Government entities in Australia generate millions of records each year, capturing the essence of decision-making processes, service delivery, and the creation of public policies. The significance of records management cannot be overstated, as it serves as the backbone of accountability, transparency, and informed governance within these organisations. In this article, we will delve deeper into the importance of records management and shed light on the criticality of complying with specific requirements at the federal, state, and local government levels. 

Understanding records management

Records management is a systematic practice that revolves around classifying, organising, and maintaining all records created or received by an organisation. Within government entities, this practice is of paramount importance, ensuring the integrity, visibility, and accessibility of vital records. 

The benefits of effective records management for government organisations are vast: 

  • Ensuring Compliance: Government entities operate under a multitude of laws, policies, and regulations. Effective records management ensures that records adhere to these requirements, mitigating the risk of legal disputes and potential penalties. 
  • Efficient Retrieval: A well-structured records management system allows government officials to access the information they need promptly and efficiently. This ensures that decision-making processes are well-informed and supported by accurate data. 
  • Promoting Accountability and Transparency: With records properly managed, government entities can be more transparent about their actions, fostering public trust and confidence in the administration. 
  • Providing Evidence: Records are invaluable evidence of past decisions and actions. In legal proceedings or audits, well-maintained records act as a reliable source of evidence, safeguarding the interests of the government organisation. 
  • Ensuring Continuity and Disaster Recovery: In times of crisis or disaster, records management becomes crucial for ensuring the continuity of government operations. Properly preserved records serve as a foundation for effective disaster recovery strategies. 
  • Supporting Digital Transformation Initiatives: As government organisations embrace digital transformation, records management plays a vital role in transitioning from physical to digital records, ensuring data integrity and security. 

Complying with specific requirements at different government levels

Australian government entities face a complex web of regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. Complying with these specific requirements is vital for maintaining proper records management. Some of the key regulations and guidelines include: 

  • Australian Government Records Management Standard AS ISO 15489.1-2017: This standard sets the framework for records management practices at the federal level, ensuring consistency and compliance across government agencies. 
  • Archives Act 1983: This federal legislation governs the management of Commonwealth records and emphasises the importance of preserving historically valuable records. 
  • General Retention and Disposal Schedule (GRDS): Issued by the National Archives of Australia, this schedule provides guidelines for disposing of records that no longer have ongoing value, while preserving those with enduring significance. 

In addition to federal regulations, each state and territory government has its specific requirements and guidelines for records management. Some examples include: 

  • Standard on Records Management issued by State Records NSW. 
  • Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS)  issued by the Public Records Office of Victoria. 
  • Records Governance Policy issued by the Queensland State Archives. 

Furthermore, local government entities must also comply with specific regulations set forth by their respective states or territories. 

Calling on our expertise

As an Information Management expert within a government organisation, the task of managing and maintaining records can be challenging, especially with the ever-changing landscape of information management. To navigate through the intricacies of records management and harness its benefits fully, it is crucial to seek expert guidance. 

Inform offers specialised services in information management, tailored to meet the unique needs of government entities in Australia. Our team of experienced professionals understands the nuances of records management regulations and best practices at federal, state, and local government levels. 

By partnering with Inform, government organisations can benefit from the following services: 

  • Records Management Strategy: Developing a comprehensive records management strategy that aligns with government requirements and enhances efficiency in record-keeping.
  • Compliance Audits: Conducting thorough compliance audits to ensure that government entities meet the necessary regulatory obligations for records management. 
  • Digital Transformation: Assisting in the transition from physical to digital records, ensuring data integrity, and facilitating secure data storage. 
  • Training and Workshops: Providing tailored training and workshops to empower staff with the knowledge and skills to implement effective records management practices. 


As an Information Management expert within a government organisation, your role in records management is pivotal to upholding accountability, transparency, and evidence-based decision-making. Complying with specific requirements at the federal, state, and local government levels ensures that records remain accessible, retrievable, and preserved, safeguarding the interests of the government and members of the community alike. By implementing effective records management practices, government organisations can proactively manage their information, promote good governance, and deliver high-quality services to the public. 

To optimise the benefits of records management and address the unique challenges faced by government entities, consider leveraging the expertise of Inform. Our specialised services in information management can enhance your records management strategy and empower your organisation to thrive in the complex landscape of modern governance. 

Even in a thousand years, accurate information stored today will be useful. After all, the reason we have a background understanding of various things is because others kept and stored data.

What’s more, with data governance, you can ensure that the data you store today is accurate, consistent and trustworthy.

In this article, we’ll be talking about data governance; what it means, why it’s important, and how you can set it up in your business. If you want to be able to create data standards and processes that ensure effective and secure data management for your business, then this post is for you.

