Public sector information management survey


In 2018/19 Archives New Zealand reinstated an annual survey of information management (IM) practices in public offices and local authorities.

The core objectives of the survey were the following:

  • Establish and track how well public sector organisations are performing against the requirements of the Public Records Act 2005 (PRA), the Information and records management standard (the Standard), and good practice IM.

  • Allow tracking of improvements in organisations’ performance over time.

  • Identify the risks, challenges, opportunities and emerging trends affecting IM in organisations, so we can feed this intelligence into responsive regulation.

  • Provide public visibility of organisations’ performance.

The 2018/19 annual survey sets a baseline to allow future comparisons. As part of the survey design, we selected five key indicators to measure the overall state of government IM and provide a high-level perspective on whether IM within the public sector was improving, deteriorating or remaining stable.

These key indicators are not the sole measure of the state of public sector IM. All the survey’s questions and answers were designed to be useful, but the key indicators have been selected because they are fundamental building blocks to improvement. The survey results provide more data beyond these indicators, which will enable us to understand the current state of government IM.

The findings from the survey and our recommendations are presented in a separate report: Survey of public sector information management 2018/19 – Findings report. This is available on Archives’ website and the raw results will be published as a dataset on

Our observations and recommendations on the five key indicators are outlined below, with the relevant survey questions referenced. Executive Sponsors and IM staff should consider these recommendations and, if they apply to their organisations, take action.

Who was surveyed?

254 public sector organisations received the survey
176 public offices, which were required to respond by a 'direction to report'
78 local authorities, which were 'requested' to respond

The survey recorded an 89.7% response rate. The eight public offices that did not respond before the close-off date for the survey were followed up. All offices apart from one contacted did submit a full or partial survey response, but none of the late responses could be included in the survey’s analysis.