Digital Records Management

What is information and what are records?



Recordkeeping Advice Sheets

A significant amount of government information created, received, stored and sent is in electronic form, such as email messages and their attachments, word processing or spreadsheet documents, web pages and databases. Even formal documents such as tax returns, licence and permit applications and other documents lodged with agencies, generally originate in electronic format. Much of this electronic information will only ever exist in digital form.

Whilst electronic information is seemingly kept forever, national and international experience indicates digital information and records are disappearing at an alarming rate. Digital information and records are at high risk of degrading or being irretrievably lost within seven (7) years from creation, due to constantly changing technology. Government needs to be able to access information for much longer than this in order to review, evaluate and develop policy, to conduct day-to-day business, and to prepare for the future.

Making information and records of government business accessible to citizens is the major function of a democracy. Digital records are an essential source of evidence that documents the democratic rights and entitlements of citizens, for instance births, deaths and marriage records, court decisions and lands title records. A proportion of digital records also documents Government's achievements and therefore constitutes our future history and heritage.

What is information and what are records?

'Information' is codified knowledge, which is transferred and stored by means of documents, records, publications, databases, tools, images, plans, sound/video recordings, etc. Information is an asset and a resource that State and Local Government agencies harness to meet their strategic, operational and legal needs.

'Records' are a special subset of 'information' deemed to have evidential, legal, administrative or historical value to an organisation and warranting special attention concerning retention, accessibility and retrieval.

'Official' records include information created, received, and maintained as evidence by an organisation or person (agency), in conduct/transaction of its business. Official records are identified as such because of the activity they document, not their format. Consequently official records will exist in a variety of digital formats.


Document and Records Management Systems V2.1 (PDF 97KB)

South Australian Recordkeeping Metadata Standard V5 (PDF 1.6MB)

EDRMS Design V1.1 (PDF 451KB)

EDRMS Functional Specifications V3.1 (PDF 375KB)

Management of Official Records in a Business System V1 (PDF 146KB)

Functional Specification for Records in a Business System V1 (PDF 300KB)

Australian Standard HB 171-2003 Guidelines for the management of IT evidence (available for purchase from

South Australian Government IT Standards relevant to the operating environment for State Government agencies can be found on the Office of the Chief Information Officer website.

VERS - Victorian Electronic Records Strategy. State Records of South Australia has adopted VERS to complement its own EDRMS suite of standards. VERS is to be used, in addition to the specific standards developed for South Australian Government, as a compliance standard for all Electronic Document and Records Management Systems (EDRMS). VERS has been developed by Public Record Office Victoria to preserve electronic records for the long term. Further details can be found on the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy website.


EDRMS Procurement and Pre-implementation V3.1 (PDF 214KB)

Digitisation of Official Records V3.1 (PDF 200KB)

Management of Email as Official Records V3 (PDF 489KB)

Cloud Computing and Records Management V1 (400KB)

Recordkeeping Advice Sheets

RF032 - Electronic Records Management V2 (PDF 44KB)

RK033 - Managing Normal Administrative Practice (NAP) in an EDRMS V1.2 (PDF 54KB)

RK017 - Recordkeeping Metadata V2 (PDF 47KB)

RK041 - Microsoft SharePoint Server and EDRMS V6 (PDF 194KB)

RK027 - Digital Rights Management and Records Management V2 (PDF 78KB)

RK043 - Management of Hybrid Files V1 (PDF 41KB)

RK039 - Technical Requirements for the Scanning of Official Records V1 (PDF 52KB)

RK044 - GDS21 Certification Process V1 (PDF 71)

RK045 - Metadata Mapping V1 (PDF 194KB)


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