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Fujitsu helps Public Record Office Victoria secure community access to vital government information

Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand

Fujitsu Australia, May 28, 2004

The Victorian Government has acted to safeguard community access to vital public information by appointing Fujitsu to deliver an ambitious digital archive initiative. The project builds on the state's information master plan, the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS), with a robust information architecture to preserve all computer-based government records of permanent value.

Delivered in conjunction with the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV), the Digital Archive provides a government-wide infrastructure for saving and managing public records that are created or captured on computers. The initiative will improve community access by making all appropriate material available via a secure Internet service. Fujitsu is assisting PROV by developing business processes and technology to ensure the longevity and availability of public records.

PROV is the government agency charged with maintaining the state's public records. It issues standards for record-keeping, identifies data required for archiving and takes custody of records when no longer required for current administrative purposes.

PROV manages a diverse assortment of records, ranging from Cabinet papers, parliamentary committee records and policy documents such as white papers and green papers to information used by judicial enquiries and Royal Commissions. Its responsibilities extend to government correspondence and individual agency files recording interaction with Victorian citizens - right down to records as granular as individual licences and property records. Collectively, this information forms the permanent public record of Victoria.

Improving community access

To improve community access to these public records, Fujitsu is working with PROV to design and deploy a secure digital records repository accessible via the Internet for use by government and the wider Victorian community, including school students, social researchers, academics, community groups, genealogists and historians. The Digital Archive also provides a secure, automated process enabling other Victorian Government agencies to transfer digital records to PROV easily and efficiently.

PROV Director Justine Heazlewood said the project was another step forward in the Victorian Government's program to deliver valuable community services online.

Protecting the public record

The Digital Archive project addresses many of the complex record-keeping challenges faced by governments in the digital age. Incompatible computer systems and rapid technical evolution have made it harder to maintain reliable permanent records. In the past, record-keeping was left to individual agencies which often used different technologies and disparate archiving policies.

The Digital Archive extends PROV's previous work to improve the consistency and reliability of government record-keeping. The project builds on previous VERS standards, guidelines and implementation work designed to make public records more accessible and ensure all vital government data is preserved for posterity.

"Digital information is very fragile, because formats change and technical media evolve," Ms Heazlewood explained. "Even a record created 10 years ago might be inaccessible today because it's held on a 5.25-inch floppy disk using WordStar. PROV needs to maintain essential records such as Cabinet papers for 30 years before they can be released.

"Governments around the world are grappling with the problem of information disappearing into a digital black hole. With Fujitsu's help, PROV is confident that the Digital Archive provides a technically assured platform that conserves Victoria's vital public information for all time," Ms Heazlewood said.

Fujitsu central to data preservation mission

A 12-person Fujitsu project team began work on the Digital Archive in January 2004. The project is scheduled for completion by May 2005. Fujitsu's unique approach leverages the rich document management and archiving features of the industry-leading Documentum software to manage some 7 terabytes of data. The Documentum application is hosted on Sun servers running Solaris.

Fujitsu has provided for future growth in public records - expected to amount to 2 terabytes of new data each year - by deploying a high-end EMC Centera content-addressed storage system. The EMC platform delivers fast online digital record access, scalability into the petabyte range and tamper-proof write once, read many (WORM) storage to protect the integrity of public records.

"Fujitsu and its technology partners are delivering a powerful digital archive solution that protects public records and makes this important information more accessible for all Victorians," said John Gygar, General Manager, Southern Region, Fujitsu Australia. "From 2005, anyone with Internet access will have instant access to the immensely valuable information held by Public Record Office Victoria."

About Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand

Fujitsu is a full-service provider of information technology and communications solutions. Throughout Australia and New Zealand, we partner with our customers to consult, design, build, operate and support business solutions. From strategic consulting to application and infrastructure solutions and services, Fujitsu has earned a reputation as the single supplier of choice for leading corporate and government organisations. Fujitsu Australia Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited of Japan.

About Fujitsu Limited

Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-setting technologies, highly reliable computing and telecommunications platforms, and a worldwide corps of systems and services experts uniquely position Fujitsu to deliver comprehensive solutions that open up infinite possibilities for its customers' success. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.6 trillion yen (US$38 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003.
For more information, please see:

Gillian Lamrock

Phone: Phone: +61 (2) 9776 4799
E-mail: E-mail:
Company:Fujitsu Australia Limited

Justine Heazlewood

Phone: Phone: +61 (03) 9348 5600
Mobile: Mobile: 0413 733 299
E-mail: E-mail:
Company:Public Record Office Victoria

Date: 28 May, 2004
City: Fujitsu Australia
Company: Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand