Welcome to my blog! Let’s begin by setting the scene…
In December 2011 the Cabinet Office published the Information Principles for the UK Public Sector as part of the wider UK Government ICT Strategy. The National Archives both helped in the development of these Principles, and continues to support the public sector in implementing them.
How do you write an accessible blog about this piece of guidance, I hear you ask? Well, whilst watching The Shawshank Redemption last night I had an idea: Could I explain how the seven Information Principles work using examples taken from the movies?
So here they are, the Information Principles at the movies. (Caution: spoiler alert!)
1. Information is a valued asset: Blair Witch Project (1999)
Three hapless American teens are trying to escape the woods and the elusive ‘Blair Witch’. Their only reliable means of navigation is a map, which is thrown into a river by one of the characters, leaving them lost in the woods to be killed by the witch.
This low budget horror flick is a simple analogy for valuing information. The map is an information asset; it holds the key to achieving their requirements (namely, survival). Having failed to value it, they end up doomed to waste time and resources, and are ultimately killed off by the Blair Witch.
2. Information is managed: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
The Jedi Temple is home to the Jedi archives – seen as the definitive resource for information about the galaxy. When Obi-Wan Kenobi questions the omission of a particular planet, the archivist replies “if an item doesn’t appear in our records, it does not exist…”
In the movie, the archives have been altered by a rogue Jedi looking to hide the existence of a Clone army. Good information management means that we know when records are moved or deleted through authorised and auditable processes. If we don’t protect our information and understand where it is, then our information can’t protect us.