This is an accurate reproduction of the authorised records authority content, created for accessibility purposes
The National Archives of Australia (National Archives) has developed this records authority to set out the requirements for keeping or destroying records for the general administrative function of Property Management.
This records authority is based on the identification and analysis of the Property Management function. The records authority sets out those records that need to be retained as national archives and specifies the minimum length of time that temporary records need to be kept. This records authority gives agencies permission under the Archives Act 1983, for the destruction of the temporary records described after the minimum retention period has expired. Retention periods for these temporary records are based on: an assessment of business needs; broader organisational accountability requirements; and community expectations.
As changes in circumstances may affect future records management requirements, this authority may occasionally be amended by the addition of new classes and the variation of existing classes. The National Archives will notify agencies of any such changes.
Application of this Authority
- This authority supersedes:
- classes 1782-1786, 20978-21000, 1792-1795,1797-1805, 1807-1809, 1811-1815, 1819-1820, 1822-1827, 1829-1833, 1834-1835, 1836-1876, 1878-1879, 1881, 1886 in the Property Management function of the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority (2010); and
- classes 20318-20328 in the Property Management function of AFDA Express (March 2010).
The superseded records classes cannot be used to sentence records after the date of issue of this authority.
- This authority should be used in conjunction with record authorities issued to agencies for their core business and other General Records Authorities issued by the National Archives.
- This records authority is to be used to determine how long records must be kept. Records are matched to the relevant core business and records class in the records authority:
- Where the minimum retention period has expired and the records are not needed for agency business they should be destroyed as authorised in this records authority.
- Records that have not reached the minimum retention period must be kept until they do.
- Records that are identified as Retain as National Archives (RNA) are to be transferred to the National Archives for preservation.
- The Normal Administrative Practice (NAP) provision of the Archives Act 1983 gives agencies permission to destroy certain records without formal authorisation. This usually occurs where records are duplicated, facilitative or for short-term use only. NAP does not replace arrangements agreed to in this records authority but can be used as a tool to assist in identifying records for destruction together with this records authority and other records authorities specifically issued to an agency. The National Archives recommends that agencies develop and implement a Normal Administrative Practice policy. Advice and guidance on destroying records as a normal administrative practice and on how to develop an agency NAP policy is available from the National Archives' website at www.naa.gov.au.
- Records that are reasonably likely to be needed as evidence in a current or future judicial proceeding or are subject to a request for access under the Archives Act 1983, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or any other relevant act must not be destroyed until the action has been completed.
- Records subject to a disposal freeze must not be destroyed until the freeze has been lifted. Further information about disposal freezes and whether they affect the application of this records authority is available from the National Archives website at www.naa.gov.au.
- Where the method of recording information changes (for example from a manual system to a digital system, or when information is migrated from one system to a new system) this records authority can still be applied, providing the records document the same core business. The information must be accessible for the period of time prescribed in this records authority. There is a need to maintain continuing access to the information, including digital information, for the periods prescribed in this records authority or until the information is transferred into the custody of the National Archives.
- In general retention requirements indicate a minimum period for retention. Agencies may extend minimum retention periods if there is an administrative need to do so, without further reference to the National Archives. Where an agency believes that its accountability will be substantially compromised because a retention period is not adequate, please contact the National Archives for review of the retention period.
- Records coming within 'retain as national archives' classes in this authority have been determined to be part of the archival resources of the Commonwealth under section 3C of the Archives Act 1983. The determination of Commonwealth records as archival resources of the Commonwealth obliges agencies to transfer the records to the National Archives when they cease to be current and, in any event, within 15 years of the records coming into existence, under section 27 of the Archives Act 1983.
- Under some records classes the transfer of custody and ownership of Commonwealth records is directed in the disposal action. This authority permits the transfer of these records under section 24(2)(b) of the Archives Act 1983, subject to them no longer being needed as evidence for further Commonwealth liability (eg for compensation issues). If there are any doubts in relation to this requirement, copies should be made of the records before they are transferred.
- Records in the care of agencies should be appropriately stored, managed and preserved. Agencies need to meet this obligation to ensure that the records remain authentic and accessible over time. Under Section 31 of the Archives Act 1983, access arrangements are required for records that become available for public access including those records that remain in agency custody.
- Appropriate arrangements must be made with the National Archives when records are to be transferred into custody. The National Archives accepts for transfer only those records designated as national archives, and in line with an approved transfer schedule.
- Advice on how to use this authority is available from your agency’s information manager. If there are problems with the application of the authority that cannot be resolved, please contact the National Archives.
For assistance with this authority or for advice on other records management matters, please contact National Archives' Agency Service Centre.
Person to whom notice of authorisation is given:
Heads of Commonwealth institutions under the Archives Act 1983.
