Normal administrative practice

Normal administrative practice (NAP) is a process that allows agencies to destroy certain types of low-value and short-term information in the normal course of business.

Under Section 24 of the Archives Act 1983, information that is low value, short term, duplicated, a reference copy or ‘for information only’ can be destroyed using NAP without formal permission from the National Archives. NAP sits alongside Archives’ formal disposal permissions provided through records authorities.

Regular use of NAP will allow your agency to reduce the quantity of unnecessary information that it holds, thereby reducing information management and storage costs. This will mean more resources can be used to retain and manage more valuable information assets.

NAP cannot be used to dispose of information that is, or should be, covered in a records authority.

A NAP policy

NAP is applied by everyone who works with information as part of their day-to-day activities so there is a risk that information will be destroyed inappropriately if staff don’t understand what they can and can’t delete as a ‘normal administrative practice’. A clearly defined policy that is widely distributed throughout your agency and well supported will reduce the risk of inappropriate destruction.

It will also:

  • account for your agency’s actions when under scrutiny about how it manages business information
  • contribute to robust information governance in your agency

Creating your agency’s NAP policy involves considering the business environment and risks, developing the policy, obtaining approval and ensuring your staff and contractors are aware of the policy and how to use it.

The National Archives has developed guidelines for developing a NAP policy and a template with a suggested structure and examples of text to include or adapt for your policy.

More information

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2018