The National Archives has imposed a disposal freeze on Commonwealth records likely to be required by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and any subsequent actions by the Australian Government. The freeze takes effect on 31 January 2013 and will be in force until further notice by the Archives. It applies to all Australian Government agencies.
The Archives, in consultation with the Defence Organisation, has imposed the disposal freeze on Commonwealth records potentially related to allegations of abuse in the Defence Organisation. The freeze takes effect on 22 October 2012 and will be in force until further notice by the National Archives.
Small collection management covers the records used to manage small or incidental collections.
Source (including original) records after they have been copied, converted or migrated.
Records damaged beyond recovery in a natural disaster, a defined emergency or other unforseen circumstance.
The Archives, in consultation with the Department of Finance and Deregulation, has extended the disposal freeze on selected personnel and superannuation records until 31 December 2015.
The Keep, destroy or transfer? card, a handy reference tool for distribution to staff
Keep, destroy or transfer
Decide what to do with your records and take action
Once records are no longer needed for business, you need to decide whether they should be kept, destroyed or transferred. Keeping, destroying or transferring records to the National Archives or out of Australian Government custody or ownership is regulated by Section 24 of the Archives Act 1983.
Records can either be:
- kept in your agency for continuing business use
- destroyed or deleted if they have no business use and do not need to be kept
- transferred to another agency or to the Archives.
The Archives Act indicates the ways in which agencies may keep, destroy or transfer records:
- Your agency can destroy records with the permission of the Archives by using records authorities which relate to agency-specific business.
- Your agency can also use general records authorities. General records authorities cover business performed by many agencies. An example is the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority, which covers common administrative business. The Archives prepares and issues both agency-specific and general record authorities.
- Your agency can apply a normal administrative practice (NAP). NAP makes it easier for agencies to dispose of many low-level records of short-term value. Records can be routinely destroyed using a NAP if they do not provide evidence of agency business and do not form part of its corporate records.
- Your agency may operate under specific legislation which requires the destruction of particular records.
What is Sentencing?Sentencing
is the process of using a Records Authority or General Records Authority to decide whether to keep, destroy or transfer a record.
When should records be transferred to the Archives?
The process of transferring records to the Archives can occur once you have identified records to be preserved and managed as national archives. For further advice, contact the Archives' Agency Service Centre.
When should records be transferred?
What is a records disposal freeze?
Occasionally prominent or controversial issues or events, or judicial proceedings with implications for records held by many agencies are identified. In such cases, the Archives may support compliance requirements or an identified need by issuing a formal 'records disposal freeze'. This freeze means that agencies must not destroy records covered by the freeze. Agencies must monitor the Archives' website for updates on records disposal freezes.