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Records Management Program Toolkit for small public offices

Purpose of the toolkit

Small public offices often have limited resources and lack dedicated staff responsible for records management. This toolkit is designed to assist small public offices by providing practical templates and tools to streamline the production of key documents to support their records management program and meet their obligations under Part 2 of the State Records Act 1998.

Application of the toolkit

The generic templates and tools contained in the toolkit are meant as a guide only and many include sample information. Documentation to support a records management program should be carefully developed to suit the specific needs and environment of a public office, and with attention to the minimum compliance requirements of the standards.

Please note:
  • Where documents from this collection are used, appropriate acknowledgement of the sources used should be included.
  • Standards and other sources referenced may change over time. See the most up to date recordkeeping sources in the Government Recordkeeping Manual.

Contents of the toolkit

The toolkit contains the following templates:

Records management program policies and plans

Template/tool Standard and principle the template supports Practical application
- Sample policy on records management (doc, 98KB) Standard on managing a records management program, 1. Directed by Policy Standard on full and accurate records, All principles Formally documents the program and ensures it is recognised at a corporate level Directs at a high level how recordkeeping will be managed in a public office according to legal, business and regulatory needs Ensures all staff are aware of the program and their responsibilities for recordkeeping Can include policy statements on email and other electronic records
- Sample short and long term plan
See also: Examples of records management policy, procedures and planning documents for best practice plans of public offices
Standard on managing a records management program 2. Planned Formally documents the program and ensures it is recognised at a corporate level Guides records management activities in the long and short term Can assist in determining suitable budgets
Recordkeeping skills
- Plan for a skills project
- Skills audit self assessment questionnaire for the project described in the plan
Standard on managing a records management program 3. Staffed with skilled people Identifies what skills are required for the program, what skills exist and what training is required
- Sample phrases for position descriptions/statement of duties relating to recordkeeping Standard on managing a records management program 3. Staffed with skilled people Formally assigns responsibility for recordkeeping Ensures all staff are aware of their responsibilities and are accountable
- Training in records management for in-house adaptation How to get ahead with recordkeeping Standard on full and accurate records, All principles Standard on managing a records management program, 3. Staffed with skilled people Informs staff members of their basic responsibilities for recordkeeping Directs staff on when to make records, and details how to ensure they are accurate, authentic, useable and that they have integrity
Recordkeeping tools
- Templates for email, file note, fax and letters in Create and capture guidelines Standard on full and accurate records, All principles Prompts staff to include essential information to ensure the document is full and accurate
- Records control spreadsheet in How to take control guidelines Standard on full and accurate records All principles Helps control the location of files, access requirements, event histories, disposal and related files
- Records survey form and sample questionnaire in Recordkeeping In Brief 28 - Help! We're moving Standard on full and accurate records, All principles Assists in assessing what records exist, in what format, how they are controlled and located. Can be used during moves or in establishing control over records
- Examples of records clauses for contracts in Accountable outsourcing: Recordkeeping considerations of outsourcing NSW Government business Standard on full and accurate records, All principles Ensures that contractors make, keep and manage properly records of the Government business that is outsourced 
- Examples of performance measures related to particular objectives in Monitoring recordkeeping performance guidelines Standard on managing a records management program, 5. Monitored and Reviewed Standard on full and accurate records, All principles Assesses how successful the implementation of the program is eg. if staff are following policy and procedure on when to make records, and how to ensure they are accurate, authentic, useable and that they have integrity
- Counter disaster plan Timbuctoo City Council Standard on counter disaster strategies for records and recordkeeping systems, 2. Planning Helps the public office identify and reduce or eliminates risks Helps business continuity and efficient, prioritised response and recovery to disasters