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State Records Office of Western Australia. NET Proof of Concept Project Slideshow: Prototype Online Disposal Authority/Recordkeeping Plan System Project operation: December 2005 – May 2006 PLEASE NOTE: the following slideshow provides real screenshots from the Proof of Concept System. The data displayed is however TEST DATA ONLY. This data DOES NOT necessarily reflect authorised retention and disposal decisions.
Access to the proof of concept system is via a secure login process. The system is web-enabled and in a production system, it is envisaged that government agencies would access the system via the archival institution’s website.
For archive staff, the proof of concept system’s entry page provides a status of pending tasks configured for each staff member (i. e. only the tasks allocated to that staff member are displayed. Each staff member has a unique login).
The proof of concept system provides the functionality for archive staff to set up new agencies, users (agency staff or consultants of an agency), Disposal Authorities and Recordkeeping Plans. There are relational links between all of these entities (multiple users can be assigned to an agency, multiple documents can be assigned to an agency, etc).
The proof of concept system provides basic agency registration functionality. The project team decided that in a full production system, agency information could actually be drawn from an archival management system or a separate agency database.
The proof of concept system allows archive staff to establish a given document for an agency as part of the Disposal Authority/Recordkeeping Plan process.
The proof of concept system allows archive staff to use the “Notify agency to begin process” icon. This facility generates an email to the agency user to notify them that they can commence producing their Disposal Authority or Recordkeeping Plan via the online system.
The proof of concept system allows agencies to put together their Disposal Authority by building up the tree structure (left-hand side) of the document. For each record category, agency staff would enter the record description, retention period, disposal action, disposal trigger, restricted access periods, etc (right hand side). In the proof of concept system, the tree structure was limited to the body of a disposal authority but in a production version, it is envisaged that this would also accommodate the cover page, contents, introduction and index to the Disposal Authority. Automated section numbering, page numbering, etc. would also be anticipated so that the system compiles the entire document.
The proof of concept system attempted to accommodate producing a Disposal Authority or Recordkeeping Plan in an easy-to-use fashion using drop-down boxes, radio buttons, etc.
The proof of concept system allows the tree structure to be built up via an editing box. This is very basic in the proof of concept system but it is envisaged that in a production system this functionality would be more sophisticated and better accommodated with a right-click mouse editing function, as well as “drag and drop” functionality.
The proof of concept system tested some basic rightclick mouse functionality.
The colour icons against each record category signify the work-flow status of each of these items. As the document is progressed through its various stages, the icons automatically change to reflect their new status. These icons are also used at a macro document level for status reporting purposes.
Icon status codes.
The Item Comments field facilitates online collaboration between archive staff and agency staff in developing a given Disposal Authority or Recordkeeping Plan. The purpose of this facility is to allow both archive staff and agency staff to comment or seek clarification on specific matters in the document via the system. This facility also provides a full history and audit trail for such decisionmaking and the comments data is transferred across subsequent drafts of a given document. This online collaboration occurs directly via the system rather than via a separate email account (although email notifications are established when the document, as a whole, requires review).
Archive staff and agency staff can instantly compare the current version of the document with previous versions. The proof of concept system clearly displays the changes that have been between versions.
The proof of concept system allows archive staff to link one document to another. In a production system, it is envisaged that this would also describe the relationship link (i. e. if a Disposal Authority supersedes another, etc). The proof of concept system also tested the workflow for the bodies that authorize Disposal Authorities and Recordkeeping Plans to do so via the system.
At any stage during the development of the document, agency staff or archive staff can choose to export it or print it.
The proof of concept system compiles the document’s XML data into a predetermined structure which can then be exported in a variety of different formats or printed. This facility effectively compiles the data into the form of a document which has the look and feel of a traditional Disposal Authority or Recordkeeping Plan.
The proof of concept system also accommodates importing a Disposal Authority into the system. This is to cater for situations where an agency or consultant has used another software package to draft their Disposal Authority. One of the critical aims of the concept has been to ensure that, at the end of the day, the system could capture all Disposal Authorities across government so that the archival institution could manage these in their entirety as data.
The Disposal Authority Data Import Wizard.
Similar methodologies apply to producing a Recordkeeping Plan as per a Disposal Authority. The major difference is that the tree structure (left-hand side) is pre-determined by the State Records Office and is not editable by agency staff. The purpose of this structure is reflect State Records Commission Principles (under State Records Commission Standard 2 – Record keeping Plans).
The proof of concept system explored different approaches to completing a Recordkeeping Plan and attempted to provide a uniform structure for how information in a Recordkeeping Plan is completed for the purposes of consistency and conformity.
The proof of concept system provides the capability for agency staff to attach their own Records Management Policy and Procedures manuals (and such like) direct from their desktop or network. The system therefore provides holistic electronic management of all aspects of the Recordkeeping Plan regime and does not require separate systems to manage such documents. This type of functionality could also be used in many other ways, such as allowing archive staff to upload appraisal reports direct to the system and to link such reports to a given Disposal Authority.
The ability for the system to analyze Disposal Authority and Recordkeeping Plan data is central to its purpose. The proof of concept system tested several different types of reporting methodologies. In a production system, a significantly larger number of reports would be anticipated, particularly for Recordkeeping Plans. The aim of such reporting is to enable quick analysis of whole-of-government trends and deficiencies in recordkeeping, as well as automated analysis on individual documents.
The Macro Disposal Authorities report provides the facility to search record categories across all finalized Disposal Authorities. This facility would allow archive staff to run a quick comparative analysis to check consistency in retention periods and disposal actions for similar categories of records. The proof of concept system tested basic capabilities in this regard but it is envisaged that in a production system, the searching parameters of this facility could be greatly expanded (i. e. to include searching on terms in a record description, etc).
State Records Office of Western Australia The aim of the Proof of Concept Project was to test system concepts and methodologies. The Proof of Concept System is currently NOT at a stage where it can be used for full production purposes. Further resources - as well as stakeholder review - are required if that aim is to be realised. If you would like to provide any feedback or comments on the Proof of Concept System or Project, please email the Project Manager Damien Hassan at the State Records Office of Western Australia at: damien. [email protected] wa. gov. au