Records Authority 2012/00316300

Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

Tribunal Case Management

June 2012

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


The Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal (MRT-RRT) 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 Tribunal Case Management. It represents a significant commitment on behalf of the MRT-RRT to understand, create and manage the records of its activities.

This Authority is based on the identification and analysis of the business of the MRT-RRT. 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 MRT-RRT 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 Authorities RDA 795 (1992) and RDA 1267 (1996). The superseded records authorities cannot be used by the MRT-RRT to sentence records after the date of issue of this Authority.
  2. This Authority should be used in conjunction with the Tribunals Records Authority 2011/00681744 covering core businesses of Tribunal External Relations and Tribunal Management and Statutory Appointments.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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 MRT-RRT 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.
  9. In general, retention requirements indicate a minimum period for retention. The MRT-RRT 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 MRT-RRT believes that its accountability will be substantially compromised because a retention period or periods are not adequate, they should contact the National Archives for review of the retention period.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Advice on how to use this Authority is available from the MRT-RRT 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



Person to whom notice of authorisation is given:

Amanda McDonald
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal
L11, 83 Clarence Street
Sydney NSW 2001


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 Tribunal Case 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.

Authorised by:

Margaret Chalker
Director-General (A/g)
National Archives of Australia

29 June 2012


Tribunal Case Management

The core business of conducting reviews of migration and protection visas in accordance with migration legislation.

The tasks associated with this core business include:

  • receiving and processing applications for review;
  • constituting cases to members;
  • managing individual cases, including handling submissions, processing requests for access to documents, conducting hearings, issuing summonses, and managing judicial remittals;
  • making and documenting final review decisions;
  • referring cases or matters to or from other agencies or to higher appeal bodies;
  • carrying out research;
  • liaising with applicants including handling complaints, enquiries and compliments;
  • developing and preparing reports and statistics relating to the processing and management of review cases and case loads.

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

  • developing policies, procedures and guidelines;
  • developing operational schedules and rosters;
  • routine arrangements for hearings, such as room and facility bookings;
  • managing the provision of interpreter services.

For records relating to the receipt and dispatch of mail, including mail registers, receipts for registered mail, air freight consignment notes, and file transfer forms, use AFDA/AFDA Express – INFORMATION MANAGEMENT.

For records relating to freedom of information requests, use AFDA/AFDA Express – INFORMATION MANAGEMENT.

For security breaches and general security arrangements, use AFDA/AFDA Express - PROPERTY MANAGEMENT.

For records of the tribunals’ Management Board, use GOVERNING BODIES General Records Authority 27.

For the production and distribution of published reports, use AFDA/AFDA Express – PUBLICATION.

For records relating to managing relationships with other tribunals, government and community stakeholders, including the provision of advice, use Tribunal Records Authority 2011/00681744 – TRIBUNAL EXTERNAL RELATIONS.

For records relating to establishing and managing the administration of the tribunals, including the appointment and terms and conditions of statutory appointees, and the development of tribunal policies, procedures and guidelines, use Tribunal Records Authority 2011/00681744 – TRIBUNAL MANAGEMENT AND STATUTORY APPOINTMENTS.

For managing the acquisition of goods and services; the issue, receipt and assessment of tenders; and the management of the performance of external consultants and other service providers, use AFDA/AFDA Express - PROCUREMENT.

For records relating to visits by the Minister and/or members of parliament, use AFDA/AFDA Express – GOVERNMENT RELATIONS.

For legal research reports and advice, use AFDA/AFDA Express – LEGAL SERVICES.

Class no Description of records Disposal action

The following significant records:

  • summary records and final tribunal decisions relating to all cases reviewed by the tribunals;
  • case files (set aside, remitted, affirmed, no jurisdiction, lapsed, raised in error) that are controversial, have set legal precedent or have led to substantial change to tribunal policies or operations, includes documentation of hearings and audio recordings such as, the ‘Vean’, ‘Wang’ and ‘Khan’ cases;
  • final versions of reports containing significant or high level advice or research that is provided to tribunal members to inform case reviews and decisions, such as country advice research;
  • final versions of reports to the Minister relating to compliance with tribunal operations and activities, such as reports advising on compliance with the Refugee Review Tribunal’s 90 day review period for refugee review cases;
  • final versions of tribunal policies and procedures that govern the conduct of case reviews and decisions, includes final principal member directions; and
  • master set of summary decisions bulletin, also known as the PrécisBulletin.
Retain as national archives

Records documenting:

  • Operational schedules and rosters, such as daily hearing schedules, and member schedules and rosters;
  • Provision of interpreter services, including booking forms and language registers;
  • Routine arrangements for hearings, such as room, facility, phone and video conferencing bookings and arrangements;
  • Final signed constitution schedules;
  • Liaison with and submissions from potential applicants, where an application is not subsequently lodged; and
  • Receipt of submissions which are unidentifiable.
Destroy 1 year after action completed.

Original documents and items received from applicants to support a case that are not required to be retained as part of the case file which is either:

  • not wanted by the owner; or
  • unable to be returned to the owner after reasonable efforts have been made for their return.
Destroy 1 year after reasonable efforts have been made to return the items.

Records documenting:

Routine operational administrative tasks supporting the function; and

Tribunal case management activities, other than those covered in class 61079, 61080 and 61081.

Destroy 5 years after action completed.
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