State Records Home
Personal tools
You are here :: Home Recordkeeping in the NSW public sector Government Recordkeeping Manual Guidance Recordkeeping In Brief Recordkeeping In Brief 46 - Recordkeeping and committees

Recordkeeping In Brief 46 - Recordkeeping and committees

Every organisation in the NSW Public Sector has an involvement with a range of committees. Committees coordinate and facilitate a wide range of functions undertaken by the organisation.

Introduction

It is important that recordkeeping procedures are established for each committee that your organisation has an involvement with, so that the appropriate records are created and managed properly, and disposal is undertaken in an accountable way.

Good recordkeeping procedures allow committee members to have a clear understanding of what they need to do with records of the committee and how to manage duplicate copies of agendas, minutes, and meeting papers. The procedures may differ depending on whether the committee is an internal or external committee. The recordkeeping rules are broadly the same for either type of committee.

This Recordkeeping In Brief covers:

  • recordkeeping rules, and
  • good recordkeeping procedures for external and internal committees.

Recordkeeping rules

Recordkeeping rules for committees include:

  • making and keeping minutes of meetings
  • confirm the minutes of each meeting
  • manage the master set of minutes, agendas and business papers of the Committee, and
  • manage the disposal of records.

These rules should be incorporated into recordkeeping procedures for internal and external committees.

Recordkeeping procedures for external committees 

Determine the Secretariat for the Committee

At the beginning or formation of the Committee, Committee members should determine who will be the Secretariat for the committee. This means that there is a clear understanding about responsibilities for:

  • recording the minutes of each meeting of the Committee
  • managing the master set of minutes, agendas and business papers of the Committee
  • registering the records into the organisation's recordkeeping system, and
  • disposing of the master set of minutes, agendas and business pape

If your organisation is.. then..
 the Secretariat of the Committee  you should also consider establishing file titling conventions to distinguish between the different types of records being created, for example: actions & initiatives, administration & correspondence, agendas & business papers, agenda briefings.
 not the Secretariat (just a representive on the Committee)  you will just need to establish files to hold your organisation's copy of meeting agendas, minutes and other committee papers.

Confirm the minutes of each meeting

The minutes of each meeting should be confirmed as a true and accurate record of the meeting. It is usual to confirm the minutes at the next meeting of the Committee by those who had attended the meeting. 

Manage the master set of minutes, agendas and business papers of the Committee

By confirming who will be the Secretariat for the Committee, it is possible to determine who will be responsible for the master set of minutes, agendas and business papers of the Committee.

If your organisation is.. then..
not the Secretariat (but provides input into the setting of agendas) records will need to be retained within your organisation's recordkeeping system covering such actions and initiatives, administration & correspondence.

Registering the records into the organisation's recordkeeping system

It is important that all records pertaining to committees are registered or captured into the organisation's official recordkeeping system. This ensures that records are:

  • accessible to all who require them, subject to any restrictions that may apply
  • controlled and managed in accordance with policy and procedures
  • secured against tampering, unauthorised access or unlawful deletion, and
  • disposed of promptly in accordance with legal authority.
If your organisation is.. then..

the Secretariat of the Committee

ensure that all records are registered into the recordkeeping system in a timely manner.

not the Secretariat (just a representive on the Committee)

ensure that the organisation's representative/s are aware of that they are required to register records of their involvement with the Committee into the recordkeeping system.

Tip To assist in understanding the different types of committee records your organisation's recordkeeping system contains, create a listing of all external committees that your organisation participates in, through providing representatives or the Secretariat.

Manage the disposal of records

The disposal of records should be managed within the organisation's disposal program and in accordance with the relevant Retention and Disposal Authorities. Most Committee records are covered in the General Records Disposal Authority: Administrative Records.

You will need to determine the type of committee, for example whether it is an advisory committee, and inter-agency committee, or national committee, in order to determine the appropriate retention period for the records.

National/international committees where the organisation provides a state or national representative.

Tip Key records of these types of committees are generally required as State archives.

Inter-government committees where the organisation provides the State representative.

Tip Key records of these types of committees are generally required as State archives.

Inter-agency or external committees consisting of representatives of NSW public sector organisations.

If your organisation is then ..
the Secretariat of the Committee and the committee is established for the purposes of strategic planning, policy development, or improved services/collaboration across agencies, and considers issues impacting on the core functions or responsibilities of the organisation key records of these types of committees are generally required as State archives.
not the Secretariat (just a representive on the Committee) records are generally required to be retained for 7 years after action completed.

Key advisory committees established to provide an advice or consultation mechanism with external stakeholders. It also includes committees established by legislation or where the Premier or Minister establishes the committee and/or appoints its members.

Tip Key records of these types of committees are generally required as State archives.

It is important to always check the General Retention and Disposal Authority - Administrative Records to ensure that the correct disposal sentence is applied to the records.

These guidelines are not intended to cover the management and disposal of records of inter-governmental organisations, for example, the Border Rivers Commission or the Murray Darling Basin Commission. The management and disposal of these records must involve consultation between the relevant State or Territory archival authorities. Separate disposal authorisation for these records must be sought from State Records.

Recordkeeping procedures for internal committees 

Determine who will be the Secretary for the Committee 

At the beginning or formation of a committee within your organisation, committee members should determine who will be the Secretary for the committee. The Secretary is responsible for:

  • recording the minutes of the each meeting of the Committee
  • managing the master set of minutes, agendas and business papers of the Committee
  • registering the records into the organisation's recordkeeping system, and
  • managing the disposal of the master set of minutes, agendas and business papers. 

Confirm the minutes of each meeting 

The minutes of each meeting should be confirmed as a true and accurate record of the meeting. It is usual to confirm the minutes at the next meeting of the Committee by those who had attended the meeting. 

Manage the master set of minutes, agendas and business papers of the Committee 

The Secretary of the Committee should manage the master set of minutes, agendas and business papers of the Committee. All other members of the Committee should only have duplicate copies of the agendas, minutes, and business papers.

Duplicate copies can usually be disposed under the Normal Administrative Provisions of the State Records Act, unless there is an operational need for the duplicate copies. 

Register the records into the organisation's recordkeeping system 

The master copy of Committee records should be identified as the master set in the organisation's recordkeeping system. It is the responsibility of the Secretary of the Committee to register all committee records into the recordkeeping system. This ensures that records are:

  • accessible to all who require them, subject to any restrictions that may apply
  • controlled and managed in accordance with policy and procedures
  • secured against tampering, unauthorised access or unlawful deletion, and
  • disposed of promptly in accordance with legal authority. 

Manage the disposal of records 

The disposal of records should be managed within the organisation's disposal program and in accordance with the relevant Retention and Disposal Authorities.

If the internal committee records.. then..
cover the administrative or general operational support functions of the organisation use the General Records Disposal Authority: Administrative Records.
cover document decision-making by the organisation in respect to core functions or responsibilities or have been established for strategic purposes use your organisation's Functional Retention Disposal Authority

© State of New South Wales through the State Records Authority, 2005.
This work may be freely reproduced and distributed for most purposes, however some restrictions apply.
ISSN 1440-3978