EDRMS FAQ

What is an EDRMS?

An Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) is an automated system used to manage the creation, use, management, storage and disposal of physical and electronic documents and records, for the purposes of:

  • supporting the creation, revision and management of digital documents
  • improving an organisation's work-flow
  • providing evidence of business activities

These systems maintain appropriate contextual information (metadata) and links between records to support their value as evidence. EDRMS are a subset of business information systems whose primary purpose is the capture and management of digital records. (Adapted from the National Archives of Australia)

What are the current procurement arrangements?

As of 1 August 2009, agencies wishing to procure an EDRMS will be responsible for tendering, system evaluation, procurement and implementation.

It is recommended that agencies follow internal procurement processes and utilise the services of agency procurement advisers.

Although State Records will no longer be managing EDRMS contracts, Government Recordkeeping Services within State Records is able to provide advice to agencies on aspects of procurement.

Who needs to comply with procurement arrangements?

Agencies, as defined by the State Records Act, 1997 and bound by section 14(2), who intend to procure or upgrade an EDRMS system are required to procure a solution that meets the requirements established under the suite of EDRMS Standards published by State Records, unless the Director State Records of South Australia grants an exemption.

Why procure a compliant EDRMS?

Interoperability between different systems is a critical issue for government as it facilitates information sharing across agencies and enables service continuity during and after the realignment of government functions. Information can be more efficiently transferred or migrated between compliant EDRMS' if they are VERS compliant and are configured to meet the South Australian Recordkeeping Metadata Standard V5 (PDF 1.6MB) and the EDRMS Design Standard V1.1 (PDF 451KB).

The benefits gained from implementing a compliant EDRMS are:

  • improved administrative efficiency and effectiveness
  • increased evidence-based and informed decision-making
  • improved customer service
  • reduction in the loss of electronic records
  • capability to integrate with office and agency business systems
  • improved information sharing within and across government
  • secure and systematic management of records, including management of sensitive and personal information
  • improved quality and consistency of business processes
  • increased agency recordkeeping procedures and practices
  • compliance with the State Records Act, 1997 and the Adequate Records Management Standard V3 (PDF 518KB)
  • aids agency compliance with meeting requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, 1991 and the provision of information to the public
  • improved accountability and transparency of government administration
  • metadata provides evidence of the authenticity, integrity and reliability of electronic public records

The procured system being VERS compliant will ensure that electronic records of permanent value will also be compatible with State Records' transfer requirements when a digital archive is established.

Evaluated systems

The following systems have been evaluated as meeting the EDRMS requirements established for the South Australian Government:

  • Objective
  • TRIM
  • i5 Records Management Software for Microsoft SharePoint (no longer available for purchase, but current users are supported)

Do all agencies need to have an EDRMS?

State Records has developed an Assessment and Audit Guideline (under revision) to outline the program of assessment and audit that agencies are required to undergo to determine if they are meeting the Adequate Records Management Standard V3 (PDF 518KB) outcomes.

Agencies do not necessarily need an EDRMS to comply with the ARM Standard, as long as they are meeting/achieving the benchmarks. For example, a small Board of three staff located in a single office, operating independently of an agency or department, that is able to apply rigorous controls over the hard-copy and electronic records it receives and generates may not need an EDRMS.

However, if agencies are intending to implement an EDRMS solution to assist in managing their paper-based and/or electronic records they will need to procure a compliant solution.

How do I ensure government requirements are met?

When an agency is evaluating an EDRMS, the agency must ensure that it is compliant with the:

and that the system meets the following conditions:

  • effectively allows the agency to manage risks associated with poor records management
  • is able to interrogate and report upon the data it contains
  • is capable of employing metadata standards to ensure accurate identification and preservation of the agency's records
  • enables the agency to access and subsequently disclose information to meet business needs in ways that protect information that is sensitive, confidential or impinges on personal privacy
  • contains the appropriate functionality to ensure the protection of data

Further, the system will be operated and maintained by people who are trained and competent in its application.

What if an agency EDRMS is non-compliant?

Agencies that have installed a non-compliant EDRMS solution will need to work with the supplier of their current solution so that the solution meets Government requirements. Alternatively, agencies can procure and migrate to a system that has already been evaluated as meeting Government requirements.

State Records provided suppliers of non-compliant solutions with information about EDRMS accreditation requirements in 2006 and again in 2009.

What is the EDRMS exemption process?

Agencies, as defined by the State Records Act, 1997, will need to submit a strong business case, which has been approved by the agency's Chief Executive, to State Records. The business case will need to include, but is not limited to:

  • details of the preferred solution and the supplier
  • a case not to procure from the State Records Standards based approach
  • cost analysis
  • risk analysis to both the records and the agency of not procuring a compliant solution

State Records will review the business case and provide a recommendation to the Director State Records.

