Moving towards digital document management

A server room with rows of servers left and right.

RIVM’s ambition is to work completely digitally in the future, which suits a society that continues to move online. It also guarantees that valuable knowledge will be kept safe and remains accessible. RIVM is working hard towards that end: in 2016, we started laying the foundations.

RIVM will use its move to Utrecht Science Park as an opportunity to get its digital document management (DDM) in order. Marcel Tiggelovend, Programme Manager for Digital Document Management, explains why.

“Employees always need to have relevant information at their fingertips and be able to find it quickly. That way, we can continue to fulfil our role as a trusted advisor. And with proper digital document management, we will also comply with the Public Records Act. That will result in continuity of operational management and proper external accountability.”

A solid foundation

In 2016, we started building a system that supports document storage, management and access. In this system, users can easily find and share documents. Automatic version management ensures that users will always have the latest version of a document, that all changes will be tracked, and that each document will be saved to a single location. That means that RIVM employees will soon be able to work together in one document more easily.

Focus on the users

We care about the people who will use the system, which is why we will be setting up a central location that takes employee preferences into account. Around 40 RIVM employees from all centres and staff units were eager to help, joining a user group whose slogan was ‘Help us build DDM!’. This group met several times in 2016 to state their preferences and define functional requirements. We also collaborated closely with our colleagues at the RIVM Central Archive on preparation and development, relying on their considerable expertise in this field.

Re-sorting the archives

One of the preliminary activities as we move towards digital document management is tidying and organising our paper archives. Our cellars and cabinets are full of paper: academic research, population screenings, reports, and other valuable information. In 2016, a team started an inventory of these archives, making great headway. The team waded through 1,200 metres of paper in 2016 and are still not nearly done.

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