Destruction of information

Destruction of Australian Government information and records requires approval from the Archives. This is provided in the forms of records authorities and normal administrative practice (NAP).

Sentencing is the process of using a records authority when making decisions on keeping, destruction or transferring information and records.

Destruction of information using Normal Administrative Practice

Normal administrative practice (NAP) allows you to dispose of information no longer needed as evidence of your agency’s business and that are not corporate records.

If disposal of information is covered by your agency’s approved NAP you do not need to contact the Archives for permission.

What should I do before disposing of information?

If you intend to dispose of information, check that it has been sentenced and the minimum retention period has expired. 

Make sure:

  • the original sentence is still appropriate to the content and value of the information
  • circumstances have not changed so that a non-controversial issue has become controversial or is of public interest, resulting in your agency needing to keep the information for longer
  • the record is not affected by a records disposal freeze, related to a current judicial proceeding or subject to a current application for access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, the Archives Act 1983 or other legislation.

Record the disposal decision and the process you will use in control records. This will help demonstrate that sentencing and destruction have been done properly.

For more information on proper destruction of information see:


Copyright National Archives of Australia 2016