Author: Government recordkeeping

Recently Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) was tasked with developing new Retention and Disposal Authorities (RDAs) to provide coverage for legacy Victorian gas and electricity agency records.

PROV identified that State Records NSW had already produced two general authorities (GA40 Provision of Energy Transmission and Distribution Network Services and GA37 Retailing of Energy and Associated Products and Services) which were comprehensive and general enough to be applied to the Victorian jurisdiction. We requested permission to adopt the general authorities as standards for use in Victoria and in generous spirit State Records NSW agreed.

PROV produces and stores RDAs in Online Retention and Disposal Application (ORDA). ORDA is a RDA development workflow system and database that stores and exports RDAs in various formats including XML. Because State Records NSW could provide the retention and disposal authorities in an XML format, PROV was able to easily import the authorities directly into ORDA and issue them in a timely manner.

Collaborating with our counterpart in NSW meant that we did not need to expend resources on developing a Retention and Disposal Authority for a defunct function. It also identified the technical compatibility of PROV and State Records NSW RDA systems and set a precedence for the two archival jurisdictions to work more closely together and share valuable resources in the future.

See also State Records NSW blog: Sharing is caring – how developing RDAs in xml facilitates cross jurisdictional reuse of valuable information.