Minutes from RAC Meeting 20091028


  • David Giaretta (chair)
  • Don Sawyer (NASA)
  • Jim Thieman (NASA)
  • John Garrett (NASA)

Welcome and Introductions

Review of status of Metrics document

Metrics document is undergoing CCSDS review right now. The ISO review will start as soon as possible.
ACTION DG 20091030 check with Tom Gannett about ISO progress.

Review of audit and certification organisational strategy

There was a high level discussion of what needs to be in the “Requirements for Bodies...” document which would facilitate (1) implementation of an organisation to undertake audits/certification and (2) consistency across audits.

The following points were considered possibilities:

  1. The primary audit body should be specified as consisting of internationally recognised experts in digital preservation, the membership building on members of the authors of the Metrics document.
  2. The qualification and training of auditors should be approved/accredited by the primary committee (Note this may change if the system grows too large – would be part of the update of this standard). Re-accreditation after 3 years would be necessary and removal of accreditation would be possible if standards were not being upheld.
    1. This would allow us to specify a minimum number of days training e.g. 3 – but allow the primary cttee to override this if necessary. Similarly participation in a minimum number of audits , say 2, but this could be overridden by the primary committee. Also the qualifications e.g. university course would be approved by the primary committee.
  3. We should specify that on-site audits need a minimum of 2 people present and others could take part virtually – as long as they could have access to the materials remotely (e.g. if the repository was concerned about sending information off site then the whole audit committee would have to be present on site)
  4. We may want to explicitly mention the possibility of “test audits” which repositories (or their funders) could request – so that they could properly prepare for a real audit.
  5. the scope of the certification would need to be specified – this is probably normal. The resulting certificate would say something like “this repository is a TDR for data collections X, Y and Z, with the following provisos (areas in which improvement is needed)

In order to start this process it is proposed that we draw up a 2 page outline of the set-up and evolution of the accreditation/audit organisation to present to various funding agencies. This could raise issues such as:

  1. need for funding to obtain legal advice
  2. need for funding to have face to face meeting of the primary committee
  3. the funding bodies could ask for (and pay for) audits of their key repositories
  4. the funding bodies could require (and fund) all their repositories to be audited.

ACTION DG 20091130 Initial draft 2 page outline of set up and evolution of organisation - available here
ACTION ALL 20091130 Contact national ISO organisation to investigate what is needed to set up the accreditation body etc

-- DavidGiaretta - 28 Oct 2009

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