GDA DevelopmentHistory, Communication, and Beginnings Pam Thorburn, Chair, Public Records Act Working Party
A Bit of History - PRAW • The Public Records Act Working Party convened by New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee first met February 2007 • Membership of PRAW was a cross-functional group of university management staff including library, student services, registry, information technology etc • There were no Records Managers employed at a NZ university when PRAW started • PRAW’s initial focus was to develop a GDA for all 8 universities
What is a university? Obviously a place of research and learning In New Zealand there are 8 Universities Collectively for all 8 institutions in 2007 there were…. staff – 24,000 (largest 5,700 – smallest 700) students – 175,000 (largest 40,000 – smallest 4,000)
What is a university? • In essence to support each university takes the infrastructure and services that would equate to small to medium towns • For instance in relation to infrastructure:
Infrastructure/ Services To support the numbers of staff and students the university generates records on…. • Student Accommodation and related services • Lecture theatres and laboratories and related regulations and services • IT networks and computer suites • Research spaces including private/public research institutes • Crèches and Marae Buildings and services • Libraries and collection management
Infrastructure/ Services cont. • Counselling and Health • Corporate services-HR, Finance, Facilities Management, Communications and Marketing, Student Recruitment etc. • Governance and Strategic planning • Student and Academic Administration • Student Unions and Associations • Student Support services-Learning support, Career Advice • Special Collections including Art Collections and Galleries • On-site business supplying food, books etc.
GDA Development • SWIM Ltd were selected to develop the GDA in partnership with NZVCC • Archives NZ assisted by providing advice as and when required. • A Project was established to achieve this outcome and a communication strategy was developed as a key part of the process
Project Management Structure • Project Sponsor - NZVCC • Project Steering Group – PRAW • Project Team was made up of representatives from PRAW and SWIM • Project Team reported to Steering Group, who reported to the Sponsor.
Project Challenges… • Universities covered by the PRA for the first time and as seen infrastructure and services are significant • There was a level of opposition to being covered by the PRA • Each of the 8 universities operates, and is structured differently, to all the others for the purposes of records management… • Universities have devolved and complex management structures, traditionally based on collaborative and consensus decision making
Project Challenges cont. • Records management capability within universities was limited • when the project to develop the GDA started: one university had a records management team - and this team had a vacancy for the Records Manager, one had a consultant reviewing records management capability one had a part time person reviewing historical records…
Project Challenges cont. • Coverage of the PRA – the PRA excludes the records associated with teaching and learning and research and what this meant needed clarification • Definition of what a subsidiary was …added complexity to the process... • Most Universities have national and international strategic partnerships involving a variety of contract arrangements
Communications and Buy-in • PRAW members had to obtain buy-in for the development of the GDA from Vice-Chancellors and senior management • Compliance only projects do not engage or enthuse – difficult to get hard data on the cost-benefits of RM • Most universities set up an internal cross-functional working group to oversee the project at an institutional level
Project plan for Communications • PRAW members were the champions and first point of contact • Workshops and one-on-one interviews with senior staff were conducted by SWIM consultants • Important that the strategy was flexible – but the message was the same • Suggested wording prepared for university intranet sites, and communications to staff
Project Team Communications • Met regularly, meetings had to be useful • Built trust • No surprises! • No secrets (e.g. discussed openly how to manage known “challenging people”-the saboteurs) • Risk and issues had to be identified and managed • All members were wearing multiple hats! (e.g. representing PRAW, a university and a functional area)
Workshops and interviews • Each university was visited for 2 days by the consultants for workshops and interviews • PRAW members arranged the workshops, introduced sessions and attended most of them – this meant they had to have a good understanding of the whole university but it built internal ownership. • SWIM consultants ran the workshops, conducted the interviews and provided the base documentation for the GDA
Workshops and interviews cont. • Participants were from all aspects of the university system – administration and academic (cross-functional) • In addition to the workshops influential individuals were identified at each university and interviewed separately about the GDA by the consultants
Consultation process • The process for review of the GDA was very much one of continued consultation and feedback • A draft of the GDA was handed out at workshops and interviews, and participants were encouraged to share it with colleagues • Participants commented on the draft directly to SWIM consultants (normally on the area they worked in)
Consultation process cont. • Second versions of draft was sent to all workshop participants – who were (again) encouraged to share it…. • External key stakeholders were notified and invited to participate, and were notified when the GDA was released for public comment by Archives NZ
Approval process • Sign off internally (by all universities) • PRAW members approved the final version of the GDA • Following review by Archives NZ staff, they met with SWIM representatives and the project team overseeing the GDA development project to clarify the final few issues • Normal Archives NZ process followed
The Positives • The GDA was developed and approved, nearly within budget (the increase in the budget was due to the number of comments made on the draft GDA by university staff!) • A closer relationship was developed with Archives NZ • Archives NZ were kept informed throughout the process, but where not included formally • Archives NZ staff were called upon early in the process for clarification on a number of issues (e.g. definitions around research, teaching and learning, and what exactly is a subsidiary)
The Positives cont. • Increased awareness of records management • Beginning of a willingness to implement records management principles • Within 8 months of approval of the GDA there were 7 appointments of records managers at universities • The GDA is being implemented!
Implementation • Universities are at the start of the journey and all are at various stages of implementation • There has been to date one record type that was given an unworkable retention period –and a small number of minor changes have been identified • PRAW continues as an NZVCC group to support implementation.
Implementation cont. • The current terms of reference for PRAW is to facilitate collaborative projects, providing cost benefits to all 8 universities • To provide advice to Vice-Chancellors’ Committee on strategic and operational implementation • It remains a cross functional group and records management expertise has now been included
And that is Another Story Thank you for your time Questions?