DIRKS Manual - Appendix 5 - Organisation Context Document

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DIRKS Manual - Appendix 5 - Organisation Context Document

    Appendix 5


    context document

    September 2001


ISBN 0 642 34449 3

    ? Commonwealth of Australia 2010

    This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the National Archives of Australia. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be directed to the Publications Manager, National Archives of Australia, PO Box 7425, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT, 2610. Privacy statement Collection of personal information from email The National Archives of Australia will only record your email address if you send us a message. The address will be used only for the purpose for which you have provided it. We will not use your email address for any other purpose and will not disclose it without your consent.

    National Archives of Australia DIRKS manual Appendix5 Organisation context APPENDIX 5


    Use this form to consolidate information about the organisation gathered during

    Step A Preliminary investigation.

    The source number against each question is a cross-reference to question 22, the

    register of sources.


    1. Who is responsible for managing this project in your organisation?

    Show details of the senior officer in charge of the project.

    Name Position Phone number

Identifying the organisation and its administrative context

    2. What is the name of the organisation?

    Include all names that the organisation is known by, including acronyms, registered

    business names, and names of business units (eg shopfronts).

    Name Source


3. What type of organisation is it?

    For example, department, statutory body, non-statutory body, corporation, university,

    etc. If your organisation is registered show relevant details.

    Type Australian Company Number (ACN) or Source

    other registration number (if number appropriate)


    National Archives of Australia DIRKS manual Appendix 5 Organisation context 4. What are the defining characteristics of the organisation?

    Comment on reporting arrangements (eg to parent department, directly to portfolio

    minister), unique characteristics (eg the organisation’s autonomy, budgetary status, etc),

    and indicate whether the organisation is the ‘lead agency’ responsible for administering

    legislation which affects most government organisations.

    Characteristics Source


5. What is the history of the organisation?

    Provide a chronological overview of the establishment of the organisation and major

    changes and events, including major losses or gains in functions and/or restructuring.

    Also name earlier organisations and indicate the date range of their existence.

    Date Comments Source


6. What is the structure of the organisation? Where are the various units located

    if there is more than one, and what is the business activity carried out by each?

    All units of the organisation need to be clearly identified so that the full range of work

    carried out by the organisation is taken into account. If there are numerous units they

    should be grouped into types of units that carry out the same types of work (eg overseas

    posts may be grouped together). Alternatively, attach a detailed current organisational


    Office-holder responsible for the organisation, eg secretary, director-general List units and their location Source Business activity number

7. Does the organisation have any administrative links to other organisations?

    For example, your agency may have strong links with statutory authorities, councils,

    boards of management, committees etc that are defined as separate organisations. See

    A.5.2. Note the name of the organisation and the relationship to your organisation.

    Name of organisation Relationship Source



    National Archives of Australia DIRKS manual Appendix5 Organisation context Identifying the legal and regulatory framework

    8. What is the official basis of the organisation and why was it established?

    Identify and document the establishment of the organisation and the purpose for which it

    was established. Indicate if there have been any major changes to the establishing


    Establishment of the organisation Source


9. What legislation is administered by the organisation?

    List legislation administered by the organisation. This may include legislation referred to

    in earlier questions, and repealed legislation that was administered by the organisation

    in the past. Agencies (particularly portfolio departments) with a long list of legislation

    should distinguish between those they substantively administer and those for which they

    have an oversight or other minor role.

    Source name (short title) Source


10. What legislation affects the role or the operation of the organisation?

    Indicate what legislation affects the operations of the organisation, excluding the

    enabling legislation in the previous question and common administrative legislation that

    underpins the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority. For example, laws on the

    use and handling of chemicals may affect scientific research organisations.

    Source name (short title) Business activity Source


11. Has the organisation contracted out any aspects of its business activity to

    government or non-government organisations?

    For example, some government agencies contract-out service provision to Centrelink.

    Note specific legislative provisions and/or contractual arrangements that govern these

    relationships. This information is available from annual reports.

    Contracting-out details Source



    National Archives of Australia DIRKS manual Appendix 5 Organisation context 12. Are there standards that have been imposed on or adopted by the


    List mandatory and voluntary standards (or parts thereof) including best practice,

    technical, or industry standards, to which the organisation adheres, such as ISO or

    Australian standards. Indicate, where applicable, the regulatory body that is responsible

    for monitoring compliance. Also list standards that are administered by the organisation,

    for example the National Archives of Australia administers the AGLS metadata standard.

    Name of standard and other details Mandatory, Source

    voluntary or number


Identifying the business context

    13. What does the organisation do?

    List the general areas of business or the industry sector for which the organisation is

    responsible (eg health, education, employment, scientific research) and major outputs,

    services and products provided by the organisation.

    Business activity Outputs, products or services Source


14. Are any of the business areas of your organisation’s operations subject to a

    high level of litigation?

    Include litigation where the organisation is either the defendant or complainant.

    Comment on the nature, frequency, trends, risks and consequences of litigation. Show

    different areas of business activity separately. Information on litigation is usually

    available in annual reports.

    Litigation details Business activity Source


15. Who are the organisation’s major stakeholders?

    For ease of reference, list the stakeholders identified during the course of the preliminary

    investigation and specify the nature of their interests. Stakeholders include groups that

    express an opinion on the organisation’s products or services, community groups, clients

    and customers, as well as the Minister, parent department, formal advisory groups etc.

    Stakeholder Interest of stakeholder in the organisation Source



    National Archives of Australia DIRKS manual Appendix5 Organisation context

Identifying the corporate culture

    16. What is the current strategic focus of the organisation?

    Look at the organisation’s strategic planning documents and recent executive statements.

    These will identify the organisation's direction, changes in activities that are currently

    carried out, or new activities.

    Strategic focus Source


17. Has the organisation or any facet of its business been the subject of any recent

    internal or external audits?

    List any recent audits, indicating the business area involved. Note any adverse findings

    including any comments on recordkeeping or information management. Basic

    information on audits is available in annual reports.

    Date Audit Business area Findings Source


18. Does your organisation have a formal compliance program or strategies

    and/or procedures in place to ensure compliance to laws, standards, etc?

    Indicate any measures in place to ensure that relevant laws, regulations, codes and

    standards are not breached.

    Details of compliance programs, strategies or procedures Source


19. Does your organisation have a formal risk management program in place?

    Comment on the risks associated with the organisation’s business activity and the

    strategies and/or procedures in place to deal with such risks. A recent government

    initiative requires all agencies to prepare risk management plans.

    Risk levels and risk management strategies in Business activity Source place number


    National Archives of Australia DIRKS manual Appendix 5 Organisation context 20. How is recordkeeping managed in the organisation?

    Comment on whether recordkeeping is centralised, decentralised or mixed, levels of staff

    awareness, the management of paper and electronic records and whether there are

    comprehensive, known policies and procedures. If there is a current disposal program,

    indicate what disposal authorities are used.

    Recordkeeping in the organisation Source


21. How is technology used in business systems and information management

    systems, including recordkeeping and/or records management systems?

    Comment on the technological capabilities of the organisation, referring to indicators

    such as use of technology in business systems, work stations and work practices,

    resources allocated to technology, and staff competence and training.

    Technology and its use in the organisation Source


22. What sources have been used to undertake the preliminary investigation?

    Compile a register of all documentary and oral sources used during the preliminary

    investigation. Number each source to keep track of the sources in later steps. See

    Appendix 1 Guide to documentary sources, for advice on identifying and citing


? Commonwealth of Australia 2000


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