Commonwealth Ombudsman makes a case for Objective

Commonwealth Ombudsman makes a case for Objective

March 25, 2009:The Commonwealth Ombudsman has selected Objective to provide an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution that will support integrity and transparency of their investigation processes.

Responsible to the Australian community for resolving complaints and fostering good government administration, the Ombudsman is independent and impartial, and works to improvepublic administration.

The Ombudsman’s office is highly information-intensive. The office receives approximately 33,000 ‘approaches’ a year, giving rise to approximately 18,000 complaints. All information around these complaint cases needs to be captured and managed effectively forinvestigation purposes. This information includes letters, emails, faxes, web forms and phone calls.

“The Commonwealth Ombudsman as an organisation embodies the values of integrity, accessibility and impartiality. These values need to be reflected in our information management strategy,” said Mr Peter Rankin, Director of IT Services.

Over recent years, the volume of email traffic through the organisation had increased at a high rate. Emails became a challenge to manage and capture as corporate record. Combined with a number of disparate repositories of network-shared storage and an increasing amount of physical and electronic documents associated with case management, led the Commonwealth Ombudsman to seek out an ECM solution.

“The organisation needed to bring together all our dispersed information in a more efficient, structured and usable manner,” said Mr Rankin.

Through a competitive tender process, the Commonwealth Ombudsman sought a solution that would enhance their ability to find information across the organisation and streamline case management and administrative processes.

It wanted to break down information silos to share information throughout the organisation - across teams, functions and geographically dispersed locations, as well as manage risk associated with poor record keeping of critical information related to case management.

Compliance with the National Archive’s Record-keeping Metadata Standard for Commonwealth Agencies and Australian Standards for Records Management, AS ISO 15489-20002, 11 was also crucial.

“We were looking for a solution that would be our ‘single source of the truth’, that would allow us to retain and control information efficiently, reduce duplication and support effective and transparent decision- making in our investigations,” said Mr Rankin.

Objective will be used by 158 staff across the organisation. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has offices all around Australia. Using Objective as their single information repository for both active and historical case files, investigation staff will have the seamless ability to locate accurate and reliable information as needed, regardless of their geographical location.

Using Objective’s version control and audit trails, the Commonwealth Ombudsman can manage risk around documents used to support investigations. The organisation will be able to ensure confidentiality, integrity andauthentication of information by controlling access, editsand renditions of documents.“We selected Objective because it met both our business and record-keeping requirements. It is advanced in its integration capability, it has a rich functional environment and will provide us with a value for money solution,” said Mr Rankin.

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