Good recordkeeping is an essential component of an agency’s business processes.  Records underpin good service delivery and support the effective administration, accountability and transparency of the NSW public sector.

Records and information are at the core of government business and are valuable assets.

As a senior executive, you have obligations under the State Records Act 1998 (SR Act) to ensure that your agency complies with requirements to make, keep and dispose of records appropriately.

State Records Act 1998

The SR Act applies to and establishes responsibilities for all NSW public sector organisations.

It applies to digital (emails, messages, social media and so on) and paper records.

The agency head of any NSW public sector organisation is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the organisation complies with the SR Act.

The SR Act requires NSW public sector organisations to:

  • make and keep full and accurate records of its business
  • establish a records management program
  • manage and store its records appropriately
  • ensure that records remain accessible for as long as they are required
  • dispose of records according to authorised retention and disposal authorities.

As a senior executive, your responsibilities for records and records management  are delegated to you via your agency's records management policy and business rules. First and foremost, you must ensure that records are kept secure against unauthorised access, alteration, loss or destruction.

Key benefits of good recordkeeping

All public sector employees must make full and accurate records of their business activities.  Good recordkeeping:

  • provides proof of decisions and actions
  • protects the interests of the agency, and the rights of staff members and members of the public
  • reduces risks
  • supports decision-making processes and business activities
  • creates enormous competitive advantages and adds value to your business
  • increases the efficiency of business processes.

Records management program

Each agency must establish a records management program that encompasses a governance framework (policy and business rules); skilled staff members; and systems for capturing and managing records over time. The program will also provide the framework and strategies for helping your agency manage the risks and challenges of the digital technologies being deployed in the NSW public sector.

Your records management program should be subject to monitoring and reviews.

What you need to do

  • Make sure your agency has the appropriate governance frameworks, skilled staff members, and systems for managing records (digital and physical) over time.  
  • Ensure all staff members are aware of their responsibilities to make and keep records.
  • Work with your agency’s senior officer responsible for records management (this could be a senior executive or the Chief Information Officer) to monitor and oversee  the records management program, and rectify any shortfalls or issues.
  • Respond to any monitoring or reporting requests from the State Archives and Records Authority of NSW.