Records Authority 2011/00714998

Department of Human Services
Payment and Service Delivery Management

19 December 2012

This is an accurate reproduction of the authorised records authority content, created for accessibility purposes.

Introduction

The Department of Human Services and the National Archives of Australia have developed this Records Authority to set out the requirements for keeping or destroying records for the core business areas of Payments and Service Delivery Management. It represents a significant commitment on behalf of the Department of Human Services to understand, create and manage the records of its activities.

This Authority is based on the identification and analysis of the business of the Department of Human Services. It takes into account the agency's legal and organisational records management requirements, and the interests of stakeholders, the agency and the National Archives of Australia.

The Authority sets out those records that need to be retained as national archives and specifies the minimum length of time that temporary records need to be kept. This Authority gives the Department of Human Services permission under the Archives Act 1983, for the destruction of the temporary records described after the minimum retention period has expired. Retention periods for these temporary records are based on: an assessment of business needs; broader organisational accountability requirements; and community expectations, and are approved by the National Archives of Australia on the basis of information provided by the agency.

As changes in circumstances may affect future records management requirements, the periodic review of this Authority is recommended. All amendments must be approved by the National Archives of Australia.

Application of this authority

  1. This Authority supersedes Records Authority RDA 1335. The superseded records authority cannot be used by the Department of Human Services after the date of issue of this Authority.
  2. This Authority is to be used to determine how long records must be kept. Records are matched to the relevant core business and records class in the Authority:
    • Where the minimum retention period has expired and the records are not needed for agency business they should be destroyed as authorised in this Authority
    • Records that have not reached the minimum retention period must be kept until they do
    • Records that are identified as Retain as National Archives (RNA) are to be transferred to the National Archives of Australia for preservation
  3. This Authority should be used in conjunction with general records authorities such as:
    • Administrative Functions Disposal Authority (AFDA) and/or AFDA Express issued by the National Archives to cover business processes and records common to Australian Government agencies;
    • General Records Authority (31) For source (including original) records that have been copied, converted or migrated.
  4. The Normal Administrative Practice (NAP) provision of the Archives Act 1983 gives agencies permission to destroy certain records without formal authorisation.  This usually occurs where records are duplicated, facilitative or for short-term use only.  NAP does not replace arrangements agreed to in this Authority but can be used as a tool to assist in identifying records for destruction together with an agency's Records Authority or Authorities, and with AFDA and AFDA Express.  The National Archives recommends that agencies develop and implement a Normal Administrative Practice policy.  Advice and guidance on destroying records as a normal administrative practice and on how to develop an agency NAP policy is available from the National Archives' website at www.naa.gov.au
  5. Records that are reasonably likely to be needed as evidence in a current or future judicial proceeding or are subject to a request for access under the Archives Act 1983, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or any other relevant Act must not be destroyed until the action has been completed.
  6. Records subject to a disposal freeze must not be destroyed until the freeze has been lifted. Further information about disposal freezes and whether they affect the application of this Authority is available from the National Archives website at www.naa.gov.au
  7. Where the method of recording information changes (for example from a manual system to an electronic system, or when information is migrated from one system to a new system) this authority can still be applied, providing the records document the same core business. The information must be accessible for the period of time prescribed in this Authority. The Department of Human Services will need to maintain continuing access to the information, including digital information, for the periods prescribed in this records authority or until the information is transferred into the custody of the National Archives.
  8. In general, retention requirements indicate a minimum period for retention. The Department of Human Services may extend minimum retention periods if it considers that there is an administrative need to do so, without further reference to the National Archives. Where the Department of Human Services believes that its accountability will be substantially compromised because a retention period or periods are not adequate, it should contact the National Archives for review of the retention period.
  9. Records coming within Retain as national archives' classes in this Authority have been determined to be part of the archival resources of the Commonwealth under section 3C of the Archives Act 1983. The determination of Commonwealth records as archival resources of the Commonwealth obliges agencies to transfer the records to the National Archives when they cease to be current and, in any event, within 15 years of the records coming into existence, under section 27 of the Archives Act 1983.
  10. Records in the care of agencies should be appropriately stored, managed and preserved.  Agencies need to meet this obligation to ensure that the records remain authentic and accessible over time.  Under Section 31 of the Archives Act 1983, access arrangements are required for records that become available for public access including those records that remain in agency custody.
  11. Appropriate arrangements should be made with the National Archives when records are to be transferred into custody. The National Archives accepts for transfer only those records designated as national archives.
  12. Advice on how to use this Authority is available from the Department of Human Services records manager. If there are problems with the application of the Authority that cannot be resolved, please contact the National Archives.