What Is Data Governance And Why Is It Important?

Data governance is organisation combined with knowledge. It is the process of managing the availability, usability, integrity and security of data. This data includes the information created within a business; from employee files to accounting records, websites, client data, emails, social media posts, etc.

Data governance also involves the control of data regarding the policies, procedures, and structures that organisations must comply with when they create, manage and share information both internally and externally. Effective data governance ensures that data is consistent and trustworthy and doesn’t get misused.

Many organisations have failed due to improper data management and analysis, not a lack of funding. And although some people had the necessary data, they lacked data governance.

Data governance will help you determine the information to keep in your business, how long you should keep them, and where to store them. By implementing data governance, your company can prevent work from piling up, boost employee productivity, and make work more enjoyable.

Data governance also ensures that you have cleaner data, which will help you make better business decisions, which, in the long run, means better business results and higher profit margins.

But like any other business strategy, data governance needs to be implemented properly. Let’s take a look at the steps that you can take to set up effective data governance in your business.

How To Set Up Data Governance In Your Business

If you want to establish sound data governance in your company, here are a few steps that you can take:

#1. Establish attainable objectives

To set up a sound data governance plan, it is necessary to provide answers to questions like what goals must be met, who is in charge of what, and which workflow diagram should be employed. This is absolutely necessary for producing data governance.

By figuring out the answers to these questions, you can make goals that are realistic and profitable without needing to be unorganised or erratic. That way, your business won’t accumulate unneeded backlogs of work.

Before creating the data governance team that will carry it out, weigh the advantages and disadvantages. You will undoubtedly find yourself in trouble if you don’t set realistic goals for your business, that much is clear.

#2. Appoint a person to each collection of data

While it may be tempting to have one person manage all the data for your company, it is better to assign specialised data from various units to particular people.

Everyone in a unit should be aware of who to contact for data-related questions. You are free to designate a general data owner to whom all other employees will answer.

Assign employees who have demonstrated a commitment to detail and perhaps even a history of data retention. Doing this will answer the question of who does what, it will also free one person from bearing all the data burdens of the business alone.

#3. Indicate your area of expertise

By defining your frame of reference, you can focus on the information that matters or the areas where specific descriptions are most lacking. Your data team will benefit from having a clear understanding of the data area they are working with.

They will be better able to focus their attention, know what to disregard, and know where to direct their thoughts and energy.

When you specify your field of reference, you will find regions you are omitting. There will be a torrent of fresh ideas, and you can also meet regulatory requirements related to the data you choose.

#4. Seek out data specialists

Data gurus are aware of the power that data has over a company. They are able to offer guidance on who should and shouldn’t have access to the data because they are aware of its veracity.

Data professionals can also help you assess your success and determine how well your organisation is doing. They frequently collaborate with the data owners of other organisational units and serve as the central point of contact for all company data.

The data specialists can assist you in assembling a productive team to examine your company’s data. Even novice data governors can be trained by them on how to operate effectively.

They can also collaborate with your company’s IT department to develop a long-term data strategy that meets your business needs.

The Bottom Line

The value of data governance in businesses cannot be overemphasised. With an effective data governance plan in place, you can say goodbye to days of confusing information in your business. 

Data governance is typically not an easy journey at first. It requires persistence and consistency. And if you’re trying on your own, and you’re not getting the expected results, then you need to get help. And that is where we, at Inform Strategic Consulting, come in. 

At Inform Strategic Consulting, we help our clients achieve maximum protection by organising and safeguarding their critical business data. We are experts at providing Information Management solutions that help businesses elevate their business operations. Our solutions are proven and trustworthy. 

If you need help getting your business to access a higher level of operational efficiency, then don’t delay. Contact us today. 

Information management is a process of organising, storing, retrieving, protecting, and distributing information and data in an efficient and effective manner. Below we run through the 6 key steps when considering information management within your organisation: 

The 6 steps for approaching information management

#1. Understand the different types of information

Structured data refers to information that is organised in a defined format, making it easier to store, manage, and analyse. Examples of structured data include spreadsheets, databases, and inventory management systems. Structured data typically has a well-defined structure, with consistent formats and values.

Unstructured data, on the other hand, refers to information that is not organised in a defined format. Examples of unstructured data include text files, emails, images, videos, and social media content. Unstructured data is often more complex than structured data and can be more challenging to manage and analyse.

To effectively manage both structured and unstructured data, it is important to understand the different types of data, how they are used, and how they can be stored and retrieved. By categorising data into structured and unstructured types, you can begin to develop systems and processes that are tailored to the unique needs of each type of data.

