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Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard: Agent Element

1. AGENT

Definition:

An agency or organizational element responsible for some action on or usage of a record.

An individual who performs some action on a record, or who uses a record in some way.

Purpose:

To ensure accountability for recordkeeping decisions and actions. In conjunction with elements 10. DATE, 15. MANAGEMENT HISTORY and, when used, 16. USE HISTORY and 17. PRESERVATION HISTORY, to provide context for the creation, management, and use of records.

To act as an access point for users. For example, to enable users to search for all recordkeeping actions performed by particular agents on particular records, or to search for all records which have been accessed by a particular agent.

Rationale:

In order to meet regulatory and business requirements and community expectations for recordkeeping, agencies must be able to document corporate and personal responsibilities for actions taken on, and usage made of, records from creation through to disposal.

Obligation: Mandatory
Applicability: Applicable at the record and/or record series level.
Use
Conditions:

Use each time an action is performed on a record, or a use is made of a record.

Use in conjunction with elements 10. DATE, 15. MANAGEMENT HISTORY and, when used, 16. USE HISTORY and 17. PRESERVATION HISTORY.

Use of the optional sub-elements will depend on 1.1 Agent Type and the level of agent description required by the agency.

This element shall be linked to elements 12. AGGREGATION LEVEL and 14. RECORD IDENTIFIER.

Repeatable?: Yes

Sub-Elements

(Name,
Obligation,
Schemes):

Name Obligation Schemes
1.1 Agent Type Mandatory Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard, agency-specified extensions
1.2 Jurisdiction Optional Agency-defined schemes
1.3 Entity Name Mandatory Agency-defined schemes
1.4 Entity ID Optional Agency-defined schemes
1.5 Person ID Optional Agency-defined schemes
1.6 Personal Name Optional Agency-defined schemes
1.7 Section Name Optional Agency-defined schemes
1.8 Position Name Optional Agency-defined schemes
1.9 Contact Details Optional Agency-defined schemes
1.10 E-mail Optional Agency-defined schemes
1.11 Digital Signature Optional Agency-defined schemes
Comments: -

1.1 AGENT TYPE

Definition: A category which identifies the role and responsibilities of a particular agent.
Purpose:

To identify the role played by a particular agent.

To provide consistency, through the use of assigned values, in the description of recordkeeping roles and responsibilities.

Obligation: Mandatory
Use Conditions:

All records and record series shall have a Record Owner and a Record Registrar. All records shall have a Record Content Author.

Each use of an Assigned Value shall result in the creation of a link between the specific instance of the AGENT element and the relevant date/history element - either 10. DATE, 15. MANAGEMENT HISTORY, 16. USE HISTORY or 17. PRESERVATION HISTORY.

Agencies need to make their own decisions regarding the level of documentation they wish to use when describing an Agent.

The Agent Type of an individual who is not performing the actions of document authoring or registration, and who does not have a specific assigned role, shall default to ‘User.’

Assigned Values:

(Value Name,
Definition)

Value Name Definition
Auditor: An individual, either internal or external to the agency, who conducts a recordkeeping audit or an IT system audit of the recordkeeping system to determine agency compliance with certain standards.
Authority: The agency, organizational unit, and/or individual who is responsible for authorizing some action on the record.
Data Practices Compliance Official: The designated employee of the government entity to whom persons may direct questions or concerns regarding problems in obtaining access to data or other data practices problems.
Publisher: The agency or organization unit responsible for making a record available.
Record Content Author: The agency, organizational unit and/or individual primarily responsible for the content of the record. Equates to the term "Creator" or "Originator" used in some environments.
Record Owner: The agency which makes, receives, and accumulates the records in the course of its business. The agency to which the record belongs.
Record Registrar: The individual responsible for assigning the record to the recordkeeping system (i.e., registering the record into the recordkeeping system).
Records Manager: An individual responsible for administering and controlling records on a day-to-day basis. An individual responsible for ensuring the continuing preservation of, and access to, records for as long as they have value.
Security Officer: An individual responsible for promulgating and enforcing security policies, and for investigating breaches of security.
System Administrator: An individual responsible for the day-to-day running of the overall computer system of which the recordkeeping system is a part (including system backup and access control).
Transactor: The individual(s), organizational units, or entities, other than the Record Content Author, involved in the act or transaction documented by the record.
User: An individual who accesses, or attempts to access, the record. Unlike other Assigned Values for this sub-element, this value does not generally denote any particular role and is meant to be used primarily with element 16. USE HISTORY.
Default Value: User
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: Shall be assigned by the system or chosen by the agent according to the action being performed, the specific assigned role of the agent performing it, or a combination of the two.
Schemes: Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard, agency-specified extensions.
Comments:

The above list of assigned values may be extended by agencies to meet specific business requirements.

