Records Authority 2016/00276105

Repatriation Medical Authority

Determination of Statements of Principles


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


The Repatriation Medical Authority 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 Determination of Statements of Principles. It represents a significant commitment on behalf of the Repatriation Medical Authority to understand, create and manage the records of its activities.

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

The records 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. It gives the Repatriation Medical Authority 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 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 records 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 records 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 records 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' are to be transferred to the National Archives for preservation.
  2. This records 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 (27) – Governing Bodies (2010); and
    • General Records Authority (31) – Destruction of source or original records after digitisation, conversion or migration (2015).
  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. The Repatriation Medical Authority 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. The Repatriation Medical Authority 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 Repatriation Medical Authority 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 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.
  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. Records created digitally after 1 January 2016 can be transferred in digital formats only.
  11. Advice on how to use this authority is available from the Repatriation Medical Authority 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:

Paul Murdoch
The Registrar
Repatriation Medical Authority


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 determination of Statements Of Principles.

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:

Anne Lyons
Assistant Director-General
National Archives of Australia

17 November 2016


Determination of statements of prinicples

The primary functions of the Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) are to determine Statements of Principles (SOPs) for any disease, injury or death that could be related to military service, based on sound medical-scientific evidence and to undertake investigations and reviews concerning particular types of disease, injury or death.

A SOP is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2003 (Legislation Act). The Legislation Act requires legislative instruments to be reissued within ten years of determination and registration, failing which, an Instrument automatically lapses (sunsets) and ceases to have legal effect.
The core activities include:

  • responding to requests for investigation or review;
  • preparation of documentation to inform the agency’s consideration of requests for investigation and/or review;
  • preparation of documentation concerning decisions to undertake an investigation and/or review;
  • preparation of documentation concerning decisions declining to undertake an investigation in response to a request;
  • notification and distribution of Notices of Investigation;
  • preparation of documentation to inform the determination of SOPs and their content;
  • identification, obtaining and recording, summarising and evaluating ‘sound medical-scientific evidence’ (SMSE);
  • recommending the contents of new SOPs;
  • reviewing the contents of existing SOPs and propose changes;
  • drafting SOPs;
  • preparation of associated documentation required for registration (Explanatory Statements, Compilations, and information required by the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances) and arranging registration of SOPs with the Federal Register of Legislation;
  • notification and distribution of new SOPs;
  • preparation of documentation regarding decision to not make or amend a SOP;
  • notification and distribution of documentation regarding decision to not make or amend a SOP;
  • answering enquiries about SOPs;
  • preparation of documentation in response to correspondence about SOPs;
  • liaison with key stakeholders (commissions, ex-service organisations and Minister).

Cross references to AFDA Express records authority

  • For the preparation of budget estimates, budget proposals and financial transactions, including the receipt of payments for assessor registration and re-registration, use FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.
  • For the management of ongoing, non-ongoing and volunteer employees, including review of actions, overtime, salaries, superannuation and working hours for individuals, use PERSONNEL.

Cross references to other records authorities

  • For day-to-day administration and operational records such as providing secretariat and administrative support, minutes of meetings, arrangements for travel, leave entitlements, allowances, remunerations and membership appointment and separation records, use GOVERNING BODIES.
Class no Description of records Disposal action

Records documenting:

  • new Statements of Principles (SOPs);
  • reviews of existing Statements of Principles;
  • decisions not to issue or amend a Statement of Principle; and
  • repeal of an existing Statement of Principle or removal of factors from SOPs.


  • final (published) Statements of Principle (or decisions to repeal)
  • reasons for repealing or not issuing or amending a SOP
  • submissions and correspondence received and considered in relation to an investigation and/or review
  • documentation to inform agency’s consideration of requests for investigation and/or review
  • investigation documentation
  • sound medical-scientific evidence (SMSE) research articles obtained during investigations and/or reviews
  • explanatory statements
  • compilations
  • Senate standing committee requests
Retain as national archives

Working papers documenting the development and/or reviews of SOPs, or decisions to not issue SOPs.

Destroy 10 years after action completed

Administrative records relating to SOPs; arising from investigations and/or reviews; and/or documenting the development, review of, or decisions to not issue SOPs. Includes:

  • notification and distribution of new SOPs;
  • notification and distribution of documentation regarding decision to not make or amend a SOP;
  • general liaison with key stakeholders (Commissions, Ex-Service Organisations and Minister)
  • preparation of documents concerning decisions to undertake investigations and/or reviews or not to issue SOPs
Destroy 2 years after action completed

Records documenting:

  • routine operational administrative tasks supporting the core business; and
  • Repatriation Medical Authority records, other than those covered in classes 62033, 62034 and 62035.
Destroy 7 years after action completed
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2018