The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is an independent statutory organisation, established by an act of Federal Parliament, which investigates complaints about discrimination and human rights breaches.
Staffing shortages meant the Commission required records management solutions that would enable them to meet the high standards required.
As a federal organization, AHRC has a requirement to handle sensitive data in a compliant manner. In 2020, to reduce the burden on the end-user, the Commission had implemented Records365 as its records management solution. But the departure of the Commission’s records manager led to a gap in records management expertise in the organization.
While the Commission had a records management platform in place, traditional records management activities were being performed by the IT department. ICT manager Gordon Campbell said this became an issue for the IT team.
We can provide a records management platform but we’re not records managers ourselves.
Freedom of Information requests were difficult and time-consuming
It had also become more challenging to respond to complex Freedom of Information requests.
“It was longer and harder, and it involved more people,” Campbell says. “The legal team had to approach individuals in different teams and ask them to identify any records they may have that would be relevant to a request, rather than a whole-of-agency approach, where the team would be able to access the information dynamically.”
Disposal was not occurring in a timely manner, raising risk exposure
Due to the lack of expertise, disposals were not occurring as they should have been. This left the Commission exposed to the risk that an FOI request could surface information that could have been legally and defensibly disposed.
Pro-active work to balance growth with compliance became more difficult
As the Commission’s information architecture evolved to keep pace with the introduction of new teams or projects, the IT team lacked the expertise to provide recommendations to ensure compliance was considered. This meant non-experts were making decisions and recommendations about issues like records categorization and information architecture.
“Team members might turn to us and say, how do we go about best organizing this information? And what should we be putting in SharePoint? What are our compliance obligations, and so forth. And IT is not very well placed to answer those questions.”
The RecordPoint solution
Records Management as a Service (RMaaS) allows the Commission to fill the gap
While the Commission had been looking to fill the role, finding a full-time, highly experienced records manager was looking like it would be costly, leading the Commission to re-consider its needs. Campbell says the priority was filling the gap caused by the loss of their records manager.
We didn't need a full time Record Manager. We're a small agency, what we needed access to was help to do these tasks.
In discussions with RecordPoint, the potential for RMaaS to solve their issue was raised.
RMaaS is a new service offered by RecordPoint where, following a short onboarding process, the RecordPoint team can act as a records manager for AHRC, allowing the Commission to focus on core business functions and leave records management to a trusted partner.
The RecordPoint RMaaS team has the industry experience, professional credentials, and compliance knowledge to improve the performance and trust of the organisation’s records management capabilities.
Increased peace-of-mind that records will be managed appropriately.
As well as reactive work such as helping respond to FOI requests, RMaaS means longer-term records management decisions will be made by experts.
It will provide us with access to that kind of expertise when we need it. Someone who has experience in record management, along with experience with the Records365 software
Support for long-term growth
Longer term, the Commission may add a part-time, in-house records manager, or assign a member of the legal department with records management experience to perform these tasks. But thanks to RMaaS, this team member will have the support of industry experts, rather than working alone.