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Key obligations under the State Records Act

For Chief Executives

Chief executives to ensure compliance with the Act

The chief executive of each public office has a duty to ensure that the public office complies with the requirements of this Act and the regulations and that the requirements of this Act and the regulations with respect to State records that the public office is responsible for are complied with (Section 10).

For Public Offices

Obligation to protect records

Each public office must ensure the safe custody and proper preservation of the State records that it has control of. (Section 11(1))

Full and accurate records

Each public office must make and keep full and accurate records of the activities of the office. (Section 12(1))

Records management program

Each public office must establish and maintain a records management program for the public office in conformity with standards and codes of best practice from time to time approved under section 13. (Section 12(2)) (See below for a list of whole of government records management standards issued under the State Records Act)

Monitoring and reporting

Each public office must make arrangements with the Authority for the monitoring by the Authority of the public office's records management program and must report to the Authority, in accordance with arrangements made with the Authority, on the implementation of the public office's records management program. (Section 12(4))

Equipment/technology dependent records

If a record is in such a form that information can only be produced or made available from it by means of the use of particular equipment or information technology (such as computer software), the public office responsible for the record must take such action as may be necessary to ensure that the information remains able to be produced or made available. (Section 14(1))

Disposal of records

Public offices may not dispose of State records, transfer their possession or ownership, take or send them out of New South Wales, or alter them, without the approval of State Records. (Section 21)

Management of State archives

Public office records that are required to be kept as part of the State archives must be properly protected while they remain in the public office's custody. As reiterated in Premier's Circular 2003-17, public offices should contact State Records to discuss transfer or other options for their permanent preservation when they are no longer required for current business needs. (Part 4)

Public access to State records after 30 years

Each public office must ensure that the State records for which it is responsible and that are over thirty years old are the subject of an access direction. An access direction either opens or closes the records to public access. (Part 6)

Whole of government records management standards

Standards issued to date under Section 13(1) of the State Records Act are: