Since 2010, the Government of Flanders has a policy on digital preservation. The policy plan 'Agains Digital Alzheimer's' (Dutch) is aimed at assuring the sustainability and easy access to public sector information of the Government of Flanders.
By means of concrete action lines, the plan proffers an answer to the growing need within the Government of Flanders for a sustainable solution for digital archiving. Within this context, we will examine, amongst other topics, the legal context wherein this can be realized; special attention will be paid in this process to the issues of digital signature and substitution.
In the policy plan, we have formulated four strategic objectives:
- the Government of Flanders can at all times continue to consult its digital information;
- the Government of Flanders has access to a manageable, efficient, and controllable all-encompassing digital information infrastructure;
- the Government of Flanders satisfies all legal obligations pertaining to its digital information infrastructure and accountability vis-à-vis litigants and citizens in search of information, internal audit, the Audit Office, the Labor Inspection Department, and other interested parties;
- the Government of Flanders maintains the widest possible control over its information; it is the possessor of it, in the broad sense of the word, and the usage of this information is as little as possible subjected to legal or technical restrictions.
At the end of 2012, a project was started to develop a shared services center for digital preservation in the public sector. The current results of the ongoing project 'Digital Archive Flanders' can only be consulted in Dutch at the moment. They will be translated when the project is finished.
Flemish Decree on Public Archives
Since 2010, the archives of the Flemish public sector are regulated by a new, modern legislation. All information on the Decree can be consulted in Dutch, although the legal texts are available in English.
Storage depot in Vilvoorde
In the exercise of its tasks, the Government of Flanders creates and receives documents. For as long as the documents serve an administrative and/or legal purpose, they need to be retained, and maintained, in a proper, well-ordered, and accessible state for a pre-determined period of time. Those documents that are no longer complemented and/or updated and/or frequently consulted are called ‘the semi-static archive’. They are scheduled to be transferred to the storage depot in Vilvoorde.