Benchmarking understanding of government recordkeeping

In 2018, NSW State Archives and Records researched for the first time how well people working for State and Local government agencies, local health districts and universities in NSW understand their government recordkeeping obligations.

Research method

We researched how well people understand their responsibilities under the State Records Act 1998 through:

Research was conducted by independent research agency AMR. Fieldwork concluded on 21 October and findings will be shared in early 2019.

This research is solely for gaining insights into current understanding of government recordkeeping obligations. It is not a compliance exercise.

Survey information

An invitation to complete the survey was sent to all Chief Executive and Senior Responsible officers in State and Local government agencies, local health districts and universities in NSW on Monday, 10 September 2018. The survey closed on 21 October 2018.

The survey was open to everyone who has responsibilities under the State Records Act 1998, not just information or records managers. That means everyone working in a NSW public office was welcome to complete the survey. We sought as many responses as possible.

Responses were anonymous and confidential.

Who responded to the survey

People working for or on behalf of:

  • State Government agencies and departments including State-owned corporations and local health districts/hospitals in NSW, Australia
  • Universities in NSW, Australia
  • Local Government in NSW, Australia.

This included employees, contractors, consultants and service providers working in those NSW public offices. 

Senior Responsible Officer interviews

We interviewed 15 Senior Officers responsible for records management (SROs) across a range of organisations and locations to get a detailed understanding of current perceptions, processes and pain points, if any. 

Thank you to everyone who volunteered for these interviews. 

Purpose of research

The benchmarking project supports our work to help everyone who has recordkeeping obligations under the State Records Act 1998 to understand their responsibilities, a key focus for us in 2018-19. 

How we will use the findings

Findings from the interviews and surveys will set a benchmark of understanding against which we can measure the success of our programs to improve understanding. It will also tell us if our communication is effective, and how we should communicate in future.


The final benchmarking report is now available.  Click Benchmarking Research Report on Understanding of Government Recordkeeping for more information about the report. 

More information

Published August 2018/ revised September 2018/ revised October 2018/ revised December 2018/revised February 2019