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For the Record December 2009

Meet the Board | Office of the Information Commissioner | 2010 Training Calendar published | Podcasts from the November Records Managers Forum | Digiman is back! | Changes to contact details | New disposal authorities approved | Best wishes for the festive season

For The Record

Managing Records in the New South Wales Public Sector


ISSN 1321-6260
December 2009 • Number 78

Meet the Board of the State Records Authority

Board meeting

Left to right: Robyn Foster, the Hon Don Harwin, Zoe DeSaram, John O'Hearn, Jim Sinclair (Executive Officer State Records), Alan Ventress (Director State Records), Professor Lucy Taksa (Chair), Karen McKeown and the Hon Justice Henric Nicholas at the October Board meeting. 

The Board of the State Records Authority is responsible for:

  • authorising the disposal of State records through general and functional disposal authorities
  • determining State Records' policies and strategic plans, and
  • granting approval for the issue of records management standards.

Board members are appointed under the State Records Act 1998 and are nominated by the appropriate Minister to represent State law enforcement agencies, local government, the private sector and the history profession, State Owned Corporations and State Government departments. The Board also consists of a judge of a court of the State nominated by the Chief Justice of NSW and a member or officer of either House of Parliament nominated by the President of the Legislative Council and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The Board meets every two months.

The Board currently consists:

  • Professor Lucy Taksa, Professor and Head of the Department of Business at Macquarie University (Chair) 
  • Mr Stephen Davies, Director, Urbis
  • The Hon Donald Harwin, Member of the Legislative Council
  • Mr John O'Hearn, General Manager, Strategy and Communication, Hunter Water Corporation
  • Ms Zoe De Saram, Director Climate Change, Air and Noise, Department of the Environment and Climate Change
  • The Hon Justice Henric Nicholas of the Supreme Court of NSW
  • Ms Robyn Foster, General Manager, Internal Customer Services, NSW Police Force
  • Ms Karen McKeown, Councillor, Penrith City Council, and
  • Mr Graeme Head, Director General, Department of Services, Technology and Administration.

Office of the Information Commissioner

As many FTR readers would know, new legislation to reform freedom of information in NSW was assented to in June 2009.

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, the Government Information (Information Commissioner) Act 2009 and the Government Information (Public Access) (Consequential Amendments and Repeal) Act 2009 were developed following recommendations made by the Ombudsman in his 2009 review of the Freedom of Information Act 1989, and after written submissions were received on the Bills from interested parties including many government organisations.

The process of setting up the Office of Information Commissioner has commenced, including the recruitment of a permanent Information Commissioner. At present the Acting Information Commissioner is Maureen Tangney. The new office is to be operational by early 2010, and there is already a website which provides information about the OIC and rights to information under the new regime.  

In her welcome message on the OIC website the Acting Commissioner notes:

"As we build up our resources over the next six months this site will grow to become a comprehensive library of information, advice, guidelines, links and notifications to assist in understanding the new Right to Information regime. The site will provide support both to those seeking information and to those providing the information. It will also provide regular updates on activities such as training, reviews conducted, complaints lodged, and decisions made."

There is no firm commencement date for the Act as yet but it will commence early in 2010.

2010 Training Calendar published

Records management training courses for next year are listed in the 2010 Training Calendar.

The calendar covers Sydney and regional training from January to December. Regional centres in which training will be offered include Batemans Bay, Dubbo, Grafton, Griffith, Lithgow, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga and Wollongong.

Enquiries about State Records' training program can be directed to

Podcasts from the November Records Managers Forum now available

The November Records Managers Forum was held at the Parliamentary Theatrette on November 23 and had the theme of access to government information. For those who were unable to attend, two podcasts were recorded and are now available from the Future Proof website:

  • Kate Harrington and Helen Palmer of the Government Chief Information Office on the Government's Information Strategy, the data.nsw website and the apps4nsw competition, and
  • Cassie Findlay from State Records on 'Making metadata work for you'

The Future Proof podcast series is available from the Future Proof website. These latest additions to the series are episodes 5 and 6.

Digiman is back

Those of you with access to YouTube can enjoy Digiman's latest exploits! Brought to you by Team Digital Preservation.

Keep us informed of changes to contact details

State Records has a database for contact information which helps us to deliver services and information to our clients promptly. We hold information on the Chief Executive Officer, the Nominated Senior Officer responsible for records management, and records manager, for every public office. 

If there are changes to any of these positions in your organisation, or changes to phone numbers or email addresses, please inform the Executive Officer on 02 8247 8654 or so that your details can be updated. 

New disposal authorities approved

State Records recently approved functional retention and disposal authorities for the Judicial Commission of NSW, Aboriginal Affairs NSW and the Registrar of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act.

PDF copies of current functional retention and disposal authorities approved for use by State Records since 1999 are available from the Disposing of Records  link from the recordkeeping part of our website. The list is arranged alphabetically by department/organisation.

If you wish to obtain copies of disposal recommendations authorised prior to 1999, or authorities listed where no PDF has been provided, please contact us at

Best wishes for the festive season

Alan Ventress, Director, and staff of State Records wish colleagues and clients all the best for the festive season. We look forward to working with you in 2010.

© State of New South Wales through the State Records Authority, 2009.
First published December 2009
This work may be freely reproduced and distributed for most purposes, however some restrictions apply. See our copyright notice or contact us.
ISSN 1321-6260