Records Authority 2012/00360432

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Film Australia Collection Management

December 2012


The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSAA) 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 Film Australia Collection Management. It represents a significant commitment on behalf of the NFSAA to understand, create and manage the records of its activities.

This Authority is based on the identification and analysis of the business of the NFSAA. 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 NFSAA 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 Records Authorities RDA 775 (1991) and RDA 952 (1992). The superseded records authorities cannot be used by NFSAA after the date of issue of this Authority.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 records authorities such as:
    • National Film and Sound Archive of Australia 2011/00488168;
    • 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 NFSAA 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 NFSAA 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 NFSAA 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 NFSAA 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:

Michael Loebenstein
Chief Executive Officer
National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
McCoy Circuit
Acton 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 Film Australia Collection 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.

Authorising Officer:

David Fricker
National Archives of Australia

19 December 2012


Film Australia Collection Management

The core business of managing the Film Australia Collection transferred from Screen Australia under the Screen Australia (Transfer of Assets) Act 2011, including material transferred under Ministerial Determination made in accordance with that Act, and the associated sales and distribution program. The collection, known as the Film Australia Collection (formerly Screen Australia Library), consists of audio-visual material including film, video, stills, digital files and sound materials, that:

  • the Commonwealth owns copyright in primarily as a result of Film Australia Limited documentary productions, such as those made under the National Interest Program, and documentary materials produced by predecessors of Film Australia Limited;
  • is acquired due to the contractual obligations of Screen Australia’s National Documentary Program funding agreements; or
  • becomes part of the collection through Screen Australia entering into agreements to distribute this material.

The core tasks associated with the Film Australia collection management include:

  • developing and implementing policies, procedures and strategies;
  • managing the acquisition, storage, control and maintenance of Film Australia Collection items;
  • notifying relevant parties when collection items are acquired as delivery items in connection with funding agreements;
  • negotiating and establishing agreements, including agreements to distribute, promote and sell products relating to the collection;
  • managing access to the Film Australia Collection, including zero-fee licensing agreements;
  • providing and managing distribution services for the promotion, sale and licensing of Film Australia collection programs and stock footage and stills to local and international clients;
  • providing audio-visual production and duplication services via the NFSAA transfer suite;
  • receiving and providing advice, including responding to enquiries and requests for information in relation to the Film Australia collection, sales and distribution program;
  • researching and developing educational resources to support the collection, including teachers’ notes; and 
  • managing rights associated with collection items and the payment of royalties to program makers from distribution sales.

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

  • managing and participating in internal and external meetings and committees;
  • delegating powers and authorising actions;
  • planning and reporting; and
  • evaluating and reviewing Film Australia collection management and sales programs and services.

For the management and preservation of Film Australia Collection material, including collection stocktake, use National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Records Authority 2011/00488168 - COLLECTION PRESERVATION.

For providing services to facilitate access to Film Australia Collection material, including outward loans, use National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Records Authority 2011/00488168 - COLLECTION ACCESS SERVICES. 

For valuation and insurance of Film Australia Collection material, and programs and projects supporting the development of the Film Australia Collection, use National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Records Authority 2011/00488168 - COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT.

For outreach and educational programs and projects, including online exhibitions/showcases promoting Film Australia Collection material, use National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Records Authority 2011/00488168 - AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT.

For cinema screening, venue hire, retail services and general merchandise sales, use National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Records Authority 2011/00488168 - COMMERCIAL SERVICES.

For managing intellectual property rights associated with Film Australia Collection material held by the agency in which another party owns the intellectual property, use National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Records Authority 2011/00488168 - COLLECTION ACCESS SERVICES.

For the acquisition of goods and services to support Film Australia collection management, use AFDA/AFDA Express – PROCUREMENT.

For the production and distribution of agency publications, including sales catalogues and educational resources such as study guides, use AFDA/AFDA Express – PUBLICATION.

For legal advice on intellectual property, privacy or copyright law issues, use AFDA/AFDA Express – LEGAL SERVICES.

For financial transactions associated with commercial services, including payment and receipt of royalties and licence fees, use AFDA/AFDA Express – FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.

For advice to the portfolio Minister, use AFDA/AFDA Express - GOVERNMENT RELATIONS.

Class no Description of records Disposal action

The following significant records:

  • audio-visual material accessioned as part of the Film Australia Collection. Includes:
    • preservation/master final of audio-visual material, including original components such as film, photographic negative and print, audio tape, video tape, optical discs, and digital file formats;
    • intermediate/duplicating material including all material required to reproduce the production to release standard such as film, video tape productions and optical discs;
    • for productions finished on video, first generation copies made specifically for archival purposes, including digital betacam and high definition formats;
    • variations to original release version including film, video tape, digital file formats;
    • soundtracks and music relating to Film Australiacollection films; and
    • out-takes selected for inclusion within the collection.
  • master control records for the Film Australia Collection, including collection databases and management systems for audio-visual material, registers, indexes and lists, and associated data dictionaries supporting these systems and databases;
  • documentation establishing rights to the management of the items/titles in the Film Australiacollection, including the right to copy, distribute and provide access, as well as important contextual information about the production and provenance of individual collection items/titles. Includes:
    • Film Australia production files containing details of the production of individual items/titles, including camera and stills sheets and logs, sound sheets, transcripts, post-production and archival cue script, music cue sheet, cast and principal crew contracts, copyright clearances and release forms, chain of title documents, finance, marketing and promotional material, teachers’ notes, and distribution agreements; and
    • National Documentary Program documentation received as part of the production investment or grant agreement or licence and deed delivery obligations relating to individual collection items/titles, including camera and stills sheets and logs, sound sheets, transcripts, post-production and archival cue script, music cue sheet, cast and principal crew contracts, copyright clearances and release forms and chain of title documents.
  • final versions of high-level policies, plans and strategies supporting Film Australiacollection management and sales, including distribution and licensing;
  • records documenting joint ventures undertaken with national or international agencies, institutions, companies or other bodies that: are prominent, controversial or of public interest; and/or impact substantially upon the management of the Film Australiacollection or sales and distribution operations. Includes final signed agreements, proposals and discussion papers;
  • master versions of agency publications produced to support Film Australiacollection management and sales. Includes finding aids and educational resources such as teachers’ notes; and
  • records documenting high level reviews of programs and services that result in major changes to policy and procedure, and/or have far reaching implications for the Film Australiacollection or the operation of sales and distribution activities. Includes reports and recommendations.

[For all access, preview or viewing copies, including VHS and DVD formats, use class 61144.

For audio-visual material, including preservation/master finals, for the National Documentary Program, use Screen Australia Records Authority 2011/00328136 – FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.

For entry of collection assets into the agency’s asset register, use AFDA/AFDA Express – FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.

For records relating to other core business areas of the agency, use National Film and Sound Archive of Australia 2011/00488168.]

Retain as national archives
61143 Signed agreements or contracts executed under seal with individuals or organisations relating to the Film Australia collection management core business, and supporting records. Excludes agreements and contracts under seal covered under class 61142. Destroy 21 years after completion or other termination of agreement

Access copies (duplicates) of audio-visual Film Australia material used to provide access to the collection, which do not fulfil a role in long term preservation of the collection. Includes:

  • access and viewing material, including video tape, DVD and digital file formats;
  • spare copies and extra components, including film, video tape and digital file formats; and
  • access copies that are damaged and/or unusable.
Destroy 1 month after action completed

Records documenting:

  • routine operational administrative tasks supporting the core business; and
  • Film Australia collection management activities, other than those covered in classes 61142 to 61144.
Destroy 10 years after action completed
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