Normal administrative practice

A disposal tool for all agencies

Normal administrative practice (NAP) allows agencies to destroy certain types of records in the normal course of business. Agencies do not need to contact the Archives for permission to dispose of records that fit within the scope of NAP.

NAP allows agencies to manage the volumes of records they create and use everyday in an efficient and accountable way.

Records that can be considered for destruction using NAP fall into five broad categories:

  • facilitative, transitory or short-term items including appointment diaries, calendars, 'with compliments' slips, personal emails, listserv messages and emails in personal or shared drives, emails that have been captured into a corporate records management system
  • rough working papers and/or calculations
  • drafts not intended for further use or reference – whether in paper or electronic form – including reports, correspondence, addresses, speeches and planning documents that have minor edits for grammar and spelling and do not contain significant or substantial changes or annotations
  • copies of material retained for reference purposes only
  • published material not included as part of an agency's records

How can you use NAP in your agency?

A risk assessment should help agencies identify records that can be destroyed using NAP. To make sure you are using NAP appropriately, you need to consider the business of your agency and which records are necessary to support that business. You also need to consider the risk to your agency if records are destroyed inappropriately. Normal practice for one agency may be inappropriate practice for another. NAP should be documented in your agency's policies and procedures. Since staff are responsible for making accountable decisions about destroying records, it is important to provide them with training in using NAP.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2014