Contact information

For assistance with this authority or for advice on other recordkeeping matters, please contact National Archives' Agency Service Centre.

Queen Victoria Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600

PO Box 7425
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610

Email: recordkeeping@naa.gov.au
Website: www.naa.gov.au

Authorisation

Person to whom notice of authorisation is given:

Ms Kathryn Campbell
Secretary
Department of Human Services
65 Canberra Avenue Griffith ACT 2603

Purpose:

Authorises arrangements for the disposal of records in accordance with Section 24(2)(b) of the Archives Act 1983

Determines records classed as ‘Retain as national archives’ in this Records Authority to be part of the archival resources of the Commonwealth under section 3C of the Archives Act 1983.

Application:

All core business records relating to Payment and Service Delivery Management.

This authority gives permission for the destruction, retention or transfer to the National Archives of Australia of the records described. This authority will apply only with the consent of the agency currently responsible for the business documented in the records described.

David Fricker
Director-General
National Archives of Australia

19 December 2012

Classes

Payment and Service Delivery Management

The core business of processing, assessing and providing payments and services to eligible claimants in accordance with government legislation and policy based on business agreements with policy jurisdictions responsible for the payment or service. Policy jurisdictions include Commonwealth government departments, State and Territory governments and authorities, and foreign governments.  Payments and services managed are diverse and include: aged and disability pensions; unemployment benefits; and student, family, indigenous, migrant, emergency and natural disaster assistance including counselling and other non-payment services. The core business also includes fraud and debt management and promotion of services.
The core tasks associated with Payment and Service Delivery include:

  • engagement and consultation with business partners and potential business partners relating to a service and its delivery;
  • receipt and processing of claims for payment from claimants for approved schemes and services;
  • providing non-payment and support services to customers such as counselling and referrals to other services;
  • improvement and development processes for service delivery operations;
  • policies, procedures and client information about internal core business processes;
  • presentations, addresses and speeches made by the Minister or Chief Executive in relation to service delivery and payments;
  • promotion and provision of information about available services;
  • community outreach to customers and non-customers such as seminars on financial management;
  • reporting to government and policy departments on payments and service delivery performance;
  • internal and external appeals processes relating to payment and service management decisions and other core business activities;
  • management of external input such as Ombudsman enquiries relating to payment and service management decisions and other core business activities;
  • investigating overpayment and fraud including receipt of information monitoring of non-compliant claims and investigation activities. Also includes referrals for prosecution;
  • debt management, debt waivers and recovery of overpayment;
  • policies, procedures and client information relating to core business processes; and
  • supporting administration for payments and non-payment services

For the development and implementation of bilateral management arrangements with policy departments, and of intergovernmental, international and other stakeholder agreements, memorandums of understanding and joint ventures, use Service Delivery.

For advice, reporting and other contributions to the development of service delivery policy relating to payments and services, use Service Delivery.

For research, development and implementation of business opportunities and activities related to the service delivery of payments and services, use Service Delivery.

For financial agreements related to the management of payment services including service initiatives and incentive payments, use AFDA/AFDA Express Financial Management.

Class no Description of records Disposal action
60681

The following significant records:

  • addresses, presentations or speeches made by the portfolio Minister or the agency's chief executive;
  • reports, evaluations, advice and other input to government and external policy departments on payments and service delivery management (including performance) that is known to be innovative or to have initiated change such as policy review. Includes supporting documentation;
    [For reporting and advice on the implementation and outcomes of service delivery policy, use SERVICE DELIVERY]
  • appeals documentation for High Court cases;
  • internal and external appeals processes (other than High Court cases) that are precedent setting such as initiating policy or legislative review;
  • documentation related to official external input (including Ombudsman enquiries) that are precedent setting such as initiating policy or legislative review;
  • investigations and prosecutions that are precedent setting such as initiating policy or legislative review;
  • high level event based records of major emergencies, such as Cyclone Tracey (1974) and the Bali bombing (2002), documenting the department's involvement in the emergency response, recovery and operations;
  • name identified records documenting 20th century core business payments and services to  institutions which were responsible for the care of either child migrants or forgotten Australians as defined by the Commonwealth Find and Connect Service or its successors; and
  • name identified legacy (non-current) records that provide summaries of the individual's payment and service delivery management history such as registers showing changes to assistance over time. These are expected to be mainly 20th century microfiche records of client assistance history. Includes where required, associated finding aids such as an index or a cross reference between client numbers and names or other identifying data. Excludes case files. Details of records covered by this description are included in a separate implementation document agreed with the National Archives of Australia.
    [For legacy records that do not provide summaries of an individual's payment and service delivery management history, use class 60685].
Retain as national archives.
60682 Summary individual client data with personal identity details including names and service history used to ensure customer uniqueness of records in the payment and service delivery management databases over time. Retain as national archives.
60683

