General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number System
||1984 - cont
||Series in Custody
||1983 - 2007
||1911 - 2010
|Format of Records:
|Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series|
|Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series|
|Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series|
- How to use the Records
If researchers have a file number then the consignment details, which are arranged sequentially in file number order, may be consulted directly. If a file number is not known then the lists may be browsed for relevant file titles.
- Function / Content
This series contains files created by the Department of Management and Budget (VA 1022) 1984-1990, the Department of Treasury (VA 3007) 1990-1994 and the Department of Treasury and Finance (VA 3745) 1995-ct.
Note that records originally serialised as VPRS 9458/P8 are now VPRS 16340/P1. The records in P8 relate specifically to the Transport Reform Unit, which was established in 1997 as part of DTF, to oversee the first franchising process of public transport. As of December 2009, this function is the responsibility of the Department of Transport.
For the period 1995 to 1997, although the Department of Treasury and Finance had responsibility for the functions of both the former departments of Treasury and of Finance, separate electronic databases were used to control the records created in the different functional areas. The Department of Finance files are located in VPRS 2553 General Correspondence Files. From 1997 the correspondence from both functional areas (Treasury and Finance) was registered in the Treasury recordkeeping system.
In some instances correspondence from the previous series, VPRS 1207, may have been top numbered into this series. It is therefore difficult to determine the earliest content date of this series.
- Recordkeeping System
The records in this series are paper files that were controlled by an annual single number system. In an annual single number system, file numbers have a single number preceded by the year of the files creation. For example, file number 86/123 would be the 123th file created in 1986. File numbers revert to 1 at the beginning of each year.
This series commenced in 1984. Until the end of 1984 the recordkeeping system was a manual system. From the beginning of 1985 the registration and indexing of files was governed by an electronic recordkeeping system known as RMS. RMS was used until 1994 when a new electronic recordkeeping system known as RecFind was introduced. Data from the RMS system was migrated to the RecFind system.
The components of the manual system were:
VPRS 11741 Register of General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number System;
VPRS 9310 Classified Subject Index Cards;
VPRS 11755 Subject Index Cards to Inward Correspondence Files;
VPRS 9458 General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number System (this series).
In the manual system file registration numbers were allocated from VPRS 11741. Correspondence was then classified and entries were made under one or more classified subject headings in VPRS 9310. In some cases, presumably where some precedent was established, the file reference and a precis of the subject of a piece of correspondence was entered into the Precedent Index in VPRS 11755.
Information from the manual system was entered into the electronic system when it was introduced.
Two electronic recordkeeping systems have been used by the Departments. Both systems allowed free text searches to identify particular files. The electronic recordkeeping systems created labels that had the file number and a bar code representing the file number printed on them. Both systems allocated numbers in a slightly different format as shown below. The parts of the number that remained the same were the year and single number components of the number.
1984 to 1993 inclusive (RMS System):
File number format
F 84 1234 1 A
F = File or D=Document, used only for tracking ministerial correspondence.
84 = The year the file was registered, this example being 1984.
1234 = Four-digit single-number allocated sequentially as the unique file number. Zeros were used to fill out the four digits, e.g. file 123 appears as 0123.
1 = The file part number. All files had a part 1 whether or not there were subsequent parts. Maximum number of parts was nine. If a tenth part were required the next available file number was used.
A = Computer generated check-digit. May be any symbol from A to Z or 0 to 9.
The RMS system commenced at the start of 1984. The first numbers were F840001... and D01....
Registration was at both file and correspondence item level. File registrations had an F prefix. Thus F8412341A = File / year / four digit consecutive number / single-digit part number / single alpha-numeric check character. Because the system could issue only nine part numbers for a file, part ten was given the next available number. An inquirer looking at any particular file number would see both previous (P) and next (N) part number or file number on the screen.
Ministerial correspondence was registered at both file and document level. Each document was given a consecutive number with a D prefix. All D numbers were consecutive rather than annual single number. The D number was for reporting and tracking purposes.
No other correspondence was registered with a unique document number. However, all correspondence was linked to a file and given a system-issued folio number within the file. The folio number appeared on the screen only, not on the document or in any report.
The series contains all types of departmental correspondence, including Ministerial.
Numbers were not reserved for continuing subjects previously documented in VPRS 1207. Instead, new numbers were issued on demand.
1994 to continuing (RecFind system):
From 1994 the file numbers on printed labels and on the computer screen appeared as follows.
For example: File No. F941234/01
F = File or M=Document used only for tracking ministerial correspondence.
94 = The year the file was registered, this example being 1994.
1234 = A four-digit single-number allocated sequentially as the unique file number. Zeros were used to fill out the four digits, e.g. file 123 appears as 0123.
01 = Two-digit file-part number. All files had a part 1 whether or not there were subsequent parts. Maximum number of part numbers was 99.
RecFind replaced RMS in January 1994, having overlapped it from November 1993 (see below).
RMS's D numbers were succeeded by M numbers. File part numbers followed a back slash. Check digits were not needed. Other than these changes, procedures remained the same.
At the end of October 1993, 400 file numbers were obtained from RMS so that all files that needed to be raised in the remainder of 1993 would have check digits. The entire data base was then copied to RecFind. The two systems ran in parallel for a few weeks, and then the RMS data was destroyed on the basis that it had been incorporated in RecFind. The first unique RecFind numbers, without check digits, were issued in January 1994.
Indexing and retrieval
All titling and retrieval to at least 1995 was by free text without the use of pre-determined key words.
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