Legislation overview

The State Records Act 1998 came into effect in 1999, replacing the Archives Act 1960.

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 State Records NSW
  • 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 Museums of History NSW.

Compliance overview

State Records NSW 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 CabinetTreasury, or Public Service Commission 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.

Guidelines produced by other Government organisations such as the Independent Commission Against CorruptionNSW Ombudsman and the Information and Privacy Commission are additional useful resources.

Back to top