1.2 JURISDICTION

Definition: The jurisdiction within which the agent operates.
Purpose:

To identify the jurisdiction within which records are created, managed, and used.

To provide contextual information about records.

Obligation: Optional
Use Conditions: -

Assigned Values:

(Value Name,
Definition)

Value Name Definition
City: -
Congressional District: -
County: -
Legislative District: -
School District: -
State: -
Township: -
Unorganized Territory: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: System-assigned. Changes to the default value should be manually selected from a pick list by an authorized agent.
Schemes: Agency-defined schemes
Comments: Agencies may expand the Assigned Values list to meet their own needs. Those agencies which deal with different jurisdictions may choose to make each individual jurisdiction an Assigned Value for this sub-element.

1.3 ENTITY NAME

Definition: The name of the agent's agency.
Purpose:

To identify the agent's agency which owns the records and/or which is responsible for actions carried out on the records.

To provide contextual information about the creation, management, and use of records.

To ensure accountability for recordkeeping actions at the entity level.

Obligation: Mandatory
Use Conditions: -
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: System-assigned. Changes to the default value should be manually selected from a pick list by an authorized agent.
Schemes: Agency-defined schemes
Comments: Agencies will need to allow for anonymous users, and users without an assigned or associated government entity.

1.4 ENTITY ID

Definition: An identifier assigned to the agent's agency.
Purpose: To uniquely identify the agent's agency.
Obligation: Optional
Use Conditions: -
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable?: No
Assigned By?: System-assigned.
Schemes: Agency-defined schemes
Comments: Agencies that anticipate sharing records with others may wish to use a unique agency prefix code. Agencies interested in such a code should consider coordinating with others using agency prefixes; for example, both InterTech and the Department of Finance (in the Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System (MAPS)) use such codes routinely.

1.5 PERSON ID

Definition: An identifier assigned to an individual who performs some action.
Purpose:

To uniquely identify the person responsible for actions carried out on records.

To provide a 'key' or link to other details about the individual held by the system.

To act as a system security mechanism.

Obligation: Optional
Use Conditions: A person may have more than one assigned identifier, but only one identifier per individual should be used within the agency recordkeeping system.
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: The ID of the person logged into the recordkeeping system and performing the specific action on the record.
Repeatable?: No
Assigned By?: System-assigned.
Schemes: Agency system-assigned (e.g., a system logon, employee number).
Comments:

It is recommended that this sub-element and/or sub-element 1.6 Personal Name be used to facilitate the linking of agent details to actions on records recorded in element 15. MANAGEMENT HISTORY and, where used, elements 16. USE HISTORY and 17. PRESERVATION HISTORY.

Further identifiers may need to be added at a later time to uniquely identify the individual if records are moved outside the agency domain. In many cases, the addition of sub-element 1.4 Entity ID may be enough to uniquely identify an individual outside the agency domain.

1.6 PERSONAL NAME

Definition: The name of an individual who performs some action.
Purpose:

To identify the person(s) who out actions on records.

To enable searches on all actions carried out by a particular person.

To provide contextual information about the creation, management, and use of records.

To ensure accountability for recordkeeping actions at the operational level.

Obligation: Optional
Use Conditions: -
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: The name of the person logged into the recordkeeping system and performing the specific action on the record.
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: System-generated (taken from system logon details)
Schemes: Agency-defined schemes.
Comments: It is recommended that this sub-element and/or sub-element 1.5 Person ID be used to facilitate the linking of agent details to actions on records recorded in element 15. MANAGEMENT HISTORY and, where used, elements 16. USE HISTORY and 17. PRESERVATION HISTORY.

1.7 ORGANIZATION UNIT

Definition:

The name of the business section(s) responsible for an action carried out on a record.

The name of the business section within which a person responsible for a recordkeeping action works.

