Series VPRS 18228
Submissions [Legal Discovery/Case Management System]
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 2015 - 2016
  Series in Custody 2015 - 2016
  Contents 2015 - 2016
Public Access: Closed
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Digital
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2015 - 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence VA 5075
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2015 - cont Department of the Premier and Cabinet VA 1039
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Consult the list of records to locate the digital document or file of interest.

    As of March 2018, some of the records in this series are not available via the online catalogue, and may not be until some time in 2019. This is due to PROV transitioning to a new Digital Archive. Please direct all enquiries for access to the digital records to PROV.

  • Function / Content
    This series contains the full set of redacted and unredacted written submissions to the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The submissions in this series were managed in the Commission's legal discovery / case management system (known as Ringtail). The submissions in this series could be considered the authoritative/official version supporting the Commission's hearings and final report. Each submission includes a dump of the metadata that was stored against it within the legal discovery / case management system.

    Note that some submissions in this series are subject to an order prohibiting the publication of any information that may enable the identity of the person who has given information or evidence to the Commission to be ascertained. Submissions that are known to be subject to an order have been flagged as such.

    A set of redacted (blacked out) submissions were published to the Commission's website during the course of the Commission. These can be found in VPRS 18241 Submissions [Published].

    Submissions were received from individuals and organisations and were considered by the Commission to be critical to its task of investigating issues relating to its terms of reference. An issues paper was released on 31 March 2015 to guide their preparation (see VPRS 18245 Terms of Reference and Procedural Records). There was no prescribed format - they could be typed or handwritten or made orally if there was difficulty writing - in which case the submission was written up by a member of the Commission's staff. Nearly 1000 submissions were received up to the closing date of 29th May 2015.

    Details about the role played by submissions in the Commission's work is available in Volume 1, Section 1 (The Royal Commission and its Work) of the Commission's final report.

    The key information recorded for each submission in this series includes:
    * The name of the person / organisation making the submission.
    * The title of the submission.
    * The date the submission was imported to the case management / legal discovery system.
    * The submission covers sheet date.
    * A flag indicating if the submission was subject to an order prohibiting publication of any information that could identify the submittor (and the text of the order if applicable)
    * An export of all the metadata that was stored against the submission within the case management / legal discovery system.

    Related 'submissions' series include:
    * VPRS 18241 Submissions [Published]. This series consists of the redacted submissions that were publicly available during the course of the Commission.
    * VPRS 18240 Legal Discovery / Case Management System Metadata Export. This series consists of a consolidated metadata export from the Commission's legal discovery / case management system.
    * VPRS 18245 Terms of Reference and Procedural Records. The issues paper and coversheet proforma referred to above can be found in this series.
    * VPRS 18238 Extracts from Submissions and Community Consultation Records [Research and Analysis System]. This series consists of extracts from submissions, marked up to indicate text that was of interest to the Commission's research and analysis.
    * VPRS 18230 Community Consultation and Engagement Records [Administrative and Investigative Records Collection]. This series contains the unredacted 'raw' submissions as they were first received, including covering correspondence if there was any (only occasionally substantive in nature). Submissions were processed (reviewed for redaction, checked if defamatory etc.) from here into the Commission's legal discovery / case management system.
    * VPRS 18239 Email [Senior Officers of the Commission]. This series may contain 'raw' submissions and covering correspondence that were emailed to the Commission.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The submissions in this series were managed in the Commission's legal discovery / case management system - a proprietary system known as 'Ringtail'. Ringtail is an electronic discovery review system designed for law firms and corporate legal teams. It is Intranet and web-based with a relational SQL backend database. The system allowed users to: view native or Portable Document Format (PDF) files; search on, categorise and tag documents; add metadata and comments fields; make redactions over privileged/sensitive material and then produce the documents in a defensible manner.

    Ringtail e-discovery software operated as an Intranet-based legal application technology for use with a web browser. It provided knowledge management and case preparation through an Intranet repository for litigation document and information management, and collaboration for legal cases. As a scalable,web-based application, Ringtail provided users with a flexible search and delivery framework and allowed them to tailor their research to meet specific information needs.

    Ringtail provided the Commission's legal team with a review and analysis workflow. It enabled a range of metadata to be stored against each submission, as well as management of the redaction process.

    The RCFV had the following two requirements of its document management system:
    - The Royal Commission will maintain an electronic database using Ringtail software that will contain, amongst other things, copies of all material produced to the Royal Commission in response to a Notice (for example a Notice to Appear and Attend, or a Notice to Produce) or otherwise on a voluntary basis.
    - Documents maintained using Ringtail software will be allocated a document identifier which will be an alphanumeric sequence which uniquely identifies a document within a collection of documents.

    Whilst the Ringtail system itself has not been transferred to Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) an extract of the metadata stored within it can be found in VPRS 18240 Legal Discovery / Case Management System Metadata Export. Refer to the latter series for further details of the system and the metadata maintained within it.

