Types of information

Your agency must manage all its information and records in accordance with the Archives Act 1983, no matter what its format or location. 

Types of information that need to be properly managed by your agency include:

  • digital information and records, such as those created on mobile devices, via social media or in the cloud
  • physical records in various formats. 

Digital information and records

If you have created information using your computer or digital device, then you have created a digital record which needs to be managed.

This includes information and records created:

  • by office applications – for example, word-processed documents, spreadsheets, presentations and desktop-published documents
  • in online and web-based environments such as intranets, internets and public websites
  • by business information systems such as databases, geospatial data systems, human resources systems, financial systems, workflow systems, client management systems, and electronic document and records management systems (EDRMS)
  • by digital communication systems such as email, SMS (short messaging services), MMS (multimedia messaging services), voicemail, instant messaging, video conferencing and teleconferencing.

Check your agency's information and records management policy for how to manage digital records.


Emails are likely to be the largest body of digital records coming into and being sent from your agency each day.

Your agency's information management strategy should include email.

Lean more about managing email.

Social media

If your agency uses social media for business activities, the information created is an Australian Government record and needs to be managed.

Your agency should develop a social media policy to manage this type of digital information and records.

Learn more about managing information created via social media.

Mobile devices

Most agencies use mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to communicate. It is important that you capture records of discussions, deliberations and decisions made using mobile devices.

Learn more about managing information on mobile devices.

Cloud computing

Information that your agency creates, stores or manages in the cloud is subject to the Archives Act.

Learn more about cloud computing and information management.

Current, emerging and critical technologies

Your agency must manage information assets relating to, and produced by, current, emerging and critical technologies.

Learn more about information management for current, emerging and critical technologies.

Physical information and records

Physical information and records come in many different formats which need to be managed.

Learn more about:

Help and advice

Contact us for advice about managing information and records.

More information

Building trust in the public record policy

Information management systems

Archiving websites

AS/NZS ISO 16175