Defence moves on with Objective

Defence has signalled the way forward for its electronic document & records management with a major upgrade to the latest version of Objective 7.5 for more than 25,000 users within Australia. Defence is also preparing the business case for a huge initiative to extend the reach of Objective to up to 40,000 additional users within Australia and in operational areas across the globe, wherever Australia’s Defence Forces are engaged.

Tony Corcoran, Assistant Secretary, Freedom of Information & Information Management at the Department of Defence, said the Objective rollout would involve a massive cultural change within Defence.

“There is a distinct lack of common business rules, and work areas are filling this void by making their own.”

“They are currently using ad hoc arrangements to store records, which can range from printing them out and storing them on paper, stored in Outlook, on shared drives and personal drives.

“We need to ensure that all Defence personnel become aware that record-keeping is a prime responsibility.”

Defence first selected Objective in 2000 for a staged rollout. It is currently available to around 25,000 users on its “Restricted Network” and “Secret Network” within Australia.

According to a departmental statement, “Since 2000, Defence has used and maintained DRMS as the Departmental system for management of all corporate electronic files that it creates. However, the software has not been updated since its initial introduction and the extant version that DRMS and EDMS are operating with is a generational release behind the current commercially available software version.”

“Particular staff, such as those in the Registry and Administrative areas of Defence, employ standardised processes that rely on availability of the DRMS/EDMS to electronically register and manage files. The system’s archival and disposal functionality is also fundamental to Defence’s ability to comply with electronic national archiving requirements.”

An upgrade from Objective 6.3 to Objective 7.5 for users on these two networks is due to be completed at the end of September 2010.

According to the department, “This product represents a significant improvement over the current product and provides Defence with a more user-friendly system that offers such improved functionality as ‘drag and drop’ from Outlook, enhanced search capability and the possibility of a single sign-on approach in future.”

“A roll-out across the remainder of the organisation is expected to occur over the following two-year period, although this is still being investigated”.