Digital continuity

Highways England needs to be able to access information for as long as it is needed . Information must be stored on a medium that remains accessible and available.

Requirement:

Highways England information must be managed through the entire information lifecycle. It must remain accessible regardless of the technology or software it is stored on. 

Anyone must be able to open, read and use information even when the original software (and sometimes hardware) is no longer available. Information may need to be migrated or emulated to keep it available for use.

Specification:

To make digital information accessible, anyone managing Highways England information must:

  • maintain a list of all software in use or which has been used, together with licence details and versions used
  • maintain a list of file extensions and their associated software
  • maintain details of any encryption keys or passwords used
  • maintain any digital signatures obtained from third-party signatories to contracts or agreements
  • check any removable media storage every three years that they are still in use
  • migrate data to a new storage medium when needed
  • emulate the information when the software used to open it is no longer available
  • contact any third-party copyright owner when migrating data to a new medium

When anyone managing Highways England information migrates or emulates data and information , they must make a full audit of the work undertaken. The audit should contain:

  • details of original software and file extensions used
  • the date the information was moved, migrated or copied
  • who did the work
  • any issues associated with the transfer
  • confirmation that the information is still accessible
  • details of any relationships the information has with other information held
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