Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 6 2009 Contents 43
What is your role in the Records
My primary role is to manage the team of
experts who provide records management advice
and guidance to fellow colleagues in Defence. We
have a policy manual, POLMAN3, that spells out
our responsibilities and what we must do to accord
with legislation and regulations and we have a
website that gives more detailed, practical advice.
Another role is to manage the implementation
of the Defence Records Management Strategy
on behalf of my Branch Head, Mr Tony Corcoran.
This involves managing the day-to-day aspects of
the strategy which covers diverse initiatives such
as updating policy, improving training and skilling
aspects, providing business process requirements
for IT solutions, and providing support to change
people’s recordkeeping practices.
Why is records management important to
an organisation like Defence?
Records management is crucial to Defence
because of the diverse, complex and dispersed
nature of the work we do.
There is firstly the operational side, the
Services and the supporting arrangements that
allow them to do their operations. And there is
the business side, the administration of Defence,
which is one of the biggest ‘businesses’ in
Australia. If we do not look after our records we
are in danger of not being able to support decision
making to our Minister and the Australian people.
How does records management align
with good governance?
Good governance is about accountability, so
managing our records allows us to be able to
account for our actions. It’s not about showing that
a decision is right or wrong, it is about being able
to show transparency - showing that decisions are
made in good faith on the information available.
Managers need good, up-to-date records
on which to base their decisions. If pertinent
information is kept on a G: drive folder somewhere,
or in someone’s drawer on an unregistered file then
we run the risk of not having a full audit trail of any
We should remember that the G: drive is
not a records management system. I see it as a
short-term parking bay. Put it on the G: drive if you
must but when you have finished with it, or at the
end of the day’s work, put it on a file - electronic or
physical - that is up to you.
Defence’s document and records management
system enables staff the option to store records
electronically or manage their physical records. So,
there really isn’t any excuse for not managing your
What are your priorities for the next
We will have the POLMAN3 Edition 4 published to
make sure we are acting on the most current legal
I also want to help all staff change their
recordkeeping behaviours by providing better
training and skilling through e-learning courses
such as the Responsible Recordkeeping course
Defence used to have a good records
management regime in place with records and
office managers responsible for recordkeeping.
It is up to us to regain that recordkeeping culture.
Another priority is to help the Chief
Information Officer Group (CIOG) with their
aim to upgrade the current electronic records
management system and have it rolled out across
the whole of Defence by 2015.
What sort of long-term changes do
you see ahead for records management in
Our strategy aims to position Defence as a
best-practice recordkeeping agency in the short
term and to move Defence from a largely paper-
based information environment to an electronic
This will be achieved by providing an
Enterprise Content Management System across
the whole of Defence that allows not only for
records management but for work flow and
collaboration tools as well.
What is it about records management
that keeps you engaged with the
The people I work with and their enthusiasm,
knowledge and their desire to do the right thing for
Defence is very uplifting. They have been engaged
with the various aspects of recordkeeping
practices over many years and now I have them
in my Directorate using their expertise and
experience in developing policy and providing
Andy Lovelock, Anne Robinson and Julie
Carpenter are very hard working and take great
pride in their work. I’m also very encouraged by the
reputation these guys have outside Defence – we
are very lucky to have them.
What’s one key piece of advice you’d
give to all Defence personnel?
Don’t be afraid of records management – it will
help you in your day-to-day job as well as in your
decision making practices.
If you follow very simple rules to put your
information on files, whether electronic or paper,
and have the file in a public place – that is a
shared filing cabinet, not in your locked desk, then
you can rest assured that the decisions you are
making, or are a part of, are based on the most
current, verifiable and most pertinent information
available to you and/or your team.
Please visit our web page and make it one
of your favourites. Support for recordkeeping
requirements across Defence are changing
constantly so please don’t rely on old information.
Electronic records management systems are
improving and are becoming more user friendly
and if you don’t have access to an electronic
system, make sure you are keeping your records
on an authorised paper file until you do have an
Mr ernie Power –
Director Records Management
tHe lAst woRD
Links Archive Issue 7 2009 Issue 5 2009 Navigation Previous Page Next Page