An Introduction to DIRKS

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					An Introduction to DIRKS*

 Presented by Hope Power and Tara Matsuzaki

 * Australia’s Designing and Implementing
 Recordkeeping Systems
Shape of the Presentation

1.   Introduction
2.   History, Rationale & Principles
3.   Methodology
4.   Example
5.   Strengths, Weaknesses & Issues
6.   Conclusion & Questions
What Is DIRKS?

  An eight-step process that agencies can
   use to improve their recordkeeping
  Developed by the National Archives of
   Australia in cooperation with the State
   Records Authority of New South Wales

In recent years, the “spread of electronic
   systems has exacerbated the drift
   towards ad hoc or substandard
   recordkeeping practices.”

     National Archives of Australia, Designing and
           Implementing Recordkeeping Systems
      (DIRKS): A Strategic Approach to Managing
                             Business Information
 Australian Agencies: Leaders in the
 Information Management Field

 Standards Australia
   In 1996, published the Australian Standard for
    Records Management (AS 4390)
   World’s first national recordkeeping standard

 National Archives of Australia
   In 2000, published DIRKS
   Methodology for implementing AS 4390
AS 4390 and DIRKS: The
International Impact

International Organization
for Standardization (ISO)
   In 2001, published the International
    Standard on Records Management (ISO
     Part 1: General based on AS 4390
     Part 2: Guidelines based on DIRKS
The Records Continuum Model
 This model
  encompasses the
  “whole extent of a
  records existence”
        Standards Australia,
                   AS 4390
 Records management
  and archival practice
  are understood as
  continuous rather than       National Archives of Australia
  distinct processes
DIRKS Methodology: An Overview
 Practical
   Best practice implementation manual
 Comprehensive
   Includes all records in all formats
 User-based
   Identifies specific business needs and legal
 Flexible
   Eight-step process can be applied at different
DIRKS Methodology: The Eight-
Step Process

       Courtesy of the National Archives of Australia
DIRKS Methodology:
Steps A-C
 First three steps assess an organization’s
  unique recordkeeping context and needs
   Step A: Preliminary Investigation
   Step B: Analysis of Business Activity
   Step C: Identification of Records Requirements

 Desired outcomes include a resource guide,
  project plan, business classification
  scheme, records inventory, and risk and
  feasibility study
DIRKS Methodology:
Steps D and E

 Next two steps assess possible areas and
  methods of improvement
   Step D: Assessment of Existing Systems
   Step E: Strategies for Recordkeeping

 Desired outcomes include reports that
  identify the strengths and weaknesses of
  the current system and recommend
  necessary changes
DIRKS Methodology:
Steps F-H

 Final three steps design, implement, and
  review changes
   Step F: Design of a Recordkeeping System
   Step G: Implementation of a Recordkeeping
   Step H: Post-Implementation Review

 The desired outcome is a new and
  improved records management system!
Sample DIRKS applications:
 Develop a business case for recordkeeping
 Assess adherence to recordkeeping
 Implement a functions-based records
  disposal authority

The scale of the project should be
determined by the organisation’s current
need and resources.
DIRKS in Action
Case Study: Intellectual Property Australia

 One of the 1st pilot agencies to embark on a DIRKS
 Achieved comprehensive functions-based disposal
  coverage in Feb. 2004
 Continues to adopt new DIRKS initiatives to
  manage electronic records
IP Australia’s
Records Disposal Authority
DIRKS Strengths

 “DIRKS is a process. DIRKS is a series
 of steps one takes to check under all
 the rocks, cover all the bases, and
 challenge your thinking”.

 John Purchase, Records Manager
DIRKS Strengths
 Australia is a world leader in devising
  infrastructural tools to ensure the
  quality of [DIRKS] recordkeeping and

   Legislation
   Software development
   Metadata standards
DIRKS Strengths
 Compliant with best practices
   AS 4390-1996
   ISO 1589-2002 adopted in Australia as AS ISO

  “…a condensation of the records world’s
  experience and expertise. It reveals that
  although the world may use a variety of
  methods, there is an agreed “best way” to
  undertake the principles of good
  recordkeeping.” Michael Steemson
DIRKS Strengths
 Meets the requirements of a
  successful RM program as described
  in this class:

   Standardized
   Systematic
   Programmatic
DIRKS Strengths
 Training and support

   Extensive support documentation that
    explains DIRKS and provides plenty of
    “how to” suggestions
   The National Archives of Australia and
    Australian state agencies offer multiple
    training opportunities
DIRKS Strengths
 Electronic documents
   DIRKS is evolving to address records
    management needs in the electronic
   Areas of focus include:
     Responsibility
     Tools
     Knowledge
Weaknesses of DIRKS
 Funding and support

   Perceived as inadequate by records
   Staff and senior management
    undervalue records management
Weaknesses of DIRKS
 Training and motivation

   Both records managers and creators are
    displeased with the limited training
   Records managers found motivating staff
    to maintain DIRKS programs difficult.

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