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General retention and disposal authorities

General retention and disposal authorities authorise the retention and disposal of records common to more than one organisation.


The purpose of a retention and disposal authority is to identify those records created and maintained by NSW public offices which are required as State archives and to provide approval for the destruction of certain other records created and maintained by NSW public offices, after minimum retention periods have been met.

General retention and disposal authorities are issued for use by all public sector organisations or organisations within a particular sector such as local councils, public health services or universities or organisations which carry out similar or the same functions, for example shared corporate service providers or catchment management authorities. General authorities currently authorised for use are available below. For details of authorities authorised for use by a particular public office please refer to the Functional retention and disposal authorities page.

Note: The approval for disposal given by authorities issued by State Records is given under the provisions of the State Records Act only and does not override any other obligations of an organisation to retain records. A public office must not dispose of any records where the public office is aware of possible legal action (including legal discovery, court cases, formal applications for access) where the records may be required as evidence. See the Disposing of records page for further advice about disposal and disposal alerts or freezes.


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Please note State Records does not distribute or make available product or software specific loadable versions of its authorities. Please contact your vendor or service provider directly for advice or assistance regarding the availability of software loadable versions of authorities.


Administrative records
(GA28) - 2007 (revised 2009, 2012, 2014)
-- Includes financial, accounting and personnel records --
-- Replaces GDA2, GDA6, GDA7 and GDA12 --
Browse | Print (PDF, 2,506kb | Spreadsheet (xls, 113kb) | XML (1,588kb) | Index

Animal cruelty inspectorate records
(GDA25) [Animal cruelty inspectorates in approved charitable organisations only] - 2006
BrowsePrint (PDF, 120kb)

Applications for authorisation to exercise powers for law enforcement purposes
(GA38) [Supreme Court, District Court, Local Courts and Department of Justice and Attorney General only] - 2010
Print (PDF, 49kb)

Approved Screening Agencies: records relating to the conduct of Working With Children Checks
(GA26) - 2007
Print (PDF, 125kb)

Audio visual programs and recordings
(GDA11) - 2002
Browse | Print (PDF, 199.3kb)


Catchment Management Authorities
(GA29) - 2007
Print (PDF, 167kb)


Energy generation, supply and retail operations
(GA41) [transfer of ownership of records - Energy services corporations only] - 2011

Energy retail operations and services
(GA37) - 2010
Browse | Print (PDF, 86kb)

Energy transmission and distribution network services
(GA40) - 2011
Browse | Print (PDF, 164kb) | XML (90kb)


Forensic medicine records
(GDA19) [Departments of forensic medicine only] - 2005
Print (PDF, 115kb)


General practice medical records
(GA42) General practice medical records in the custody and control of public offices - 2014
Print (PDF, 35kb)


Imaged records
(GA36) - 2009
-- Replaces GDA 4 and GDA 24 --
Browse | Print (PDF, 45kb)


Local government records
(GA39) - 2011 (revised 2011, 2012)
-- Replaces GDA10 --
Browse Print (PDF, 2.8mb) | XML (1.7mb) | Spreadsheet (xls, 133kb) | Index (Word, 4.4mb)

Local government records affected by boundary changes
- 2004
Print (PDF, 74kb)


Ministers' records
(GDA13) [Ministers' offices only] - 2003
BrowsePrint (PDF, 52kb)


National Bodies
(GA43) Administrative records created and maintained by national bodies - 2014


Personnel records
(GDA12) superseded by the General retention and disposal authority: administrative records in 2012.

Public Health Services: patient/client records
(GDA17) [Public health services only] - 2004
Browse | Print (PDF, 183.7kb)

Public Health Services: administrative records
(GDA21) [Public health services only] - 2005 (revised 2008, 2009, 2012)
BrowsePrint (PDF, 446kb)

Public Health Services: general practice records
Scope widened to include all public offices - 2014. See General practice medical records above.


Royal Commissions, Special Commissions of Inquiry, Commissions of Inquiry and Inquiries established by Letters Patent or Ministerial Directive
(GA31) - 2008
-- Replaces GDA 14 --
Print (39kb)

Rural Lands Protection Boards records
(GDA20) [Rural Lands Protection Boards only] - 2005
Please contact State Records about the use of GDA20


Shared corporate services provision records
(GA30) [Service providers only] - 2008
Print (PDF, 76kb)

Source records that have been migrated
(GA33) - 2008
Browse | Print (PDF, 78.9kb)

Sporting and recreational venues and facilities records
(GA32) - 2008
Browse | Print (PDF, 132.1kb)


Transferring records out of NSW for storage with and maintenance by service providers based outside of the State
(GA35) - 2009
Browse | Print (PDF, 27kb)


University records
(GDA23) [Universities only] - 2005 (revised 2009, 2012)
Print (PDF, 484kb)


Video/visual surveillance records
(GDA 8) - 1999