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National Archives works on digital access to sensitive records

Digital folders
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The National Archives (TNA) is making plans for government officials to have digital access to sensitive records that it holds.

It has begun work on an Access Your Records (AYR) service and is now looking for support in completing the alpha phase and preparing for beta development.

Currently, government users can access non-sensitive digital records through TNA’s online public access service but need to visit its building to see sensitive records in an ‘invigilation room’.

Its has carried out a discovery and initial alpha phase to identify user needs, and now aims to evaluate technical options and design a technical architecture and prototype of AYR.

According the market notice, it has to address user authentication, security, access control for archived records, search and browse based on user access privileges, and how the service should store and retrieve records. It is also interested in how receive and make updates to records and metadata, how to present records to the end user and integration with the data pipeline service.

The main users are expected to be government records teams, internal teams and administrators of the service.

TNA has previously indicated that the big challenge is the sheer volume of records held in its digital archive. There are also significant issues in that the sensitivity of records in continually evolving, with some quickly becoming sensitive due to unforeseen circumstances, and there can be big variations over time in the demand for access.


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