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Speech Notes for John Rimmer by lindayy


Speech Notes for John Rimmer

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									Speech Notes for John Rimmer
Victorian Electronic Records Strategy Centre of Excellence Launch
Thursday 10th October, 12.00 pm

•   My involvement in the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy dates back to its earliest

    conception – even before it was called VERS!

•   The need for a solution to the problem of the long term preservation of digital material

    was first understood by Public Record Office Victoria in 1995 at around the same time as

    I became Executive Director of Multimedia Victoria.

•   The early recognition of the importance of this issue and the subsequent support of MMV

    was instrumental in PROV’s receipt of funding to begin their investigations. And here we

    are 7 years later with a world-leading, innovative solution to digital preservation which is

    now being adopted across Victoria (and has potential significance in an even wider


•   As the trend towards “joined up” government and the provision of government services

    online becomes more of a reality, as more and more people begin transacting with

    Government on the Internet the need for secure and accurate records of those transactions

    becomes crucial.

•   Government-citizen online interactions do not just require electronic records to be created

    they also require those records to be looked after and made accessible, potentially over

    long periods of time. And the necessity for these electronic records services will continue

    to grow.

•   During a 2 year period from 1998 to 2000 the number of Australian adults accessing the

    Internet increased by 56% (from 32% to 50%). During the same period internet usage by
      business also increased markedly, with the vast majority of big businesses and up to 50%

      of small businesses routinely accessing the Internet.1 And this trend continues to grow.

•      In terms of e-business readiness, in 2001Australia was ranked second after the United

      States by the US based Economist Intelligence Unit. One of the reasons for Australia’s

      outstanding performance in this respect was identified as its culture of “active government

      support” for e-business.2

•      If we look at developments over the last 5-7 years we can see that government in Australia

      has been a leader in the development of regulations, standards and practical approaches to

      e-business. The future view is that these good practices may well migrate to the corporate

      world, especially in the light of the accounting and business irregularities recently

      experienced by that sector. There is also the potential for individual citizens to become not

      just consumers of e-business but active participants.

•      As the usage of the internet to transact with business and government grows, and the

      number of electronic records created gets bigger and bigger, there will be a need for

      accountability. Individual citizens and businesses will require records of their transactions

      with government, and not just those records kept by government for its own needs.

•      The VERS solution, by providing an open and neutral format in which to capture and

      preserve electronic records, allows non-government users to create and manage their own

      records and keeps them accessible over time.

•      The beauty of VERS is interoperability. The VERS format is a valuable technique for

      transferring information in a way that retains its integrity and is not dependant on

      particular hardware or software. This potentially allows Australia to communicate with

      the rest of the world, regardless of differing levels of technology uptake.

    Current State of Play - June 2001, National Office of the Information Economy, 2001, pp. 13, 26.
    Quoted in ibid., p. 33.
•   Another important aspect of the VERS initiative is its alignment with other Australian

    standards and jurisdictions (like AGLS and the National Archives of Australia’s

    ePermanence project). If this continues there is the potential is for an interoperability

    framework across Australia.

•   By adopting the VERS standard across the Victorian Government (and potentially within

    an even wider setting) there is encouragement for Australian industry to develop value-

    added services to support this growing e-business market.

•   Lastly VERS is clearly linked to international projects like the one we will no doubt be

    hearing about shortly from Dr Lysakowski.

•   This is clearly a very exciting initiative with major benefits not just to Victoria but to

    Australia as a whole. Way back in 1995 we could not have envisaged the direction in

    which VERS would go. I am happy to see that it has truly taken off. I commend the new

    VERS Centre of Excellence and wish them every success for the next 7 years!

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