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At Archives New Zealand, a big focus over the past year has been on developing a new Framework for monitoring the performance of organisations covered by the Public Records Act 2005. In 2018, we shared some of our initial thinking about what the Framework might look like through our engagement on the Regulatory Programme. Findings from the engagement supported a continued focus on getting monitoring right for everyone involved. We’ve done lots more work since then, so it’s time for an update...

Why a framework?

We’ve spent time reflecting on lessons learned from our past monitoring work, including the Government Recordkeeping Surveys and the first audit programme. Survey and audit are key tools for doing monitoring, but they’re only part of the picture.

The Framework is about taking a wider view of monitoring by incorporating performance measures, tools for doing monitoring, and outputs or actions that deliver benefit for organisations and the public, while also enabling us to do our job as a regulator.

Organisations have told us that they want clearer benefits from monitoring

A robust Framework will deliver many benefits to your organisation including:

  • It will give you helpful and meaningful feedback on where your organisation can improve performance and address risks

  • It will support you in your planning, your risk management activities, and improvements to processes and services

  • It will enable you to track improvements to your organisations’ performance overtime and this will be more visible through public reporting

Sharing findings from monitoring with the public

We need to do more to share with the public what we find out from monitoring. This is one of the reasons we’re involved in the latest Open Government Partnership Action Plan 2018-2020. By contributing to the improvement in the management of government information regulated organisations will be supporting the outputs of the Open Government Partnership, and more specifically Commitment 10 of the OGP Action Plan.

What’s coming up for regulated organisations?

From June 2019, we’ll begin by issuing an annual survey. This will be sent to Executive Sponsors, but it’s expected that IM staff will be involved with forming the response. The survey will cover most organisations, including the local government sector. But before this happens, we’ll be doing testing with a group of organisations to get their input on the proposed questions and outputs.

There are several reasons why we’re reinstating an annual survey. It’ll enable us to form and share a picture of performance across the entire body of organisations we regulate (as well as different segments), and to track that performance over time. It’ll also regularly generate data on the challenges, risks and opportunities organisations are facing, that we can channel into more responsive regulation, like topical education and advice.

We’ll still be using audit for doing a deep dive into organisations’ individual performance. From July 2020, we expect to begin running audits again, but there’s still plenty of work and more engagement to be done before we get there. Central government organisations can expect to be audited once every five years.

Once the new Framework kicks off with the survey, we will evaluate its success and impact and continue to refine and improve with your feedback.

For now, the main objective is to build the foundations of a Framework which generates useful insights and robust evidence about IM systems and practices across government. We look forward to further engagement with you.

Extra content added 5 March - the survey will be sent to public offices and local authorities.

Originally posted on the Records Toolkit 1 March 2019


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