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About the Manual

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The purpose of this manual is to help New South Wales public offices to achieve good recordkeeping and, in so doing, to ensure the benefits of good recordkeeping to their own business, to the Government and to the people of New South Wales

Contents of the Manual

The Government Recordkeeping Manual brings together into one place all the policies, standards and practical guidance that NSW public offices need for the creation, management, protection and ultimate retention or disposal of the records that they generate in the course of their everyday business - whether that business is conducted wholly in the electronic environment or also relies on paper based processes.

The manual contains the following sections:

Information on some of the basic recordkeeping concepts that underpin State Records' standards and guidance.

Whole-of-Government policy statements on recordkeeping.

The State Records Act, regulation and explanatory information

Recordkeeping standards issued by State Records under the Act

Codes of best practice
Benchmarks for recordkeeping best practice in NSW

General retention and disposal authorities
Legal authorities for the disposal of State records

The manual on the design and implementation of recordkeeping systems ('DIRKS')

Advice and 'how to' guides on improving recordkeeping in a range of areas

Recordkeeping in Brief
Short topic-based guides

Short guides on preservation
Short guides on media preservation and handling.

Procedures covering the transfer of archives, access directions and disposal authorisation.


The manual has won two important awards. In July 1999 the manual won an Australian Society of Archivists' Phyllis Mander Jones Award for

the publication making the greatest contribution to archives or a related field in Australia written by or on behalf or a corporate body.

In November 1999 the manual won a NSW Premier's 1999 Public Sector Bronze Award in the category of 'Ethics'.


State Records wishes to acknowledge the contribution of the National Archives of Australia in making a number of titles in their Archives Advice series of short publications available for inclusion in the manual, and for their collaboration with State Records on the development of the first version of Strategies for Documenting Government Business: The DIRKS Manual.