#2. Develop a system for storing information

Having a consistent and organised system for storing information makes it easier to find, retrieve, and manage information when you need it. Here are some key considerations for developing a system for storing information:

  1. File Naming Conventions: Develop a consistent and clear system for naming files that makes it easy to identify the contents of the file. This may include using a naming convention that includes date, author, and subject matter.
  2. Folder Structures: Establish a folder structure that makes it easy to find information quickly. This may involve grouping information by department, project, or other relevant categories.
  3. Version Control: Establish a system for version control to ensure that you are working with the most up-to-date information. This may involve using version numbers, dates, or other identifying information to track changes.
  4. Accessibility: Ensure that the information you need is easily accessible to you and your team. This may involve setting up a shared network drive or cloud-based file sharing platform.
  5. Archiving: Develop a system for archiving information that is no longer needed on a regular basis. This may involve establishing retention policies that dictate how long information should be kept.
  6. Metadata: Consider using metadata to provide additional information about files and folders. This may include information about file size, author, date, and other relevant details.

By developing a system for storing information that includes these considerations, you can ensure that you have a clear and organised approach to managing your information. An effective system for storing information can save time, reduce errors, and improve the overall quality of your work.

#3. Use technology to manage information

By leveraging technology such as Microsoft 365 to manage information, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your information management processes. Whether you are using SharePoint Online to store and track documents, or collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams to improve communication and coordination, the right technology can help you to better manage and leverage information to improve your business. Some considerations for using technology to manage information:

  1. A Document Management System (DMS) can help to improve document control, version control, and access to information. It may also have features for document collaboration, workflows, and approvals.
  2. Collaboration tools can help improve communication and collaboration within your organisation. They allow team members to share information and ideas in real-time, regardless of their physical location. 
  3. Search tools such as Microsoft Search helps to quickly locate information within your organisation. This can save time and improve productivity by reducing the time it takes to find information you need.
  4. Platforms such as Microsoft 365 allow you to store and access information from anywhere with an internet connection and secure login. This can help support a hybrid workplace allowing for a reduction in physical storage and office space.  

#4. Establish information security protocols

By managing information security and privacy effectively, you can protect sensitive information from unauthorised access and ensure legal compliance. This can help to safeguard your organisation’s reputation and provide peace of mind to stakeholders and customers.

#5. Create a culture of information management

Creating a culture of information management is an important process for any organisation or business, as it involves establishing practices and processes that enable the effective and efficient handling of information. This culture encompasses a set of values, behaviours, and practices that promote the responsible use of information, the accurate recording of data, and the secure storage and sharing of information within the organisation.

#6. Continuously review and update information management practices

As technology and business needs evolve, it’s important to ensure that your organisation’s information management practices are up-to-date and aligned with your current needs and goals. Here are some reasons why it’s important to continuously review and update your information management practices:

  1. Changes in technology: Technology is constantly evolving, and new tools and systems may become available that can help you better manage your information. By regularly reviewing and updating your practices, you can identify and implement these new technologies to streamline your processes and improve your efficiency.
  2. Changes in regulations: Regulations related to information management can change over time. By staying up-to-date on the latest regulations, you can ensure that your practices are compliant with current requirements and avoid potential legal or regulatory issues.
  3. Changes in organisational needs: As your business evolves, your information management needs may change as well. For example, you may need to collect new types of data or manage data in a different way to support new business initiatives. By regularly reviewing and updating your practices, you can ensure that they are aligned with your current business needs and goals.
  4. Identify and address gaps: By regularly reviewing your information management practices, you can identify any gaps or inefficiencies in your processes. This allows you to make necessary adjustments and improve your practices to better support your organisation’s information management needs.


Best practices for up to date information management practices

  1. Establish a regular review cycle: Set a regular schedule for reviewing and updating your information management practices. This could be an annual or bi-annual review, or more frequent reviews if necessary.
  2. Involve key stakeholders: Involve key stakeholders in the review process, including IT, legal, and business leaders. This ensures that everyone’s needs are taken into account and that any necessary changes are properly vetted and approved.
  3. Evaluate current practices: Evaluate your current information management practices to identify any gaps or areas for improvement. This may involve reviewing processes, policies, and technology solutions.
  4. Develop an action plan: Based on your evaluation, develop an action plan to address any gaps or inefficiencies. This may involve implementing new technology solutions, updating policies and procedures, or providing additional training to employees.
  5. Communicate changes: Once you’ve updated your information management practices, be sure to communicate any changes to your employees and stakeholders. This ensures that everyone is aware of the new practices and understands how to comply with them.


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