As some of you may be aware, we have been busy working on how we can improve how Archives New Zealand operates under the Public Records Act 2005 (the Act). The first and perhaps the most important part of this work is using our regulatory role to improve public information and records management.
Using her authority under s.27 of the Act, the Chief Archivist (Marilyn Little) has today issued a new standard – the Information and records management standard. This standard builds on the principles and requirements of the old standard but is simplified to have more impact and usability. The new standard is mandatory for all public offices (including state and state-integrated schools) and local authorities covered by the Act.
Although state and state-integrated schools have always been subject to the Act, previously standards issued under the Act have not been extended to include them. We are currently working with the Ministry of Education to develop specific guidance to help school boards understand and implement the standard. In the meantime, school boards do not need to make any changes to practice and should use, or continue to use, the existing guidance in the School Records Retention/Disposal Information Pack .
As most public offices and local authorities will already meet many of the requirements in the new standard, there should be no major impact for these organisations. Whilst we do not expect immediate changes to practice, there is some work that does need to be started and the Chief Archivist has sent an email to all Chief Executives advising them of this.
The first thing we require from your organisation is the nomination of an Executive Sponsor. This key role will provide executive level oversight of your organisation’s information and records management, as well as providing a clear line of responsibility to the Chief Executive. A new factsheet, Roles and responsibilities of an Executive Sponsor, outlines the Chief Archivist’s expectations of this role.
The release of this standard coincides with a refresh of the Records Toolkit together with new-look guidance and a comprehensive Implementation Guide which will be regularly updated and available online. We are currently working on more guidance to be released during the rest of this year, as well as other projects to optimise our regulatory role.