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Executive Summary

Section 11 of the State Records Act 1998 requires each public office to ‘…ensure the safe custody and proper preservation of the State’s records that it has control of’.

To assist public offices in understanding and implementing this obligation of the State Records Act, this revised Standard on the physical storage of State records sets out the minimum compliance requirements for the storage of those State records which have a physical format, including:

  • paper files and documents
  • volumes and registers
  • maps, plans, charts and drawings
  • photographic media including photographic prints and negatives, film, microforms, and x-rays
  • magnetic media such as digital tape, video and audio cassettes, and
  • optical media such as CDs and DVDs.

This standard does not cover the storage of digital records in online systems or network servers.

The storage of records is a key element in the records management program of all public offices.  To assist in managing the storage of the organisation’s records, public offices are encouraged to develop a comprehensive storage plan covering all types of records and their storage locations, and ensure that appropriate arrangements for storage have been made to ensure the security, maintenance and accessibility of the organisation’s records.

The principles of this standard require NSW public offices to make decisions and take action to ensure that the storage of records is effective in protecting records from deterioration and are cost efficient.  The principles are:

  • Authorisation
  • Location and buildings
  • Environmental controls
  • Shelving and packaging
  • Maintenance
  • Identification and control, and
  • Security.

Each of these principles are supported by mandatory compliance requirements.  Compliance with this standard will be monitored by State Records and reported on in its Annual Report.

There is a compliance timetable indicating how the requirements of the standard are to be implemented and by what dates.  Public offices will be advised in advance of any compliance monitoring activities.

This standard is supported by guidance.


Printable version

  • A PDF (129kb) version of the Standard is available for printing

Table of Commentary

An account of the comments received during public consultation on this standard is available in the accompanying Table of Commentary (PDF, 38kb).

Compliance timetable

There is a compliance timetable (PDF, 16kb) for this standard, with requirements phased in beween 2012 and 2013.

© State of New South Wales through the State Records Authority of New South Wales, 2012.
First published March 2012
This work may be freely reproduced for personal, educational or government purposes. Permission must be received from State Records Authority for or all other uses.

ISBN 978-0-9872800-0-8