Records Authority 2017/00190398
Department of Health
Health Promotion and Safety
This is an accurate reproduction of the authorised records authority content, created for accessibility purposes
The Department of Health 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 Health Promotion and Safety. It represents a significant commitment on behalf of the Department of Health 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 Health. It takes into account the agency's legal and organisational information management requirements, and the interests of stakeholders, the agency and the National Archives.
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 Health 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 information management requirements, the periodic review of this authority is recommended. All amendments must be approved by the National Archives.
Application of this Authority
- 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 Departmental 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’ are to be transferred to the National Archives for preservation.
- 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) - Destruction of source or original records after digitisation, conversion or migration (2015).
- 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 NAP policy. Advice and guidance on destroying records as a normal administrative practice and on how to develop a NAP policy is available from the National Archives' website at www.naa.gov.au.
- 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.
- 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 www.naa.gov.au.
- 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 Health 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.
- In general, retention requirements indicate a minimum period for retention. The Department of Health 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 Health 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Advice on how to use this authority is available from the Department of Health information manager. If there are problems with the application of the authority that cannot be resolved, please contact the National Archives.
For assistance with this authority or for advice on other records management matters, please contact National Archives' Agency Service Centre.
Person to whom notice of authorisation is given:
Mr Martin Bowles PSM
Department of Health
GPO Box 9848
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 Health Promotion and Safety.
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.
Acting Assistant Director-General
National Archives of Australia
22 June 2017