Prominent or controversial issues and events or judicial proceedings may have implications for the management of records held by agencies.
In such cases, the National Archives may support compliance requirements or an identified need to suspend the National Archives' records destruction permissions by issuing a records disposal freeze or retention notice. Generally, these state that agencies must not destroy any relevant records.
An exception to the general withdrawal of destruction permissions may apply to the use of General Records Authority 31 (GRA 31) – Destruction of source or original records after digitisation, conversion or migration. This authority may continue to be applied to source or original records subject to a disposal freeze or retention notice, provided that the terms of the disposal freeze or retention notice do not specifically exclude application of this authority. The exclusions and conditions for the use of GRA 31 outlined in that authority remain in effect.
Current freezes and notices
There are current records retention notices on records related to:
- Australian Defence Force members’ and veterans’ suicides, and suicide prevention
- the culture in the workplaces of Parliamentarians and their staff
- the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
- the protection and detention of children in the Northern Territory
- the use of AFFF fire suppressants
- the Home Insulation Program
There are current disposal freezes on records relating to:
- the Robodebt scheme
- the Afghanistan Inquiry and the Office of the Special Investigator to address matters raised by the Inquiry, November 2020
- national natural disaster arrangements
- violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability – disposal freeze issued for records relating to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
- institutional responses to child sexual abuse – this disposal freeze on records required for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse remains in force pending the government response to the commission's recommendations
- allegations of abuse in Defence
- eligibility to join a Commonwealth superannuation scheme / Cornwell Superannuation records disposal freeze - GRA 31 provisions amended
- the rights and entitlements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- the Vietnam War
- atomic testing conducted in Australian territories, including test sites and personnel associated with the testing
Withdrawn freezes and notices
These disposal freezes and records retention notices are no longer in effect.