Through the Looking Glass: The AAC Maturity Model on Records Management for Open Government

Through the Looking Glass: The AAC Maturity Model on Records Management for Open Government

Vicenç Ruiz Gómez
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7080-6.ch007
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This chapter is divided into two main sections. The first one focuses on the links between open government goals and the theoretical recordkeeping continuum approach: participation, collaboration, and transparency will be only possible within a postcustodial public administration archival infrastructure. The second section presents the maturity model on records management for open government, designed by the Society of Catalan Archivists-Records Managers, in order to build trust between government and citizenship ensuring traceability and authenticity in information governance. Although it is developed according to the Catalan and Spanish legal frameworks, the model can be useful for organizations, wherever settled, aiming to succeed with their open government policies, since it provides a self-audit checklist inspired by international standards on records management, digital preservation, civic participation, and quality.
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Maturity models provide organizations with a means to assess their capabilities in a given process through a well-established reference standard. They do so by establishing a set of indicators divided into progressive levels, which amount to the degree of sophistication and improvement of the process, linked to the different perspectives and lines of action that intervene in their achievement (Becker, Knackstedt, & Pöppelbuß, 2009). Maturity models can be classified according to the number of levels that make them up (usually between four and six), if they adopt a continuous improvement philosophy, if the results are quantitative or not, but also one must take into account the simplicity of interpretation, the ease of use or the associated costs (Koshgoftar & Osman, 2009).

The systematic and iterative roadmap that should guide the process of efficient reorganization of the administration designed by open government regulatory frameworks (Wirtz & Birkmayer, 2015) makes the dynamics of continuous improvement that a maturity model provides especially useful. Indeed, several authors have proposed maturity models for e-, digital or open government (Lee & Kwak, 2012). Data or information quality is always taken into account, but usually it is assessed only by one parameter or attribute. In contrast, Proença and Borbinha (2016) have published a concise state of the art about maturity models for information systems in which they analyse twenty-two models from a triple perspective: structure, assessment and support. At least, seven of them directly focus on information governance or records management: the Joint Information Systems Comitte (JISC) Records Management Maturity Model, the Gartner Entrerprise Information Management Maturity Model, the Enterprise Content management Maturity Model, the Digital Asset Management Maturity Model, the American Records Management Association (ARMA) Information Governance Maturity Model and the Standford Data Governance Maturity Model.

In order to clear concepts, records management is defined as the field of management responsible for the “efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records” (ISO, 2016). And let us just remember what Barack Obama’s Memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies on managing government records stated in 2011:

When records are well managed, agencies can use them to assess the impact of programs, to reduce redundant efforts, to save money, and to share knowledge within and across their organizations. In these ways, proper records management is the backbone of open government.

With the exception of the ARMA Information Governance model, in which transparency is one of the eight Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (GARP) that are the object of their maturity path, the others pay little attention to open government goals. Probably, the only existing example that clearly has integrated the latter as a natural-born component of the former is the Open Government Guide (Open Government Partnership, 2015). Although it is not presented as a maturity model, the guide stablishes four progressive levels (initial, intermediate, advanced, innovative) for each of the ten crossing topics that governments must address in order to succeed in their policies: assets disclosure and conflict of nterest, budgets, citizen engagement, open government data, privacy and data protection, public contracting, public services, records management, right to information and whistleblower protection.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Records Continuum: A theoretical model that suggests a continuous time-space construct that encompasses recordkeeping and archival processes taking into account the creation, capture, organisation and pluralisation dimensions of records.

Appraisal: A process combining functional, work process, risk, and historical analysises to determine recordkeeping requirements and values.

Archive Community: A social framework for the reappropriation of political power by citizens through their relationship with trustworthy public information.

Open Government: A political process, based on transparency, collaboration, and participation, between public administration and citizens, in order to improve the efficiency and accountability of governmental action.

Postcustodialism: An archival paradigm that shifts the role of archivists from the passive custody of records to the sharing of management policies and requirements with their creators.

Records Management: The effective control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions.

Society of Catalan Archivists: The professional society, established in 1985, that gathers the main part of archivists and records managers of Catalonia. Member of the steering comittee of the Section of Professional Associations (International Council on Archives) since 1992.

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