Update on MoReq 2010 from the DLM Forum meeting in Budapest

I attended the DLM Forum meeting in Budapest last week (May 12 and 13) at which Jon Garde announced that the core requirements of the MoReq 2010 specification had been finalised and would be published as a PDF on the DLM forum website within the fortnight following the meeting. It was possible that it might also be issued as a hard copy publication later in the year.

How the final version of the MoReq 2010 core requirements differs from the consultation version issued late last year

Jon Garde described the changes to the core requirements of MoReq 2010 since the
consultation version was released late in 2010. These changes included the adoption of a service orientated architecture for MoReq 2010, the dropping of the notion of a primary classification, and a reduction in the number of requirements.

Adoption of a service orientated architecture model
All the requirement in the MoReq 2010 core requirements have been bundled into ten services. A MoReq 2010 compliant system will be capable of offering up its functionality as services, that could be consumed by one or more other information systems within the organisation.

For example several records systems within an organisation could all consume the classification service of one MoReq 2010 compliant system, enabling the organisation to hold its fileplan in one place whilst having it used by several systems.

A MoReq 2010 compliant system must possess the capability to provide ten services:

  • a records service (the capability to hold aggregations of records)
  • a metadata service (the capability to maintain metadata about objects within the system)
  • a classification service (the capability to hold a classification, to apply it to aggregations of records, and to link headings within the classification to retention rules)
  • a disposal service (the capability to hold retention rules, and to dispose of records in accordance with retention rules)
  • a disposal hold service (the capability to prevent the application of a retention rule to a record, for example because the record is required in a legal case)
  • a search and report service (the capability to retrieve and present records and metadata in response to queries)
  • a user and groups service (the ability to maintain information about people and groups that have permissions to use the system)
  • a role service (the ability to assign roles to people and groups to determine what those people and groups can and can’t do within the system)
  • system services (the capability to maintain event histories in relation to objects held within the system)
  • an export service (the capability to export records together with their metadata and event histories in a form that another MoReq 2010 compliant system could understand)

Abandoment of the notion of a ‘primary classification’

The notion of a ‘primary classification’ for records (see my previous post) had been dropped. Instead a record will be assigned a classification, from which it would by default inherit a retention rule. It would be possible though for a person with appropriate permissions to override that inherited retention rule, and instead assign to the record a different retention rule, or to get the record to receive a retention rule from a different part of the classification scheme to the one it has been assigned to.

Reduction in the number of requirements
The number of requirements had been significantly reduced. The consultation draft had contained 436 requirements, these have now been consoldated into 170 requirements. But the final core requirements document would be longer than the consultation draft, because the introductory explanations had been increased to 90 pages.

Plans for the future development of MoReq 2010

The MoReq Governance Board has ambitious plans for the development of MoReq 2010, and regarded the publication of the core requirements as only the beginning. MoReq 2010 has a modular structure, and additional modules are planned that vendors may choose to submit their products for testing against.

The  DLM forum are planning to have a first wave of additional modules for MoReq 2010 available by the time of their triennial conference (due to be held in Brussels in the week of December 12, exact dates/venues yet to be announced).  Unlike the core requirements, the additional modules will be optional rather than mandatory.

Included in the first wave will be:

  • an import service – providing the ability to import records and associated metadata from another MoReq 2010 compliant system. Note that the ability to export records is a core requirement, but the ability to import records is an additional module.  This is because an organisation implementing its first MoReq 2010 compliant system does not need that system to be able to import from another MoReq 2010 compliant system.
  • modules that provide backwards compatibility with MoReq 2

Backwards compatibility with MoReq 2 is important.  One European country (the Czech Republic) has enshrined compatibility with MoReq 2 into records management legislation. The modules that will give backwards compatibility to MoReq 2 will be:

  • a scanning module
  • a file module (MoReq 2010 replaced the concept of the ‘file’ with the broader concept of an ‘aggregation’. The additional module would ensure that a system could enforce MoReq 2 style ‘files’ (which can only be split into volumes and parts). In MoReq 2010 terms a MoReq 2 file is simply one possible means of aggregating records
  • a vital records module
  • an e-mail module (the core requirements of MoReq 2010 itself talks generically about ‘records’ and do not focus specifically on any one particular format)

Note that a system could be MoReq 2010 compliant without being MoReq 2 compliant (because the additional modules that give MoReq 2 compliance are voluntary and not part of the core requirements of MoReq 2010). Any organisation that wanted MoReq 2 compliance as well as MoReq 2010 compliance would be able to specify that a product must be certified against those additional modules.

It is hoped that more additional modules would follow. Jon would like to see MoReq 2010 additional modules that cover records keeping requirements in respect of cloud computing, mobile devices and social software. He urged anyone who feels that there are needs that MoReq 2010 could usefully address to come forward and develop a module to address those needs. For example modules that provide functionality specific to a single sector (health sector, defence sector etc.).

There is also the possibility that modules could be written to specify the functionality required for a MoReq 2010 compliant system to also demonstrate compliance with a different standard or statement of requirements. For example a module could be written to ensure that a MoReq compliant system met all the requirements of the US DoD 5015.2 specification (which raises the interesting possibility of a European testing centre announcing that a system is compliant with the US records management specification).

Development of test centres

;

The MoReq Governance Board plans to accredit an international network of testing centres, to whom vendors can submit products for testing against MoReq 2010. Six organisations have already expressed an interest in becoming testing centres. There is no limit to the number of test centres that may be established. The test centres will use test scripts and templates created by the MoReq Governance Board. Vendors will pay a fee to the test centres to have their products tested, and (assuming they are successful) a fee to the DLM Forum to validate the recommendation of the test centre and to award the certificate.

As well as vendors submitting their products for testing, it would also be possible for an organisation to submit their specific installation of a system for testing.

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