Good government recordkeeping, and its effective management, are essential to sound management of government business, to the delivery of quality services to the people of NSW, and to public accountability. The Government expects as high standards in recordkeeping across Government as it expects in any other aspect of public management.
State Records Act 1998
Key records management provisions of the Act require public offices to:
- make and keep records that fully and accurately document their operations and administration
- establish and maintain a records management program in conformity with standards and codes of best practice approved by NSW State Archives and Records
- ensure that records are stored in conditions appropriate to their format and preservation requirements
- ensure that records held in digital or other technology dependent formats are accessible for as long as they required.
Other key parts of the Act include provisions governing the disposal of records,a statutory basis for a right of public access to records more than thirty years old, and the transfer of records required as State archives to the custody and control of NSW State Archives and Records.
NSW State Archives and Records has developed a suite of products including policies, standards, procedures and guidance for application across Government to assist public offices and officials meet the policy objectives and compliance requirements of the State Records Act.
Other rules and guidance
It is important to be aware of the many other sources for 'rules' affecting recordkeeping in the NSW public sector.
Whole-of-Government polices and directives issued by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Treasury, Public Service Commission or Department of Finance, Services and Innovation can also establish requirements with respect to the making, keeping and management of records.
For particular organisations, sectors or areas of activity (e.g. work health and safety) other legislative instruments, industry standards, codes and guidelines may also establish or define recordkeeping requirements to which an organisation (or parts of it) are subject.
Published April 2014 / Revised February 2015 / Revised June 2016/ Revised June 2018