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Memento : Issue 20
bytes For those unfamiliar with DIRKS, it is a system used by Commonwealth agencies to improve recordkeeping and information management practices, including the design and implementation of recordkeeping systems. The recently released DIRKS Database will help agencies to manage and document the analysis they under take during the DIRKS process. It will help them gather and capture information about their organisation, develop a business classification scheme, identify recordkeeping requirements and develop a records disposal authority. The database provides a framework for managing the information sources for each of these steps, including options for entering data about the organisation and meeting the Archives' documentation requirements for DIRKS projects. The DIRKS Database is packed with benefits. It saves time, provides structures, can manage large amounts of data, and can be a source of information for other purposes within government organisations. The database is available to all Commonwealth agencies that have a Commonwealth Keyword AAA licence and that are registered on our DIRKS workplan. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Doing DIRKS in style! DIRKS Database DOCUMENTING DIRKS ANALYSIS Developed from DIRKS: A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO MANAGING BUSINESS INFORMATION ISBN 0 642 34472 8 © Commonwealth of Australia 2002 National Archives of Australia Version 1.0 March 2002 Does DIRKS documentation leave you desperate and delirious? Despair no longer --- the DIRKS Database has arrived! Recent months have seen several high profile recordkeeping failures in Australia and the US. Records were destroyed under dubious circumstances --- in one case just before a company announced bankruptcy, in other cases after legal action had begun, or was anticipated. Agencies have an obligation to ensure that records relating to any pending legal action are not destroyed, even if a records disposal authority might permit such destruction. Courts and tribunals have taken a dim view of Commonwealth agencies that withhold or delay the provision of relevant information. Other circumstances where records should not be destroyed include issues under investigation by non-judicial bodies such as the Ombudsman and the Privacy Commissioner, cases subject to any sort of review, and records that are subject to a legal request for access, for example under the Freedom of Information Act. Records managers need to work with their agency's legal advisers to ensure that records that might be used as evidence are not destroyed. Remember that records are not only useful to defend the agency's actions, they also protect the rights of every citizen. 8 Preserving the evidence memento may 2002