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Memento : Issue 25
8 MEMENTO News from the National Archives Last year we released a training package for agencies called Keep the Knowledge -- Make a Record! More than 100 copies of the package (or 22,000 booklets and ready reference cards) have been requested by Australian government agencies, keen to ensure their staff understand the principles and practices that support good recordkeeping. We have also responded to many requests for the training package from other jurisdictions and private organisations, including some from overseas. To facili- tate access to this information we are planning to make it available through our website. This is one of the many ways we provide assistance to the wider records and archives community. Ever wondered where the records of government businesses that are sold to the private sector end up? Can the public still access them in the future? Which records do the new owners need, and which ones does the government need to keep? Our role is to advise the government on the best way to deal with such records, so they continue to be available in the future. These records can provide evidence of rights, entitlements and obligations, and may be important for historical research. A recent example involves the records of the Bankstown, Camden and Hoxton Park Airports in Sydney, which are currently being privatised. We are developing a records disposal authority to allow records to be transferred from the Australian Government to the newly privatised companies. These records, which will be vital to the new owners, cover administrative and operational matters such as corporate governance, financial management, personnel, property management, strategic planning and environmental strategies. For records of continuing value to both the government and the new owner, we may authorise other arrangements, such as copying or the transfer of temporary custody. Wherever the records are kept, by government or business, our role is to ensure they remain available for the future. Recordkeeping audit of large agencies In September 2003 the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) released its audit report on recordkeeping in large Australian government agencies. The report concluded that there was a significant risk of the non-capture and unauthorised disposal of records. It found that although the audited agencies had taken active steps to improve their recordkeeping, many digital records lacked corporate control due to the use of shared network drives and personal computers for storing records. The audit report also highlighted recordkeeping issues related to outsourced functions and activities and pinpointed the need for organisations to identify their vital records in Business Continuity Plans. The report's conclusions and recom- mendations will be used to inform our priorities and directions in supporting and promoting good government recordkeeping in 2004. The audit report (no. 7 of 2003--04) is available from the ANAO website at www.anao.gov.au. Up, up and away Keeping the knowledge For information on the training package go to www.naa.gov.au/recordkeeping/ training/keep/package.html, or contact email@example.com.