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AFP cops a blast for poor records managment

by Records management non-compliance

“A report into the use of statutory powers by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has given these a pass mark but uncovered serious deficiencies in the AFP’s record-keeping practices and processes. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) found that “The AFP’s poor digital record-keeping is a risk to the integrity of its operations.”

Despite a project that commenced in 2015 to migrate to an EDRMS, found that the AFP still stores the bulk of its information on shared drives, a web-based collaboration tool and the PROMIS Case Management system.”

“In March 2021, the AFP advised that some officers ‘do not like PROMIS’ and ‘do not use it to its full extent’ although ‘all investigations must have a PROMIS case which is created when the complaints or allegations are accepted.’ The ANAO’s fieldwork found that many officers preferred to use network drives to store digital records relating to warrants (such as applications, affidavits and warrants themselves).

“As a result, obtaining relevant documents to support the ANAO’s assessment of a selection of warrants was time consuming, even with the AFP’s assistance, leading to the ANAO having to revise its selection of warrants. For example, the ANAO’s selection of warrants for assessment was based on PROMIS case numbers. It became apparent that for a given case number, while some affidavits and warrants were stored in PROMIS, others were in the network drive. In one instance, 10 warrants were in PROMIS but a further 12 were in the network drive.

“Many officers choose not to use PROMIS, the AFP’s current case management system and are not obliged to do so.”

“ … there is an absence of clear, mandatory and unequivocal direction to officers as to where they must store this type of information which could potentially be required either as reference for future operational activity or required to be produced in court (or for an inquest such as the Lindt café inquiry).

“The AFP does not have the capacity to identify all digital records that it holds on any individual or entity.”


Read more: Information & Data Manager, 18 June 2021

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