Local Land Services are responsible for providing advice and services to landholders and the community to improve biosecurity, agricultural production, emergency management, and natural resource management. They are responsible for creating and managing records relating to the administration of these functions, and for the legacy records they have inherited from their predecessor agencies, the Catchment Management and Livestock Health and Pest Authorities, and also the former Rural Lands and Pastures Protection Boards. By creating and managing records effectively, Local Land Services will be able to meet their legislative responsibilities as well as their administrative responsibilities to landholders and the community.
This page contains links to rules and guidance that will assist Local Land Services in making and keeping records appropriately.
A record is any information that is created or received in the course of official duties. Records can be in any format, whether digital or paper. This may include paper files, email messages, word-processed documents and spreadsheets.
Under the State Records Act 1998 Local Land Services are required to:
- create full and accurate records of their business
- keep records for as long as needed to provide evidence of the business conducted and to meet legal or other obligations
- destroy records only when they are authorised for destruction
- transfer permanently valuable records (‘State archives’) to State Records NSW, where they will be retained as part of the State’s official archives.
NSW State Archives and Records has two leaflets on recordkeeping responsibilities. These leaflets may be distributed to employees so that they are aware of their responsibilities to create and keep records of the official business that they undertake.
Recordkeeping fundamentals explains:
- why records are important
- common types of records
- responsibilities for each public sector organisation and employee, and
- where to access further information.
Recordkeeping reminders outlines some common situations where employees should make and save records and information into the organisation's recordkeeping system and/or corporate business system.
Both of these leaflets are available in PDF (for download).
Managing digital records
Records of most organisations are now digital in format. They are created, communicated, managed and stored via digital devices, technologies and platforms.
Irrespective of the systems in which they are created and managed, records must be able to function as sufficient, reliable, authoritative evidence of the business transacted. In addition, they must be accessible for as long as they are required to support business and accountability requirements.
Physical records storage
Local Land Services should store physical records in ways that protect them from unauthorised access and hazards (e.g. water, excessive light and heat, and vermin and insects).
NSW State Archives and Records has published some guidelines on the conditions in which records should be stored. These guidelines suggest methods for achieving stable temperature and humidity levels in records storage areas, and for protecting records from excessive light and vermin and insects.
Records should be stored in such a way so that they can be easily located and made accessible when needed.
Disposal of Local Land Services records
Records disposal generally involves destroying records or transferring records to NSW State Archives and Records for ongoing retention as part of the State’s archives. Local Land Services should only dispose of records in accordance with a retention and disposal authority.
Retention and disposal authorities:
- specify how long different types of records must be kept before they can be destroyed
- identify records that will be kept permanently as part of the State’s official archives.
Local Land Services can use the following authorities to dispose of their records:
- FA399 (PDF, 271kb) which was aproved for use in June 2018. This authority supersedes the General Retention and Disposal Authority: Rural Lands Protection Board and State Council and the General Retention and Disposal Authority: Catchment Management Authorities fwhich should no longer be used for the disposal of records.
- General Retention and Disposal Authority: Administrative Records for personnel, finance and other general administrative records.
Local Land Services must not destroy records before the minimum retention periods in these retention and disposal authorities have expired.
Records should not be given away to non government organisations or transferred to private ownership without NSW State Archives and Records’ permission.
For any records that are identified as State archives in the above disposal authorities, particularly older records not required for ongoing business or other purposes, it would be appropriate to plan for the transfer of these records to the State Archives Collection.
Transferring records involves boxing and listing the records and arranging for collection or delivery. For further information and advice about transferring records see transferring State archives.
Records of temporary value
Some records created by Local Land Services have only temporary value and may eventually be destroyed. Local Land Services may destroy records that are not required as State archives when the relevant minimum retention period has expired and if the records have no further value to the Local Land Services. The destruction of records should be done in a way that is:
- secure and confidential
NSW State Archives and Records has published some advice on the destruction of records. This covers the destruction of hard copy and digital records.
Some records may be destroyed as a normal administrative practice without reference to a retention and disposal authority (e.g. facilitative drafts and working papers, duplicate copies of records stored elsewhere, input forms for data entry, ephemeral telephone messages, and advertising material and ‘junk mail’).
NSW State Archives and Records has a number of online courses available. See our eLearning centre for more details.
Published June 2015/2018/updated December 2019