Noark is the abbreviation for Norwegian Archival Standard. Noark was developed in 1984 by the now defunct Rationalisation Directorate (which later became Statskonsult) in collaboration with the Director General as a requirement specification for electronic record systems in government administration, and soon became a de facto standard.
The second version of Noark, published in 1987, was also a result of a project collaboration with the Director General. In 1990, the responsibility to administer and further develop this standard was transferred from Statskonsult [now the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi)] to the Director General.
Noark-3 appeared in print in 1994 and was replaced by Noark-4 in 1999. Noark-4 also includes the specifications defined in Koark, which is the corresponding national standard for municipal and county administrations. In 1995, an edition was published with an appendix on municipal case management: Koark (often referred to as kommuneNoark, i.e. the municipal version of Noark). This standard was developed in collaboration with the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (Kommunenes sentralforbund). In all essence, it follows the principles of the Noark standard, but includes a number of additional functions especially adapted for case management in municipalities and counties.
Whereas the initial versions of the Noark standard only covered how to keep a register of documents, Noark-4 laid the foundation for fully electronic case management and archiving in public administration.
Noark 5 is the standard currently in effect. Further development has consisted in modernisation in line with technological progress as well as expansion of the systems' information content and functionality.
Noark is both a shared standard for public administration bodies and a tool for increased interaction between systems and agencies. An archive extract that is prepared in compliance with Noark 5 is suited for long-term storage in a repository. Noark can also be useful to private enterprises.
If you want to start using a Noark-approved system, you can obtain one of the approved systems. You may also develop your own system and apply to have it approved by the Director General.
Section 2-9 of the Archives Regulation states that, as a general rule, public bodies shall use a Noark-approved system to maintain an electronic register of documents and their archives.