The Recordkeeping for Good Governance Toolkit

Image: Recordkeeping for Good Governance logo

Recordkeeping for Good Governance

The Recordkeeping for Good Governance Toolkit (the Toolkit) has been produced by PARBICA for Pacific archivists to better equip government agencies across the Pacific to improve the state of recordkeeping within their administrations. AusAID and NZaid have provided considerable support for the project.

The PARBICA Bureau, assisted by the National Archives of Australia (NAA) and Archives New Zealand (ANZ), has accepted responsibility for maintaining, distributing and updating the modules of the Toolkit for as long as they are needed and remain useful.

The Toolkit has been produced through a collaborative process with input from a variety of archivists from across the Pacific. The PARBICA Bureau would like to acknowledge the assistance of these archivists.

PARBICA is committed to continuing to add to the Toolkit so that we can develop world-class tools for good recordkeeping that are relevant to our Pacific environment. The PARBICA Bureau welcomes comments and suggestions from any interested party. If you would like to provide feedback or suggest areas or topics that PARBICA should cover in future parts of the Toolkit, please contact the PARBICA Secretary-General.

The toolkit (contents)


The Toolkit brochure has been designed for distribution by government archivists (and other public or civil servants) to senior officials in the public service or government departments. These senior officials, including heads of government departments or CEOs, are the people who can influence how records are kept by appointing records managers, providing resources, or instructing staff to follow recordkeeping procedures.

The brochure aims to outline the importance of recordkeeping and how recordkeeping supports good governance by advising senior management that they are responsible for ensuring their work areas are efficient and protect both the government's interests and the public's interest. The brochure explains that good recordkeeping will support them meeting these responsibilities.


The Toolkit poster works with the Toolkit brochure. Copies of this attractive poster can printed in either black and white or colour and put around government offices to catch the attention of all staff in each department.


The Toolkit Introduction booklet aims to provide a brief overview of how recordkeeping can assist in achieving good governance (introducing the principles of efficiency, accountability and protecting the government's and the public's interests), an overview of records and recordkeeping , archives and the role of the archivist.

Guideline 1: Recordkeeping Capacity Checklist

The aim of this 10-question recordkeeping capacity checklist is to see if an organisation has in place the things it needs to manage records well. The checklist could be used by:

  • senior managers who want to review their current arrangements and set priorities for making improvements
  • records management staff who want to make an unbiased measurement of how well they are managing records and where they could do better
  • auditors who want to review an organisation's arrangements and make recommendations for change.

Guideline 2: Identifying Recordkeeping Requirements

The aim of the Identifying Recordkeeping Requirements guideline is to help find out what records a government department needs to be creating and keeping to carry out its business well.

Guideline 3: Model Recordkeeping Policy

The Model Recordkeeping Policy guideline is designed for Pacific Island governments and other organisations that wish to implement or update a records management policy. The aim of this policy is to help state the government's commitments to good recordkeeping in the support of good governance, and to assign responsibilities for good recordkeeping within government.

Guideline 4: Administrative Record Plan

The Administrative Record Plan guideline can be used by anyone who wishes to implement new or update existing file-titling systems. This record plan covers the majority of administrative records that most government departments are likely to create and use.

Guideline 5: Adapting and Implementing the PARBICA Administrative Record Plan

This guideline can be used by government departments that wish to implement PARBICA's Administrative Record Plan. The guideline includes instructions to adapt or tailor the record plan to meet specific country requirements.

Guideline 6: Developing and Implementing Record Plans for Core Business Functions

This guideline can be used by government departments developing record plans for their own core business functions that no other department carries out. Core business functions are the purpose for which a particular department is set up.

Guideline 7: Disposal Schedule for Common Administrative Functions

The Disposal Schedule for Common Administrative Functions guideline can be used to help determine retention periods and disposal actions for files that document the administrative or support functions that every government department carries out.

Guideline 8: Implementing the Disposal Schedule for Common Administrative Functions

This guideline provides advice for implementing the Disposal Schedule for Common Administrative Functions.

Guideline 9: Adapting the Disposal Schedule for Common Administrative Functions

This guideline provides assistance with adapting or tailoring the Disposal Schedule for Common Administrative Functions to meet specific country requirements.

Guideline 10: Starting an Appraisal Programme

This guideline on starting an appraisal programme is intended to assist government departments to appraise the closed records of core functions.

Guideline 11: Training Pacific Island Government Officers in Using PARBICA's Toolkit - Train the Trainer

This guideline details the Train the Trainer toolkit.

Guideline 12: Introduction to Digital Recordkeeping

Guideline 12, Introduction to Digital Recordkeeping provides an overview on digital records and record-keeping, addressing key concepts, benefits, risks and myths. Includes a glossary for records managers and for IT professionals.

Guideline 13: Digital Recordkeeping readiness Self-assessment Checklist for Organisations

Guideline 13, Digital Recordkeeping readiness Self-assessment Checklist for Organisations allows organisations to assess their resources, policies, procedures, tools, technologies, training and organisational culture to help them determine their level of readiness to pursue a digital recordkeeping strategy.

Guideline 14: Digital Recordkeeping – Choosing the Best Strategy

Guideline 14, Digital Recordkeeping – Choosing the Best Strategy addresses different options for managing digital records, looking at the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Guideline 15: Scanning Paper records to Digital Records

Practical advice for organisations considering a scanning project. Scanning Paper records to Digital Records looks at the various processes involved in a scanning project from planning to file storage, risks and issues such as outsourcing, and includes information on technical standards and the different equipment available.

Guideline 16: Systems and Software Checklists

There are three parts to Guideline 16, Systems and Software Checklists which provide systems and software checklists for organisations to assess the recordkeeping functionality of their business systems. They are designed to be used three different audiences: records managers, senior managers and IT managers.

Guideline 17: Managing Email

Practical advice on email management, including why emails should be captured, when to capture it, how to store it, and tips for managing email.

Guideline 18: Digital Preservation

Looks at issues such as preserving authenticity and access, and dealing with technological obsolescence. Explains open and proprietary formats and provides examples of low-budget digital preservation solutions. Also examines the digital reformatting of analogue audio visual recordings.

Guideline 19: Implementing a Digital Recordkeeping Strategy

Guideline 19, Implementing a Digital Recordkeeping Strategy examines the processes needed to support and enable successful implementation of a digital recordkeeping strategy. Includes project planning through to rollout of strategy.