Records Authority 2014/00216566

Australian Renewable Energy Agency

Renewable Energy Program Administration


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


The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) 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 of Renewable Energy Program Administration. It represents a significant commitment on behalf of the agency to create and manage the records of its activities.

This Authority is based on the identification and analysis of the business of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. 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 ARENA 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 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; and
    • Records that are identified as Retain as National Archives (RNA) are to be transferred to the National Archives of Australia for preservation.
  2. 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; and
    • General Records Authority (31) for source (including original) records that have been copied, converted or migrated.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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. ARENA 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.
  7. In general, retention requirements indicate a minimum period for retention. ARENA 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 ARENA 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.
  8. Records coming within the ‘Retain as national archives' class 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Advice on how to use this Authority is available from ARENA's 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:

Ivor Frischknecht
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Renewable Energy Agency
New Acton Nishi, 2 Phillip Law Street,
Canberra City 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 Renewable Energy Program Administration.

This authority gives permission for the alteration 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:

David Fricker
National Archives of Australia

5 May 2014


Renewable Energy Program Administration

The core business of administering programs to provide financial assistance for projects and initiatives that aim to improve the competitiveness and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia. Includes research, development, demonstration, deployment and supporting the commercialisation of renewable energy and related technologies, and the storage and sharing of knowledge and information about renewable energy technologies.

The core tasks associated with renewable energy administration include:

  • developing, implementing, and reviewing policies and plans;
  • developing, implementing, and reviewing programs, strategies, and guidelines, including assessment criteria for financial assistance;
  • assessing and approving proposals from stakeholders for financial assistance;
  • liaison and consultation with industry and stakeholders, and entering into collaborative relationships;
  • developing, receiving and disseminating reports on project, program and commissioned research outcomes;
  • providing and receiving advice; and
  • data collection, verification and management.

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

  • preparing speeches and presentations;
  • negotiating, establishing, managing and reviewing agreements and joint venture arrangements;
  • conducting audits;
  • delegating powers and authorising actions;
  • managing agency committees and meetings;
  • receiving and responding to enquiries; and
  • developing procedures.

Cross references to AFDA Express Records Authority

  • For agency submissions and advice to the portfolio Minister, and agency participation in formal inquiries such as Parliamentary Committee inquiries into programs, use GOVERNMENT RELATIONS.
  • For legal advice, including management of formal appeals relating to agency funding decisions, use LEGAL SERVICES.
  • For overarching corporate plans and strategies, use STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT.
  • For payment of monies, use FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.
  • For maintaining grant management data, use TELECOMMUNICATIONS & TECHNOLOGY.
  • For managing public reaction to the agency’s policies, programs and services, use COMMUNITY RELATIONS.
  • For the assessment of tenders and quotations, and the management of external service providers, such as consultants, use PROCUREMENT.
  • For the production and distribution of agency publications, such as Public Dissemination Reports from completed projects, use PUBLICATION.

Cross references to other records authorities

  • For administration of the agency’s Board meetings, use GOVERNING BODIES.
  • For records of the advisory board, use ADVISORY BODIES.
Class no Description of records Disposal action

Records documenting:

  • final version of agency policy and high level plans. Includes legislated plans such as annual work plans, major drafts and supporting records;
  • final version of renewable energy programs and initiatives. Includes final reports of evaluations, reviews and audits of agency programs, projects and initiatives which result in change to strategic direction;
  • final version of strategies, assessment criteria, plans and guidelines used to determine funding and knowledge sharing outcomes for renewable energy projects and initiatives, such as the agency’s General Funding Strategy and Investment Plan. Includes agency developed tools such as the Commercial Readiness Index, and major drafts and supporting research;
  • final version of high-level reports developed or commissioned by the agency to facilitate knowledge and information sharing relating to renewable energy technologies. Includes Public Dissemination Reports relating to funded renewable energy projects or initiatives, and outcomes of commissioned research and studies, such as market research reports. Includes major drafts and supporting documents;
  • final version of reports provided to the agency by successful funding recipients relating to approved renewable energy projects or initiatives. Includes summary data of funded or approved renewable energy projects;
  • high-level advice received or provided by the agency relating to renewable energy program administration;
  • high-level liaison with government, industry and international authorities, for example with the International Energy Agency, to facilitate renewable energy projects or initiatives. Includes negotiation, establishment, maintenance and review of high-level agreements and memoranda of understandings;
  • final version of speeches and presentations made by the Minister and senior agency staff, including conference presentations relating to renewable energy programs and initiatives; and
  • master version of agency publications.
Retain as national archives
61520 Agency agreements other than those covered in class 61519. Includes supporting records Destroy 15 years after last action or termination

Records documenting:

  • routine operational administrative tasks supporting the core business including case files of successful, unsuccessful and withdrawn grant applicants; and
  • renewable energy program administration activities other than those covered in classes 61519 and 61520.
Destroy 7 years after action completed
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