Purpose:

To provide further detail about the agent.

To enable searching on recordkeeping actions performed by a particular business section within an agency.

To provide further contextual information about the creation, management, and use of records.

Obligation: Optional
Use Conditions: -
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: System-assigned (taken from system logon details or system access profiles). Changes to the default value should be manually entered by an authorized agent.
Schemes: Agency-defined schemes.
Comments: The section details will have been entered into the system and linked to the individual's logon and/or access profile.

1.8 POSITION TITLE

Definition:

The title of the position(s) responsible for an action carried out on a record.

The title of the position filled by a person responsible for a recordkeeping action.

Purpose:

To provide further detail about the agent.

To enable searching on recordkeeping actions performed by a particular position within an agency.

To provide further contextual information about the creation, management, and use of records.

Obligation: Optional
Use Conditions: -
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: System-assigned (taken from system logon details or system access profiles). Changes to the default value should be manually entered by an authorized agent.
Schemes: Agency-defined schemes.
Comments: The position details will have been entered into the system and linked to the individual's logon and/or access profile. Working job titles (e.g., Records Manager) may provide more useful information than generic ones (e.g., Management Analyst 4).

1.9 CONTACT DETAILS

Definition: Information on how to contact the agent, such as street or postal address, telephone, and fax numbers.
Purpose:

To facilitate contact with an agent at either organization or individual level.

To enable an interested party to gain access to the records or to ascertain further information about the records.

To provide a point-in-time snapshot for historical reference.

Obligation: Optional
Use Conditions: -
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: System-assigned.
Schemes: Agency-specified schemes.
Comments:

The default value could be either global agency-level details or individual-specific details.

In the case of individual-specific defaults, the contact details will have been entered into the system and linked to the individual's logon.

It should be noted that contact details may not be current, but will provide point-in-time information for historical reference.

1.10 E-Mail

Definition: The e-mail address of the agent.
Purpose:

To enable direct communication with the agent, who is a direct point of contact for providing access to, or further information about, the records.

To provide a point-in-time snapshot for historical reference.

Obligation: Optional
Use Conditions: -
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: System-assigned.
Schemes: Agency-defined schemes.
Comments:

The default value could be either a single central agency e-mail address or, when the agent is an individual, that individual's personal e-mail address.

In cases where the default e-mail address is that of an individual, the e-mail details will be taken from the individual's system profile.

It should be noted that a particular e-mail address may not be current, but will provide point-in-time information for historical reference.

1.11 DIGITAL SIGNATURE

Definition: An encrypted, tamper-proof piece of data which creates a unique and unforgeable identifier of the agent.
Purpose:

To provide proof of the source and integrity of the record.

To provide for non-repudiation.

To provide authentication of the identity of the agent.

Obligation: Optional
Use Conditions: May be the digital signature of an agency, an organizational unit, or an individual.
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: The digital signature of the agent.
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: Agent-assigned or automatically assigned by the system if the digital signature details are linked to an individual's logon.
Schemes: Agency-defined schemes.
Comments:

Government agencies, particularly those which conduct business with members of the public over the Internet, are moving towards the adoption of digital signatures and related technologies as a means of authenticating transactions carried out over the Internet.

The exact data to be covered by the digital signature (e.g., whether it is the record only, or the record plus its metadata) is an implementation-dependent issue and shall be defined by the agency.

AGENT Examples

1.1 Agent Type Record Content Author
1.2 Jurisdiction State
1.3 Entity Name Minnesota Department of Health
1.9 Contact Details P.O. Box 64975
Saint Paul, MN, 55164-0975
651-215-5800
1.10 E-mail library@health.state.mn.us

1.1 Agent Type Publisher
1.2 Jurisdiction City
1.3 Entity Name City of Minneapolis
1.9 Contact Details City Hall
350 S 5th Street, Room 304
Minneapolis, MN, 55415
612-673-2200
1.10 E-mail info@ci.Minneapolis.mn.us

1.1 Agent Type Records Manager
1.3 Entity Name Minnesota Department of Administration
1.5 Person ID johndoe [system ID]
1.6 Personal Name John Doe
1.7 Organization Unit Operations Services
1.8 Position Title Government Records Analyst
1.10 E-mail john.doe@state.mn.us

 Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard: Version 1.1, July 2002.


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