In Australia, the Victorian Department of Human Services has been criticized for their recordkeeping practices by the state ombudsman. This came about from the frustration of former wards of state trying to access their historical records.

This interesting information was found on Image and Data Manager in their article, “Report blasts Victorian record-keeping quagmire.” The recommendation from the ombudsman was to digitize their current paper records. However, the state immediately claimed it a financial burden to digitize over 80 linear kilometers of paper-based records. In addition, many records contain handwritten registers that are unsuitable for digitization.

One wonders if, in addition to problems caused by the lack of indexing and organization, this massive collection of records is using valuable storage space that could be freed up with digitization.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.