Authorises arrangements for the disposal of records in accordance with section 24(2)(b) of the Archives Act 1983.
Determines records classed as ‘retain as national archives’ in this records authority to be part of the archival resources of the Commonwealth under section 3C of the Archives Act 1983.
All records relating to the following general administrative business area: Property Management.
This authority gives permission for the destruction, retention or transfer to the National Archives of Australia of the records described. This authority will apply only if these actions take place with the consent of the agency responsible for the administrative business documented in the records.
Assistant Director-General (Acting)
National Archives of Australia
18 July 2019
The function of managing land and working, storage or living spaces within premises, and of acquiring, constructing, fitting-out, managing, maintaining, preserving, protecting and disposing of premises. Includes all land, structures and buildings (ie immoveable assets) owned, rented, leased or managed by the Commonwealth or Commonwealth institutions, including those properties identified as being of national significance. Also includes the removal of pollutants and waste.
Nationally significant properties are those properties with natural, historic and cultural significance, including those that:
- have recognised heritage value, such as being listed in the Register of the National Estate, by the World Heritage Commission, classified by the National Trust or on State or Territory heritage listings;
- are controversial or have generated considerable public interest during construction or design, or as a result of proposals for development;
- are important local or regional landmarks, or landmark properties of national institutions;
- have been recognised for architectural or design excellence;
- embody national, local or indigenous cultural or historic significance, including structures with a strong or special association with the community or possessing high aesthetic attributes valued by the community. Includes properties of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander importance; or
- are specialised, innovative or purpose-built premises that have unique design features for purposes of supporting the core functions of agencies (eg Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Lucas Heights facility; Bureau of Meteorology radar installations; Department of Home Affair’s migrant facilities and detention and processing centres). Includes buildings that pioneer non-standard construction materials and methods (eg eco-friendly construction techniques).
Note: Care should be taken when using this function for records covering the management of specialised premises that support core functions, as there may be unique requirements for these premises that will necessitate specific coverage within an agency’s own records authority.
The core activities include:
- acquiring (eg through purchase or compulsory acquisition) property (ie immoveable assets), including buildings and land. Includes making investigations into potential acquisitions;
- receiving and assessing tenders relating to the procurement and management of land and buildings (ie immoveable assets), including tenders for the construction, maintenance and fitting-out of buildings. Includes due diligence checks;
- leasing immoveable assets (ie where the agency is the lessee), including accommodation, buildings and land. Includes negotiating and signing leases, managing leasing arrangements and administration of short term property rentals;
- managing claims and compensation appeals relating to the compulsory acquisition of property;
- constructing, conserving, preserving, restoring, rehabilitating and carrying out enhancements to property;
- managing fit-outs and refurbishments, including fixtures such as floor and window coverings, partitions/walls and fittings;
- maintaining properties, including upkeep and repairs;
- managing the performance of work or the provision of goods and services by an external contractor, vendor or consultant (ie managing contracting-out) in support of the property management function. Includes managing warrantees, guarantees and related claims for work undertaken;
- installing equipment and plant in properties;
- implementing counter-disaster plans for properties after disasters such as fire and floods;
- carrying out inspections, including routine inspections to determine compliance, building construction inspections and inspections to determine the existence of hazardous materials;
- removing and disposing of hazardous material;
- disposing of property, including by sale, transfer, termination of lease, auction, donation or destruction;
- leasing-out agency immoveable assets (ie where the agency is the lessor), such as accommodation, buildings and land, to other bodies or individuals (eg leasing residential accommodation to individual employees). Includes negotiating and signing leases and ongoing management of leases;
- creating inventories to support the property management function;
- collecting, managing and disposing of items of property lost by agency staff or members of the public on agency premises;
- arranging moves between property locations, such as the relocation of an agency’s business operations;
- managing traffic control and parking for agency properties;
- monitoring building management systems (including security systems); and
- managing property security arrangements, including protecting properties against accidental or intentional damage or from unauthorised access, and investigating security breaches or incidents.
The performance of the function is supported by general activities such as:
- developing and implementing property management policies and procedures, including emergency procedures;
- providing and receiving advice;
- negotiating, establishing, managing, implementing and reviewing agreements and contracts, including joint venture agreements and memoranda of understanding;
- managing and maintaining registers, including property and contract registers;
- making administrative arrangements to support property management activities, including arrangements for the use of properties;
- planning, conducting and facilitating audits;
- establishing, managing and participating in committees, meetings, working groups and other bodies;
- fulfilling compliance requirements, including fiscal, legal, regulatory and quality standards and requirements, including implementing industry and agency standards and codes of practice;
- delegating powers and authorising actions;
- planning and reporting;
- managing property insurance policies and claims;
- evaluating and reviewing; and
- identifying, assessing and managing risks.