Note: Exemption from procuring a compliant solution still requires that:

  • the solution meets:
  • the suppliers are:
    • a commercially viable service provider (as defined by the South Australian State Procurement Board)
    • undertaking full VERS compliance for their product or have received full VERS compliance for their product

Further details are available on the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS) website.

What is required for digitising records?

Agencies, as defined by the State Records Act, 1997, that are considering digitising current or archival records, including photographs, will need to procure a compliant EDRMS solution (if they don't already have one) that can interface with their digitisation solution.

Agencies will also need to refer to the Digitisation of Official Records and Management of Source Documents Guideline V3.1 (200KB).

What are the agency pre-procurement activities?

Agencies are required to undertake and complete business records and technical procurement and pre-implementation activities so that they are able to select the most appropriate EDRMS to meet their business needs. These activities are described in brief in this section.

To assist agencies in procuring a compliant EDRMS, State Records has prepared a suite of EDRMS Standards, including the EDRMS Procurement and Pre-implementation Guideline V3.1 (PDF 214KB).

Prior to procuring, the EDRMS Checklist and pre-procurement certificate, which are available in the EDRMS Procurement and Pre-implementation Guideline V3.1 (PDF 214KB), need to be endorsed by the agency's Chief Executive and State Records.

What are the business procurement/pre-implementation activities?

Agencies will need to undertake a number of business planning activities to facilitate procurement and implementation of the EDRMS. Please refer to the EDRMS Procurement and Pre-implementation Guideline V3.1 (PDF 214KB) for a complete checklist of business requirements. Examples of business requirements include:

  • a written funding guarantee via an approved business case
  • a risk analysis of the current recordkeeping environment
  • a specification of functional requirements, specifically for those requirements not included in the EDRMS Functional Specification Standard V3.1 (PDF 375KB)
  • a Records Migration Strategy for existing official records

What are the records management procurement/pre-implementation activities?

Agencies will need to develop/procure fundamental records management tools to ensure their EDRMS implementation:

Please refer to the EDRMS Procurement and Pre-implementation Guideline V3.1 (PDF 214KB) for a complete checklist of records management requirements. Examples of records management tools required for implementation include:

  • an independent Assessment Report of current recordkeeping practices using the Assessment and Audit Guideline (under revision)
  • a Strategic Records Management Plan
  • a business classification scheme
  • a functional thesaurus based on the business classification scheme to classify all records
  • a Records Disposal Schedule (RDS) approved by State Records Council

What are the technical procurement activities?

Agencies will need to provide details of their IT infrastructure to the solution provider/s to ensure the solution/s are fit for purpose for the current or proposed technical architecture.

Please refer to the EDRMS Procurement and Pre-implementation Guideline V3.1 (PDF 214KB) for a checklist of technical requirements to be considered, including:

  • technical architecture requirements (desired EDRMS topology)
  • Standard Operating Environment (e.g. capacity of existing desktop PC fleet)
  • local and wide area networks, including bandwidth capacity

What is a Master Licence Agreement?

A Master License Agreement (MLA) defines the overarching terms and conditions for a licence to apply to software at a Whole-of-Government level. In this case, individual MLAs are being negotiated with the States' compliant EDRMS suppliers and, once established, will be listed on the Office of the Chief Information Officer's (OCIO) website.

An MLA is limited to the supply and licensing of standard commercial 'off-the-shelf' software and to the supply of maintenance and support for this software. The MLAs provide agencies with software licensing terms and conditions that are consistent with government policy and offers some improved pricing. The State has not made any financial commitment or committed to any purchase obligations under an MLA.

All licences acquired by agencies under an MLA will be in the name of the Minister (for and on behalf of the State) with agencies being recognised as the 'end user'.

To order software from EDRMS suppliers an agency must enter into a Purchase Order. Each Purchase Order is to be read subject to the terms and conditions of an MLA, which collectively shall form the entire agreement and understanding between the parties. MLA's shall supersede all terms of any unsigned, shrink-wrap or click-wrap license included in any package, media or electronic version of the software and any such software shall be licensed under the terms of the respective MLA. If there is any conflict in terms between an MLA and a Purchase Order, the terms of an MLA shall take priority.

What are the requirements for EDRMS accreditation?

The requirements for accreditation are that:

  • the solution meets:
  • the suppliers are:
    • commercially viable service provider (as defined by the South Australian State Procurement Board)
    • prepared to sign the common EDRMS Panel Deed Agreement
    • undertaking full VERS compliance for their product or have received full VERS compliance for their product

Further details are available on the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS) website.

What about the systems on the EDRMS panel?

The providers that were on the Panel, Objective and HP Trim, have demonstrated a commitment to South Australia. Both vendors will continue to be able to supply systems to government agencies as their systems meet the compliance requirements established in State Records' suite of EDRMS Standards. Agencies that have procured from the Panel will be able to continue to utilise that system and operate under existing contracts, resulting in no disruption to services.

For further information regarding the procurement and implementation of an EDRMS please contact Government Recordkeeping Services at State Records.

 

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