Records Authority 2012/00280112

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forest, Central Office
Industry and Trade Relations

22 August 2014

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


The Department of Agriculture 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 area of Industry and Trade Relations. It represents a significant commitment on behalf of the Department 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 Agriculture. 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 Agriculture 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.

Application of this authority

  1. This Authority supersedes class 4 of RDA 906 and class 1 of RDA 929. Both these records authorities were issued to the Department of Primary Industries and Energy in 1992.
  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:
    • the 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
  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
  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 Agriculture 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 Agriculture 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 Agriculture 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 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 Agriculture 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 records management matters, please contact National Archives' Agency Service Centre.

Queen Victoria Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600

PO Box 7425
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610



Person to whom notice of authorisation is given:

Dr Paul Grimes 
The Secretary
Department of Agriculture 
18 Marcus Clarke Street 
Canberra ACT 2601


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.


All core business records relating to Industry and Trade Relations.

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 
National Archives of Australia

22 August 2014


Industry and Trade Relations

The core business of developing and implementing strategies to improve market access and to assist the strategic development of Australia's agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry industries. Includes the development of trade relations policy, trade opportunities and agreements, and the provision of advocacy and representation to international organisations and governments on behalf of Australian industry, business and government. Also includes the strategic development of industry and industry standards; the regulation in Australia and overseas of sanitary and phytosanitary measures to protect food safety, human, animal and plant life; and the management of levies on behalf of Australian industry.

Core activities include:

  • negotiating, establishing and reviewing international trade agreements;
  • negotiating, establishing and reviewing financial arrangements;
  • strategic liaison with international organisations and governments;
  • maintaining, improving and regulating market access;
  • negotiating, maintaining and reviewing agreements and joint ventures;
  • providing and receiving advice;
  • consulting and liaising with stakeholders and analysing results of consultation;
  • developing policies and strategies to govern the development of portfolio industries;
  • planning and developing programs in collaboration with government and portfolio industries;
  • visiting international markets and industries;
  • developing and implementing industry and international standards;
  • developing regulations governing the strategic development of industries;
  • managing membership of industry organisations;
  • providing discretionary compensation; and
  • managing a levy system on behalf of portfolio industries, including developing policy, administering, collecting and disbursing levies and related prosecutions.

The performance of the core business is supported by general activities such as:

  • administering approved arrangements and agreements;
  • planning and conducting audit programs;
  • awarding prizes and honours;
  • managing committees and meetings;
  • developing and implementing operational policies and procedures;
  • reviewing, reporting and risk management;
  • determining fees and charges;
  • preparing and delivering speeches and presentations;
  • managing and participating in conferences;
  • developing and conducting public awareness campaigns; and
  • developing and maintaining datasets, registers and summary records.

Cross references to other Department of Agriculture records authorities

For the management/mitigation of risks through quarantine or responding to biosecurity emergencies, use BIOSECURITY.

For the enforcement of penalties related to non-compliance with codes, standards and regulatory requirements, use BIOSECURITY.

Cross references to AFDA Express Records Authority

For the management of and participation in conferences, use COMMUNITY RELATIONS.

For the development of legislation relating to Industry and Trade Relations, use GOVERNMENT RELATIONS.

For managing acquisition, tendering and contracting-out arrangements, use PROCUREMENT.

For agency-wide plans, and for audit committees, use STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT.

Cross references to other records authorities

For advisory bodies and consultative committees, use ADVISORY BODIES.

For governing bodies and ministerial councils, use GOVERNING BODIES.

For the management of grants including grant funding agreements, use GRANT MANAGEMENT.

Class no Description of records Disposal action

Records documenting:

  • negotiation, management and review of significant agreements relating to industry and trade relations, including bilateral and multilateral agreements, free trade agreements and sub treaty arrangements;
  • financial arrangements and programs that have a widespread economic and social impact, or cultural or community importance in Australia or overseas, such as international cooperation programs;
  • strategic high level liaison such as negotiation with the World Trade Organisation relating to Australia's quarantine measures;
  • advice provided to, or received from major stakeholders, including in submissions, relating to significant matters that have far-reaching implications, or which are controversial, subject to government scrutiny, innovative and or high profile with either a significant social, economic, environmental or international impact;
  • final reports relating to significant programs which have a major impact on market access opportunities, or the strategic development of portfolio industries. Includes major drafts, summaries of consultations and procedural analysis;
  • final reports relating to first time trade delegation visits to new international markets;
  • advocacy and representations made to other governments and international organisations on behalf of Australian industry, business or government;
  • final version of policies, strategies and frameworks which have a significant impact on international trade or on industry. Includes major drafts and summaries of consultations;
  • final policies and supporting records for the development and management of levies;
  • final version of inter-agency plans supporting industry and trade relations;
  • final signed version of significant joint venture agreements and contracts;
  • final version of standards, benchmarks and regulations;
  • final version of speeches and presentations made by the Minister and senior agency staff, including conference presentations;
  • high level inter government or inter agency committees where the agency provides the Secretariat or plays a significant role;
  • major awards and honours acknowledging significant contributions to industry and trade relations; and
  • relevant datasets and associated information about the data fields, for example data dictionaries, indexes, tables, and registers.
Retain as national archives.

Records documenting:

  • the development and implementation of industry and international standards, benchmarks and regulations; and
  • prosecutions related to industry and trade relations including initiating and supporting levy-related prosecutions.
Destroy 25 years after action completed.

Records documenting:

  • new levy proposals and related documentation;
  • registration, inspection and audit of levy agents;
  • final reports of planned and unplanned audit programs;
  • assessment of individuals, processes and programs against standards and procedures;
  • negotiation, establishment, maintenance and review of routine agreements relating to industry and trade relations; and
  • routine internal and external committees and meetings formed to consider matters relating to industry and trade relations.
Destroy 12 years after action completed.

Records documenting:

  • routine operational administrative tasks supporting the core business of industry and trade relations; and
  • industry and trade relations activities, other than those covered in classes 61055 to 61057, including:
    • providing compensation, determining fees and charges;
    • collection, disbursement and reporting of levy revenue;
    • production and reporting of levy statistics;
    • final version of section or business unit’s plans;
    • sponsorship of events;
    • conference reports, and presentations by non-senior agency staff;
    • final version of periodic reports required on a regular basis by external government bodies or internally. Includes supporting records;
    • routine operational research;
    • review of programs and operations excluding records covered by class 61055;
    • risk management;
    • routine liaison;
    • responses to surveys requested by other government agencies;
    • managing membership of industry organisations; and
    • visits to established international markets.
Destroy 7 years after action completed.
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