The role of institutional competencies for the long term preservation of electronic records: The Experience of the Turkish Public Sector
A growing number of e-governance applications in use in the public sector in Turkey have been developed since the beginning of the millennium. It is also evident that most government departments now create, use and maintain records in electronic form. This is partly due to standards which were developed in 2007 for managing electronic records; these were made mandatory for government departments in a circular issued by the Prime Minister's Office in 2008. Up until today, the focus of the standard has been on the system criteria for managing these records. The Turkish Standards Institute was granted the mandate to test the software to be used in government departments in order to ensure record authenticity and admissibility, as well as to ensure that the public bodies are informed about the system criteria for accountability, sustainability and security. The 2015 version of the standard for managing electronic records and archives widened its scope making it appropriate for testing the institutional competencies of government departments. This paper aims to address the issues on how institutional competencies can have a profound effect on the continuity of electronic records. First, the scene for the digital outlook of the Turkish public sector will be set and by drawing from the experience of the previous version of the standard, the foundations for the new version of the standard will be established. Subsequently, the test criteria for system requirements and institutional competencies will also be examined. The transformation of government departments that enables them to cope with the challenges posed by electronic records and processing work in the electronic environment has also been undulant. Thus, this paper also tries to address issues surrounding a smoother transition to electronic environment and within this context makes recommendations for a management model.