standards.

"The National Archives of Australia is proud to have led the project, in cooperation with our Australian and New Zealand partner institutions, particularly Archives New Zealand and Queensland State Archives. We are particularly excited about the guidelines for managing records in business systems, which we feel is the way of the future.

"The drafts generated significant interest from software vendors, consultants and archivists around the world, whose comments have been incorporated into the final publications," he says.

The NAA said the initiative is about helping governments and other organisations to better manage their information assets in an era of rapidly evolving information and communications technology.

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