The primary ECM objective

Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) is upgrading to a new version of the Objective EDRMS, which will enable up to 1600 users across the state to access new Windows Explorer and MS Outlook client interfaces.

PIRSA is a complex state government agency of approximately 1,400 industry and export development specialists, economists, scientists, geologists, compliance officers and administrative support staff working in locations across metropolitan and rural South Australia.

The agency currently comprises 11 business divisions with a range of diverse businesses, including research, consulting, policy development, natural resource management and commercial investment projects in the agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, food, forestry, wine, and minerals and petroleum energy resource sectors. As with other organisations, the advent of email, Internet, e-business, spatials and other electronic technologies and means of transacting business have made work a lot easier in PIRSA, but the unprecedented increase in the quantity of information and knowledge produced from these transactions needs to be managed and controlled to reduce risk, meet legislative and business requirements, improve business and security processes, and support information sharing and re-use.

The agency maintains a key focus on sustainable economic and industry development; as well as industry regulation, biosecurity and emergency management.

To help address these challenges, in 2006 PIRSA commenced the staged roll-out of an enterprise-wide EDRMS to up to 1,600 users located in over 30 agency sites, as well as two external agencies and two ministerial offices supported by PIRSA. There are about 850 users accessing the system on any given day.

The EDRMS is used as a single corporate repository for the capture, classification and management of government physical and electronic documents, records and information, including Microsoft Office documents, emails, web pages, internet URL links, as well as physical documents, files and their associated metadata. Over 650 types of documents and information are captured within the EDRMS, which currently comprises in excess of 790,000 documents (with about 17,000 new electronic documents and 1,200 new physical documents created within the system each month) and 119,000 files (with about 800 new files created in the system per month). This includes information relating to external, internal and legislative audits and inspections; government, agency and industry boards and committees; cabinet submissions; development applications and plans; economic and industry development; emergency management; environment and natural resource management; executive submissions and papers; financial management; human resource management; information management; regulatory inspections, investigations, offences, prosecutions and legal proceedings; IT applications; natural resource leases, licenses and permits; ministerial briefings and correspondence; OHS&W and injury management; parliamentary questions and briefings; procurement and asset management; project management; publications; and corporate policies, procedures and forms.

Kim Potoczky, Manager, Records and Information Management at PIRSA, said, “We are planning to integrate our EDRMS with selected major corporate-wide enterprise applications in the future. These integrations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will be subject to business cases, funding and resource availability.”

“Our current priority is developing a linkage/interface for documents (e.g. policies, forms and publications) stored in our EDRMS, which are also published to our Intranet and/or Internet web content management system, to reduce publishing effort and ensure access to the latest version of documents.”

“Document imaging has been implemented for ministerial correspondence and other selected workflows, and for ad hoc processes at the local level (e.g. scanning of selected incoming correspondence and/or accounts payable invoices). We plan to investigate the feasibility of additional document imaging in the future, particularly for mission critical incoming correspondence automation and workflow processes.”

EDRMS workflow functionality is currently used to support business process automation, including agency briefings for the chief executive and/or minister, cabinet submissions, complaints management, ministerial correspondence, scientific publications and additional business processes. Over 2,500 workflow processes have been kick-started to date, and in excess of 700 workflows may be in progress at any given time.

An external reporting solution generates standard EDRMS reports on documents, files and workflow action tracking information and statistics (e.g. to provide performance indicators and graphs on the processing of ministerial correspondence, cabinet submissions and other mission critical information). Searches are also available to report on information held within the system.

There are dynamic links to the PIRSA business classification scheme available as online intranet application. This enable users to quickly access business term descriptions and other details from within EDRMS folders to promote the accurate classification of government information.

Customisations have also recently been implemented to automate metadata population on EDRMS registration screens and document control information within MS Word documents, to significantly reduce user data entry effort; and improve data accuracy, integrity and discovery.

“The roll-out of our EDRMS followed the development of a five-year enterprise-wide document and records management strategy and business case endorsed by our executive team in 2002/03,” said Potoczky. The strategy was implemented over three waves. The first wave involved: the development and implementation of a change management program, including communication strategy, document and records management awareness sessions and a comprehensive EDRMS training program; and tThe establishment of a document and records management policy framework, including policies, guidelines, business classification scheme and other tools, and the selection, design, configuration and roll-out of an EDRMS. The second wave included development and implementation of business process automation via targeted workflow and other business improvements.

“As part of Wave 3, we are currently initiating an EDRMS post-implementation review. It is anticipated that this review will identify learnings, and explore ongoing strategies and further business improvement opportunities, such as applying EDRMS workflow automation and imaging to additional agency business processes; and integrating our EDRMS with selected business systems, on a case-by-case basis, to support the ongoing management and integration of information across PIRSA.,” said Potoczky.

PIRSA’s Wish List

The EDRMS journey is still very much ongoing at PIRSA, and some of the future needs that have been identified include:

• Implementation of configurable EDRMS metadata schemas (e.g. XML XSD schemas/translation tables) based on government/industry recordkeeping and other metadata standards, for importing/exporting objects and their associated metadata, workflows and audit trails. This is particularly important given the number and frequency of organisational and ministerial portfolio restructures across government that involve very large volumes of records and information

• Enhanced EDRMS automated metadata inheritance and population to reduce user effort; improve data accuracy and integrity; and ensure compliance with national/industry recordkeeping and other metadata standards. This would in-turn enhance day-to-day recordkeeping operations, searching and reporting, and interoperability across governments and digital archive repositories.

• Ability, from within an EDRMS file, to easily transfer and track custody of individual loose physical documents travelling around the organisation outside their associated physical file cover (e.g. individual physical documents forwarded for a signature)

• Increased ability to configure the layout and content of EDRMS screens, and systems fields and drop down lists/pick lists provided out-of-the-box.

• Ability to easily configure and maintain agency web portals/portlets to enable improved online access to EDRMS information and external collaboration, without the need for specialist IT intervention.

• EDRMS integration with the web content management system for EDRMS documents published to the PIRSA Intranet and Internet web sites (e.g. policies, forms and publications); and

• Enhanced EDRMS system administration functionality to support the bulk updating and importing/exporting of large volumes of objects and/or their associated metadata and audit trails.