On 25 August 2022, the Australian Government announced the establishment of the Royal Commission into the former debt assessment and recovery scheme known as Robodebt.
In response, on 31 August 2022 the National Archives issued a records disposal freeze covering records relating to the Robodebt scheme.
The notice suspends National Archives' permissions for the destruction of records that may be required by the Royal Commission and for any subsequent Government action. It will remain in force until otherwise advised by the National Archives.
Relevant records and any associated drafts and working papers cannot be destroyed using any agency-specific or general records. Most normal administrative practices (NAP) are also suspended except where digital copies of records are created, stored and can be made accessible in agency systems. GRA 31 may continue to be used as intended.
Further information is available in the Notice of Disposal Freeze – Records related to the Robodebt scheme (pdf 191kb)
All Australian Government agencies are required by law to protect any relevant records subject to this notice from destruction.
It is a legal requirement that you apply this disposal freeze by protecting any relevant records and conveying this to the relevant people in your organisation as a matter of urgency. Penalties for the unauthorised destruction of documents and records are specified in various Commonwealth laws, including the Archives Act 1983.
If you believe your agency may hold records covered by the disposal freeze, please contact the National Archives for more information via the Agency Service Centre.