Cross references to AFDA Express records authority
For managing financial transactions relating to property management, including payment of insurance premiums, use FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.
For the acquisition of goods and services to support the property management function, including tendering for the provision of security services, use PROCUREMENT.
For the management, maintenance and installation of moveable assets that are not part of a fit-out, use ASSET MANAGEMENT.
For the installation and maintenance of technology and telecommunications facilities, systems and hardware (eg installing and configuring agency servers), use TECHNOLOGY AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT.
For managing legal activities supporting property management, including receiving legal advice and any litigation resulting from compulsory acquisition of property, use LEGAL SERVICES.
For the issue of security passes and identity cards to staff, and arrangements supporting the relocation of individual employees, use PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT.
For routine work health and safety inspections of hazardous substances in the workplace, use WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY.
For agency submissions to the portfolio Minister or Cabinet, including seeking support for acquisition, construction, renovation, maintenance or restoration projects, use EXTERNAL RELATIONS.
For developing and executing contracts under seal or deeds, including signed joint venture contracts under seal and deeds relating to the transfer of property, use CONTRACTS UNDER SEAL/DEEDS.
Cross references to other records authorities
For the transfer of records to contractors providing services on behalf of or to the Australian Government under outsourcing arrangements, use General Records Authority 40 – Transfer of custody of records under Australian Government outsourcing arrangements.
Description of records
[For minor security breaches or incidents (eg which do not relate to the laying of charges, or where sabotage is not suspected), use class 62671.
For security breaches or incidents involving information technology systems or relating to Commonwealth records and information, use TECHNOLOGY & INFORMATION MANAGEMENT.
For security breaches or incidents relating to moveable assets (eg vehicle theft), use ASSET MANAGEMENT.
For disciplinary action resulting from a breach involving APS employees, use PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT.]
[For inspections to identify the type of contamination and removal of contamination, use class 62665.]
Retain as national archives
[For work health and safety related routine inspections and management of hazardous substances in the workplace, including routine inspections of asbestos material and monitoring of airborne contaminants, use WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY.
For construction site inspections of works commissioned by the agency, use classes 62664 and 62668.]
[For restoring and rehabilitating land contaminated by hazardous substances (following the removal and disposal of those substances), use class 62664.]
Destroy 75 years after last action, or transfer copies to new owner if sold before this date (see Application Note 10 of this authority for advice on the transfer of Commonwealth records.)
Records documenting removal, storage and disposal of hazardous waste (eg chemicals from laboratories and pesticides).
[For the removal of non-toxic waste from properties, use class 62671.]
Destroy 30 years after action completed
[For the compulsory acquisition of properties, use classes 62664 and 62668.
For legal advice and any litigation resulting from compulsory acquisition of property, use LEGAL SERVICES.
For insurance claims for damages to and/or loss of property, use class 62671.]
[For reporting on properties of national significance, use class 62664.
For agency reports to the portfolio Minister or Cabinet relating to acquisition, construction, renovation, maintenance or restoration projects for properties without national significance, use EXTERNAL RELATIONS.
For reporting on general administrative and operational matters associated with the property management function that are not associated with a particular property, use class 62671.]
Destroy 10 years after action completed
[For appeals made against the compulsory acquisition of land, use class 62667.
For Deeds and Certificates of Title for property, use class 62669.
For leasing of properties without national significance, use class 62671.]
[For ongoing routine upkeep, repair and maintenance of properties, not involving hazardous materials, use class 62671.]
[For records relating to the restoration and rehabilitation of land contaminated by hazardous substances, use class 62664.]
[For the installation of cabling from the wall socket to the device and configuration of network hubs, use TECHNOLOGY AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT.]
[For the acquisition, management and disposal of properties of national significance, use class 62664.
For agency submissions to the portfolio Minister or Cabinet relating to acquisition, construction, renovation, maintenance or restoration projects for properties without national significance, use EXTERNAL RELATIONS.]
Destroy 10 years after property is disposed of, or transfer to new owner or lessee if required (see Application Note 10 of this authority for advice on the transfer of Commonwealth records.)
Deeds and certificates of title for property owned by the agency.
[For the acquisition and disposal of properties of national significance, use class 62664.
For the acquisition and disposal of buildings without national significance, including compulsory acquisition, use class 62671.]
Transfer to new owner when property is disposed of (see Application Note 10 of this authority for advice on the transfer of Commonwealth records.)
[For the successful leasing and leasing-out of properties, use classes 62664 and 62671.]
[For registers of lost property and procedures and protocols supporting the management of lost property, use class 62671.]
[For final versions of agency procedures supporting the property management function, use classes 62671]
Destroy 3 years after action completed
Destroy 7 years after action completed