Government Records Service Director
The GRS Director is the head of GRS, who oversees and directs the operation of GRS. GRS consists of four offices, namely the Public Records Office (PRO), Preservation Service Office (PSO), Record Systems Development Office (RSDO) and Records Management and Administration Office (RMAO).
Public Records Office
The Public Records Office (PRO) serves as the central archives for the permanent archives of the Government of the HKSAR. It is committed to appraising and acquiring records and material of enduring value and making them available for public access. PRO performs the following key archival functions:
- accessioning and description;
- public programme; and
- reference services.
PRO also manages the Central Preservation Library for Government Publications (CPL) which contains selected government publications, reports and printed materials on Hong Kong as part of its work to preserve local documentary heritage.
PRO appraises government records and materials with due care to ensure that those with historical value will be transferred to PRO for permanent preservation.
Accessioning and Description
Archival records, as soon as transferred, will be arranged, accessioned and described according to General International Standard Archival Description (ISAD(G)) issued by the International Council on Archives (ICA). This allows users to trace the needed information easily via PRO's online catalogue.
To promote understanding of local documentary heritage, PRO regularly organises exhibitions, seminars, workshops, group visits and other educational activities. Latest activities are announced in What's New section on this website.
Visitors are welcome to consult our archival holdings and other collections of PRO. PRO offers assistance to users in identifying the archival records kept in PRO and using services such as ordering photocopies, using catalogue and finding aids, etc.
Access to Archival Holdings
With the aim of promoting the use of the documentary heritage of Hong Kong, PRO is responsible for coordinating with records transferring agencies to process applications for access to closed records according to Public Records (Access) Rules 1996 and review of access status of archival holdings.
Development of Archives Information System
To enhance the use and management of archival holdings, PRO keeps reviewing the performance of the archives information system and its online catalogue, and undertakes to upgrade the system to better serve the public and internal users.
Research and Support
Archival services face great challenges in the Information Age. To support the enhancement of archives administration and new initiatives of archival services, PRO conducts research on the principles, guidelines and practice in archives administration and archival services.
Preservation Service Office
The Preservation Service Office (PSO) provides services to support the preservation and conservation of archival and library materials held by GRS. By means of housing the newly acquired archives in acid-free archival boxes; controlling storage environmental conditions; and observing house rules in storage, handling and transport of collection items, the life of the archival materials can be prolonged as far as possible.
PSO is responsible for ensuring the security and stability of the preservation environment in which records and archives held by GRS are housed and for managing GRS' physical facilities, including storage, staff, and public areas within all the buildings used by GRS. PSO monitors environmental conditions and provides assessments about needs and options for space and facilities.
PSO also operates the Government Microfilm Centre (GMC), which is responsible for carrying out microfilming work for the Government, as well as supporting microfilm requirements for government archives.
Furthermore, PSO oversees the digitisation of archives, once selections have been made by PRO. This work also includes overseeing the outsourcing of digitisation tasks to contracting companies as appropriate and monitoring the work performed to ensure quality is kept at an acceptable level.
PSO sets up exhibitions in the gallery of Hong Kong Public Records Building (HKPRB). After PRO has selected the subject, story line, and archival items to be displayed, PSO chooses from a shortlist of possible exhibits and designs the layout of the exhibition, and then mounts the exhibits.
Record Systems Development Office
The Record Systems Development Office (RSDO) is responsible for developing electronic records management standards, best practices and guidelines for government-wide implementation of electronic records management (ERM) and electronic recordkeeping system (ERKS), and providing support and assistance to bureaux and departments (B/Ds) to develop or adopt an ERKS.
ERM refers to the application of records management principles to manage records by using electronic systems, notably an ERKS. ERKS is a computer system for records management. It is capable of collecting, organising, classifying, and controlling the creation, storage, retrieval, distribution, maintenance and use, disposal and preservation of both electronic and non-electronic records. It supports records managers, records management staff and records users to perform day-to-day records management functions in an efficient and effective manner.
RSDO plays an important role in promoting ERM across the Government and providing essential ERM training for B/Ds in taking forward ERM and ERKS.
RSDO also participates in the Government's Electronic Information Management (EIM) Steering Group meetings, providing advice on proper management of electronic records, developing and promoting e-government initiatives.
To enhance compliance with best practices in records management, RSDO is responsible for co-ordinating the reviewing and updating of GRS' records management publications. Besides, RSDO also provides advice to B/Ds on records management issues related to vital records management.
Records Management and Administration Office
The Records Management and Administration Office (RMAO) develops a comprehensive system to manage records and oversees its effective and efficient implementation in the Government. It provides training, advisory, review and records centre services to B/Ds, as well as administration services to all GRS offices.
The Training and Consultancy Unit provides training and advisory services to B/Ds to support their effective management of government records and application of related policies, guidelines and procedures.
The functions of the Training and Consultancy Unit are to:
- plan, develop and organise regular training courses to assist different levels of personnel to perform their records management responsibilities more effectively and efficiently;
- organise records management training courses or seminars for B/Ds and public organisations on a need basis with a view to promoting good records management practices; and
- conduct studies and provide advice and recommendations on records management to B/Ds and render assistance to them in implementing the recommendations.
The Records Management Review Unit is responsible for reviewing the records management practices of B/Ds. These reviews aim to assess B/Ds' compliance with the mandatory records management requirements and adoption of good practices, and identify areas for improvement.
The Records Centre Service Unit facilitates B/Ds to dispose of their time-expired records and provides intermediate storage facilities for B/D's inactive records to achieve cost-effectiveness.
Specifically, the functions of the Records Centre Service Unit are to:
- authorise records retention and disposal schedules for government records after consulting other offices in GRS;
- approve disposal of government records, in consultation with other offices of GRS where necessary; and
- provide centralised intermediate storage for inactive government records.
The Administration Service Unit advises and collaborates with all offices in GRS to provide effective administrative service in respect of:
- human resources management;
- financial management;
- procurement activities;
- administration of a Local Area Network; and
- accommodation and building management.