The 2016 Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM) Information Management / Records Symposium was held in Wellington this week. Marilyn Little, Chief Archivist, gave the opening keynote presentation. Her speech emphasised that information and records are as vital to local government as to central government. Information of immense value is created and managed in local government and Marilyn acknowledged the crucial role ALGIM plays within the sector.
As part of Archives’ regulatory role, Marilyn discussed the purpose of the recently released Information and records management standard, as designed to ensure local and central government information and records are created, maintained and made accessible.
Marilyn emphasised the new role of the Executive Sponsor and her expectations. The standard requires one for each organisation and she has asked chief executives of local authorities and public offices to tell her who theirs is by 2 September. Four councils had already nominated an Executive Sponsor by midday Friday.
The Executive Sponsor must be a person reporting to the chief executive (or perhaps the actual chief executive in small organisations). The intention is to get information and records management at the top table to gain traction. The Executive Sponsors will also be the focus of Archives’ engagement and, once they are appointed, Marilyn intends to connect with them to outline her expectations.
As a regulator, Marilyn wants to ensure that she has set clear expectations so that compliance can be measured, effective practice emulated and deficiencies rectified. Archives future role and work in building capability in our regulated sector is being assessed. For now, the new standard and guidance lead the way.
Questions and comments from the floor indicated support for the new standard. There were some comments on the desirability of extending PRA regulation of local government further, for example recordkeeping audits. There are, however, no current plans to amend the PRA.