Government Records Service Director
The GRS Director is the head of GRS, who oversees and directs the operation of GRS. GRS consists of five offices, namely the Legislation and Planning Office (LPO), Public Records Office (PRO), Preservation Service Office (PSO), Record Systems Development Office (RSDO) and Records Management and Administration Office (RMAO).
Legislation and Planning Office
The Legislation and Planning Office (LPO) is set up to support and follow up the work related to the study of archives law. It is also tasked to conduct research and planning on records and archives management.
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.
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 and studies on long-term preservation of electronic records and digital archives for establishing digital archives.
Preservation Service Office
The Preservation Service Office (PSO) provides services to support the preservation and conservation of archival and library materials held by GRS with an aim to extending their life expectancy by various means.
PSO is responsible for the long-term preservation of physical conditions of archival and library records in GRS. It actively rolls out preventive measures in hope of providing a suitable storage condition and stable environment for our holdings, so as to mitigate their risks of damages and deterioration. PSO also develops preservation strategies, postulates rules and guidelines, and identifies the best practices for storing, handling and displaying archival holdings. Conservation treatment would be carried out for those archival records with unstable conditions for purposes of exhibition display, digitisation, facilitation of access and storage. PSO sets up exhibitions at the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Public Records Building (HKPRB). It provides advice and technical support on selection of possible exhibits, their mounting and display methods according to the design layout; as well as frequently monitors the physical conditions of exhibits and environmental conditions in the Exhibition Hall during the display period.
PSO also operates the Government Microfilm Centre (GMC), which is responsible for carrying out microfilming work for the Government B/Ds, as well as production of microfilm surrogates for keeping at GRS in the long-run.
Besides, PSO provides in-house mass digitisation services as well as reformatting services for archival materials in GRS following well-defined workflows to produce authentic digital copies. It upholds qualities of digitised records to meet international standards as well as to enable the paper records to be more searchable and accessible via electronic means.
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.