VIEWS: 33 PAGES: 3 POSTED ON: 4/22/2010
Speech Notes for John Rimmer
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 context). • 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. 1 Current State of Play - June 2001, National Office of the Information Economy, 2001, pp. 13, 26. 2 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!
Pages to are hidden for
"Speech Notes for John Rimmer"Please download to view full document