    Submissions were assigned a unique document identifier, which appears on the top right hand corner of the document. Document identifiers are constructed after a protocol and indicate their source and content. Document identifiers begin with the prefix 'SUBM'.

    MANAGEMENT OF SUBMISSIONS FROM RECEIPT TO PUBLICATION:
    Submissions could be received, either by email, mail, website, in person, or orally (in which case they were written up by a member of the Commission's staff). There was no prescribed format - they could be handwritten or typed. The 'raw' submissions were first stored in the Commission's records management system, known as SharePoint (see VPRS 18230 Community Consultation and Engagement Records [Administrative and Investigative Records Collection]). This was essentially just an initial holding place, used for collection and logging, with virtually no analysis undertaken other than to check if the submission had a valid cover sheet, in which case it was considered valid and would progress further.

    Valid submissions were then processed for import to Ringtail (the submissions in this series). They were converted to PDF if required and stamped with a document identifier on their top right hand corner. Document identifiers (if not already assigned by the parties/people submitting them) were assigned by the Commission in Ringtail. Metadata from the coversheet was stored against the submission in Ringtail. Data included name, organisation and status. Submissions were then reviewed by the legal team. If they were defamatory or too dangerous, no further use would be made of them. They were then reviewed for redaction (blacking-out of text) and could be redacted for legal, privacy, and/or safety reasons, including if they may identify or contain information about people affected by family violence (other than the person making the submission).

    Extracts were also taken from submissions that were considered of use for the Commission's research and analysis. These were maintained in a separate proprietary research and analysis system known as NVIVO (see VPRS 18238 Extracts from Submissions and Community Consultation Records [Research and Analysis System]).

    Those sending in submissions had the choice of opting for them to be treated by the Commission as public, anonymous or confidential. This categorisation had implications both for how the Commission could reference the submission in its report, and for whether or not the Commission decided to publish the submission on its website.

    If a person or organisation requested confidentiality, the submission (or the identified confidential
    parts of it) were not referenced in an identifying manner or published. If a person or organisation requested anonymity, their identifying details were removed in the event that their submission was referenced or published. If a person or organisation requested that the submission be treated as public, then the Commission could choose to reference it and publish it on the website.

    However, even where the Commission decided to publish a submission, they removed or redacted (blacked out) parts of submissions for legal, privacy and/or safety reasons, including if they may identify or contain information about people affected by family violence (other than the person making the submission). The Commission also reserved the right not to publish any submission at all if it considered it inappropriate to do so. Some content was unable to be published, for example if it contained content related to ongoing legal matters in the court system, or contained defamatory material. The Commission's media team undertook a final review of submissions prior to publication. Published versions of submissions are located in VPRS 18241 Submissions [Published].

    ARRANGEMENT FOR PURPOSES OF TRANSFER TO PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA:
    For purposes of transfer to Public Record Office Victoria, the submissions in this series have been arranged in electronic files, based on submittor. Each submission constitutes a record within the file.

    The key information or metadata that has been recorded for each submission includes the submittor name and organisation; a flag indicating if the submission is subject to an order (where the submission has been identifiable as subject to an order) and the text of the order; the title of the submission; a reference to any related people/organisations and/or directly related submissions; date imported to Ringtail; document identifier; the submission coversheet date; and an export of all the Ringtail metadata stored against the submission.

    Submissions were assigned document identifiers with a SUBM prefix. The naming convention was SUBM.[xxxx].[yyy].[zzzz] where x was a four digit number used to identify the submittor, y was the number of the submission and z represented the starting page number.

    Further notes related to the naming convention:
    - Where a submission was identified as a duplicate that had been processed twice (having come in, for example, via the website as well as via email) and been given two (x) identifiers, one number was considered superseded. This may show as a 'gap' in the numbering.

    - Some people made multiple submissions, all of which were considered final (eg. 001 was the first submission by that person, 002 was the second and so on). In other cases people made replacement submissions where only the last submission was considered final (eg 002)

    - RCFV submission cover-pages when provided (not needed for submissions loaded via the website) were given the page number 0, and page numbering for each submission started at 1. Submissions could be delimited [separated] at a document or appendix level with the document identifier indicating the page number that section of the submission started at.

    In addition to the objective and workflow metadata fields in Ringtail the following fields were used for submissions metadata:

    [SUB] Submission Type
    [SUB] Submitter name
    [SUB] Submitter org
    [SUB] Confidentiality - Original
    [SUB] Confidentiality - Legal Reviewed
    [SUB] icourts Redacted
    [SUB] icourts Redaction by
    [SUB] Redaction Reviewed by Legal Status
    [SUB] Legal Redaction Review by

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P0001 2015 - 2016 Closed N/A
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