- Effect of State Records functions on the public
- Public participation in policy development
- What kind of government information do we have?
The Guide tells you in general terms: how State Records functions affect the public; how the public can participate in the formulation of State Records’ policy and exercise of its functions; the kinds of government information held by State Records; the kinds of government information State Records will make available to the public; how State Records will make government information available to the public, and; whether or not there is a charge to access specific kinds of information.
Amended January 2016
The State Records Authority of NSW (State Records) Agency Information Guide tells you in general terms:
- How State Records functions affect the public
- How the public can participate in the formulation of State Records’ policy and exercise of its functions
- The kinds of government information held by State Records
- The kinds of government information State Records will make available to the public
- How State Records will make government information available to the public
- Whether or not there is a charge to access specific kinds of information
State Records' function as the State Government's records management authority impacts on the public indirectly since there is a close connection between the quality of government recordkeeping and accountability of government to the people. Recordkeeping standards, proper storage facilities and the orderly appraisal and disposal of records improve the quality of government recordkeeping by ensuring that records are created by public officials in the first place, are properly managed in public sector bodies and that the core of records which become State archives are systematically identified.
State Records' function as the State's archives authority has a direct impact on the public. As a result of the work undertaken in respect of this function, the public are able to use the State archives for a range of legal, administrative and research purposes. Decisions made by State Records and its Board regarding the retention or disposal of State records under s. 21 of the State Records Act 1998 determine which records will become part of the State archives. The storage and preservation of State archives ensures ongoing physical accessibility of the records while the arrangement and description of the records in their functional and administrative contexts facilitates intellectual access to them. A register of access directions made by public sector bodies assists the public in identifying their rights of access to State archives. Reading room services, a basic telephone and written enquiry service, the provision of copies of selected State archives in Regional Archives Centres and public libraries and State Records' website facilitate the identification and use of relevant records by the public.
The public is able to provide input into State Records’ policies through public consultation processes associated with major policy developments.
These processes differ depending on the issue at hand. However, generally they will include the opportunity to comment formally on a discussion paper. Information on current reviews will be provided via the State Records website as they occur.
State Records also monitors Ministerial correspondence and customer feedback to identify policy issues that may need review.
Members of the public can influence policy development through membership of the Community Advisory Committee, which represents the views of State Records clients such as professional historians.
Informal feedback can be provided as follows:
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone - (02) 9673 1788
Letter - State Records, PO Box 516, KINGSWOOD NSW 2747
Information is contained in the following documents held by State Records:
Up to December 1996 files were categorised as follows:
a) Administrative files
These cover most aspects of the then Archives Authority's operations, including recruitment and staffing, purchase of equipment, financial matters, etc.
b) Policy files
These records contain reports and correspondence on the full range of matters of concern to the Archives Authority, from Records Management and Repository Services to Collection Services and public access activities.
c) Disposal files
Disposal files record administrative details relating to the transfer or destruction of public records.
d) Reference files
These comprise inquiries from individuals and institutions seeking information from archival records held by State Records.
In January 1997, a new unified correspondence system was introduced.
Records relating to Board meetings (Minutes and Meeting Papers)
Disposal/accession and related records
These give details of records approved for destruction or transfer as State archives.
Public Access — working records
Public Access maintains a range of records, the most significant of which relate to Reading Room Services.
These are chiefly designed for State Records staff and other government employees.
Publications and on-line resources
State Records produces a variety of publications for the public and for the NSW public sector. These range from guides and finding aids to recordkeeping standards, policies and guidelines. Many publications can be viewed on-line and can be purchased in hardcopy format. Detailed and summary lists of publications are available on request to the Sydney Records Centre or the Western Sydney Records Centre.
A range of brochures outlining services offered by the Government Records Repository is available from the Western Sydney Records Centre. Public Access has also prepared a number of Archives in Brief leaflets to assist researchers.
State Records’ internet is a rich source of information regarding its operations.