Organization of storage of electronic records in the context of national e- administration development concepts in Russia and Germany
Organization of storage of electronic records in the context of national e- administration development concepts in Russia and Germany: problems and perspectives
Supposedly, no one would doubt it: electronic records have become a significant part of our lives. There is probably no sphere of human activity that has been left untouched by this gift of technology. Basically, electronic records provide interaction between people, organizations and state institutions. It is crucial to pay attention to condition of electronic records in order to guarantee readability of information and protect it from unauthorized access and use. What is more important, specific means have to be utilized for storage of such records and today, it poses a challenge to community of records managers and archivists.
As the extent of digitalization in different areas of activity is growing every day, it is clear that the sphere of governance could not be left aside. The concept of electronic government grew from the idea of a state that provides services to its citizens in electronic form. First hints at such concept appeared in an article by H. Gammon «The Automatic Handling of Office Paper Work» (1954), where the author mentioned usage of information technologies in public sphere. In Soviet Union, predecessor of a similar concept emerged in A. I. Kitov’s monograph «Electronic digital machines» (1956), in which the author described the idea of centralized administration of economics per computers.In German Federal Republic, concepts concerning local infrastructure of electronic government emerged in 1999 according to initiative «[email protected]».
Electronic government is a complex system of interactions between four blocks: citizens, businesses, employees and other governments. Electronic administration represents a significant part in this structure and includes a number of technologies and processes which allow to transfer«paper» work in state institutions to electronic form.
We have decided to study German experience in addition to Russian, as in this country, specialists are also proceeding through the stage of concepts and have not developed a finished mechanism of storage of electronic records in state institutions. Our research has proved that approach of government to the problem in Russia and Germany is absolutely different.
A Russian governmental programme «Information Society» represents a document that touches upon most spheres of human activity. The sub-programme that is connected to our research is called «Information state». The authors set strict deadlines for different tasks and listed institutions that are responsible for their realization. For instance, interdepartmental interaction has to become entirely digitalby December, 2016. We would like to note that the programme includes neither means of completion of different tasks, nor any preferred technologies. Federal laws and Acts of Government are the kinds of documents that have to be prepared or redone. Authors of the concept believe that terminology of Federal legislation has to become clearer in terms of electronic records. Thus, such terms as «archival record» and «circulation of records» require changes for corresponding to the context of electronic records management. Moreover, requirements for storage of electronic records in archives have to be fixed in legislation for archives and state institutions. A specific Federal law «On electronic record and circulation of electronic records» is expected to be implemented as well.
In case of Germany, a module called «E-Langzeitspeicherung» (Electronic long-term preservation)from an organizational concept «Digitale Verwaltung» (Digital Administration) in its original language was the object of our study. We would like to mention that in this case, we had to explore the entire system of German archive administration and records management by ourselves, using official documents, various publications of Federal ministries, archival institutions and several specialists. German section of Multilingual archival terminology databank of International Council on Archives was necessary for apprehension of specific terms. First of all, the concept lists special requirements for storage of electronic records. They are used worldwide and include integrity, authenticity, completeness of information, lucidity, accessibility, confidentiality, removability, readability and mobility. Secondly, authors of the concept recognize the absence of statutory regulation in this area and admit that solutions are scattered around separate acts of common and sectoral legislation, national and international standards and instructions. Since the aforementioned documents include certain requirements, departments are expected to create individual concepts according to them. For example, there are several operations for electronic records that have to be guaranteed, from recording to deletion. In the final part of the module, authors provide description of an electronic record’s «life cycle» and two approximate scenarios that instruct specialists on organizing storage of electronic records according to the concept.
To our mind, there are two key problems that exist in Russia and Germany. Firstly, specialists in both countries have to devise a way to store electronic records without losses. According to Canadian specialist Luciana Duranti, it is impossible to save originals of electronic records. Their copies are expected to be stored in archives instead. This topic represents a subject of much controversy in professional community, but specialists agree that the carrier of information will change. Scientists have developed means of recording information in plants and discuss technologies for storage of data in DNA. The second problem lies in absence of statutory regulation in this area. In Russia, it causes reliance on regulatory and methodical documents that are issued by Federal Archival Agency and All-Russian Scientific Research Institute on Documentation and Archival Matter (VNIIDAD). Even if international standards contain exact solutions and are being translated, they are not commonly used until adaptation in the form of national standards. In Germany, absence of statutory regulation does not seem to be considered as a problem by specialists. As we said before, international experience in the area of storage of electronic records is being reflected even in such documents as a governmental programme. German archivists and records managers gain freedom in choosing technologies, which means absence of unification and calls forth the need of a compromise, e. g. in terms of format of a record. Moreover, standards are not considered as obligatory documents, and corresponding requirements may not be taken seriously bydirectors and personnel.
Regarding perspectives in Germany, we predict development of national methodical and regulatory documents and use of international achievements in this area, as well as sharing experience with foreign partners. On April 4th, 2016, Federal Archival Agency of Russian Federation was putunder President’s supervision. We suppose that the existing concept of electronic administration will develop and statutory regulation of storage of electronic records will be achieved.
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Аннотация. Storage of electronic records in the context of e-administration development concepts in Russia and Germany are in focus of this research. The authors admit that ensuring long-term storage of electronic records and absence of statutory regulation in the area pose key problems for both countries, while perspectives differ.
Ключевыеслова: electronic records, electronic government, electronic administration, archival records, Information Society, Digitale Verwaltung, Russian Federation, German Federal Republic.
Ю. В. Куликова
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