26 September 2023

PROV test finds VPS recordkeeping lacking

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A recent analysis of recordkeeping issues conducted by the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) has discovered that over 50 per cent of the reports it received in the past 11 years failed to follow good recordkeeping recommendations.

Releasing its report Recordkeeping Issues Across Government, the Director and Keeper of Public Records at PROV, Justine Heazlewood said the Office analysed the years from 2010 to 2020 to assess the state of recordkeeping across the Victorian Government.

Ms Heazlewood said the analysis demonstrated that recordkeeping remained a significant concern in Victoria’s integrity system with over half of the analysed reports identifying recordkeeping issues.

“The most common areas of concern were found to be poor processes and inadequate systems, creation and capture of records and quality of information captured,” Ms Heazlewood said.

“The consequences of poor recordkeeping can be far reaching and significant,” she said.

“Inaccurate and unreliable records mean that important information cannot be found, accountability is questioned, and in the worst instances, safety is compromised, trauma is relived, and corruption can flourish.”

She said this was made clear in over 50 per cent of the 501 reports analysed.

“All public servants have a responsibility to keep complete and accurate records and the head of every Victorian public sector department/agency is responsible for ensuring compliance with the PROV Standards and Specifications,” Ms Heazlewood said.

She said the analysis made nine recommendations in total, four to State Agencies, and five on PROV’s own functions and the publication of the report.

“This report makes recommendations for Victorian public sector Agencies and PROV, with the key thread being that records management needs to be properly prioritised, supported and resourced within Agencies,” the Director and Keeper of Public Records at PROV said.

“By prioritising, supporting and resourcing records management, Agencies can prevent, identify and mitigate many of the harms done to individuals and communities which are investigated in the analysed reports,” Ms Heazlewood said.

PROV’s 17-page Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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