Records relating to service development and improvement including:

  • service and system planning, design and testing;
  • technology and equipment design and testing utilising co-design principles for service improvement;
  • customer safety, security and privacy impact assessment;
  • risk management assessment;
  • business cases and proof of concept reports;
  • stakeholder consultation and engagement;
  • change management activities;
  • routine monitoring, evaluation and reporting of service quality in relation to agreed standards and compliance requirements; and
  • routine reporting to government and policy departments on payments and service delivery performance.

[For reporting, reviews and advice known to be innovative or to have initiated change, use class 60681].

Destroy 10 years after last action.
60684

Records relating to investigations of non-compliant and fraudulent activity, calculation and recovery of overpayments and debts relating to payment services  including:

  • receipt of information from the general public, police and other sources about non-compliance, overpayment or fraudulent activity;
  • reports identifying potential non-compliance and fraudulent and overpayment activity from internal and external sources;
  • investigation activities including auditing, data detection, data analysis, monitoring, evidence collected, reports of interviews and correspondence;
  • document checks, compliance audits and other methods of establishing overpayment or non-compliance;
  • reports and recommended action following investigations;
  • briefs and documentation for prosecution, legal action or appeal; and
  • evidence of debt management and recovery of overpayments based on information establishing amount of overpayment and calculation of repayment amount and method of repayment.

[For High Court cases and for other cases and investigations that are precedent setting such as those that lead to policy or legislative review, use class 60681]

Destroy 10 years after investigation and/or court action or case officially closed.
60685

Records documenting the delivery and review of payment or non-payment services to eligible recipients or those with ongoing entitlement including:

  • core business internal policies and supporting documentation;
  • procedures related to the delivery of internal and external policy on payment and service delivery management;
  • publicly distributed guidelines developed internally relating to core business processes such as internal appeals of decisions;
  • applications for payments and supporting documentation required by specific schemes eg medical information;
  • payments and determination of eligibility for payment and/or services;
  • internal audit of all aspects of payment delivery services including  staff adherence to procedures and management of records, compliance with service agreements and statistical reports; and
  • payment summaries/histories;
    [For summary individual client data and service history used to ensure customer uniqueness of database records over time, use class 60682;
    For legacy (non-current) records that are name identified service history summaries only, use class 60681]
  • assurance of support agreements;
  • payment compliance reports and related activity breaches and suspensions;
  • internal and external appeals processes such as those relating to claims decisions and associated payment decisions that are not precedent setting and do not lead to policy or legislative review. Excludes High Court cases;
    [For all High Court cases, and for internal and external appeals processes  that are precedent setting such as those that lead to policy or legislative review, use class 60681]
  • documentation related to official external input (including Ombudsman enquiries) that are not precedent setting;
    [For official external input (including Ombudsman enquiries) that are precedent setting such as those that lead to policy or legislative review, use class 60681]
  • companies and trusts documents for eligibility assessment;
  • repayment of non-fraudulent debt and debt waivers;
  • referrals for specialist support, ongoing services and guidance activities;
  • disaster assistance (in Australia and overseas);
    [For high level event based records for provision of  initial assistance in major emergencies and disasters affecting Australians, such as Cyclone Tracey and the Bali bombings, use class 60681]
  • liaison with service providers.
Destroy 7 years after last action.
60686

Records relating to eligible claimants required only short term including:

  • routine payee reporting forms;
  • incidental referrals such as referrals to community organisations; and
  • routine checks where no further action is required such as where an eligible claimant confirms there is no change to their circumstances.
Destroy 2 years after last action.
61226

Records documenting payment and service delivery management other than those covered in classes 60681 to 60686 and the routine supporting administration of payment and non-payment services including:

  • Routine responses to feedback register and complaints;

  • [For internal and external appeals processes, use class 60685 for non-precedent cases and class 60681 for precedent cases.]
  • information sharing protocols;
  • liaison with business partners and other stakeholders such as private and non-government organisations; and
  • education and outreach activities including promotional materials, financial information services, community and international assistance.

  • [For publicly distributed guidelines developed internally for core business processes such as internal appeals of decisions, use class 60685]
Destroy 5 years after last action.
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017