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Media release

28 November 2019

Archives New Zealand, Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga has released their first ever digital report on the State of Government recordkeeping alongside its results of the survey of information management practice of public offices and local authorities – both significant pieces of work.

Releasing this report digitally was a first for Archives New Zealand (Archives NZ) and shows a commitment to easier, digital access to information. Information is fundamental to open, transparent and accountable government and providing the findings in a digital and widely accessible format helps Archives NZ to operate in this way.

Archives NZ is an important institution for democracy and its role is to ensure past and present governments can be held to account, so they prioritise effective and trusted information management (IM) and this must be reflected across the public sector.

The State of Government Recordkeeping 2018/2019 highlights important work such as the IM survey, the Open Government Partnership (an international agreement by governments to create greater transparency), the development of an IM audit programme, disposal transformation and looking at Office 365 with good information management practice in mind.

This report is undoubtedly crucial but the information management survey that Archives NZ sent to 254 public sector organisations was equally as important.  

This survey was sent to public offices and local authorities and received an overall response rate of nearly 90% providing Archives NZ with valuable insights into better understanding the current issues being faced by the sector.

“The survey’s findings will feed into improving IM systems across government,” Chief Archivist Richard Foy says.

“I also very much hope our shining a spotlight on the IM performance of the public sector will elevate the mana and importance of those whose role includes IM – traditionally an under-resourced and under-valued role.”

This survey now serves as a baseline that Archives NZ can measure central and local government improvements to their information management practices.

“Anyone who contributes to ensuring robust and accurate government information is fundamentally part of sustaining and strengthening our democracy through improved accountability and better governance. I thank them for their hard work towards shared goals,” Foy says.

This survey has proven to be immensely helpful for everyone involved and especially for Archives NZ as the regulators who now call on public offices and local authorities to improve their IM and reach out if they need support.

The New Zealand Transport Agency, one of the case studies in this report, has done exactly that. Reaching out to Archives NZ for advice after a Northland vehicle inspection service showed up significant deficiencies in their IM practice and Archives NZ encourage more agencies to do the same.

The report can be viewed here alongside the survey findings (PDF 2.10 MB).