Due to social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic NSW public offices have embraced and deployed virtual meetings in lieu of face-to-face meetings.

These virtual meeting/conference platforms enable recording of meetings or conferences. These recordings are usually stored in the cloud and can be downloaded anywhere.  These recordings are State records.

We recently received enquiries on how long to keep these recordings. The short answer is, it depends on your organisation’s business rules and the context of the meeting held.

Managing recordings with business rules

We recommend establishing business rules on how to manage these recordings. Your organisation’s business rules or procedures should consider the following:

  • Types of meetings that are low risk, where minutes of those meetings are sufficient.
  • Types of meeting that are high risk, where recordings are the preferred record. For example, meetings on contentious issues or meetings with persistent or vexatious complainants.
  • Purpose of the recording and how long those recordings will be kept (i.e. recordings are kept for accurate minute-taking or used for creating minutes or for replaying your meetings to people unable to attend.)
  • Which record will be the “official” record of that meeting – the recording or the minutes of the meeting.

Retaining and disposing of recordings

Below are some of the disposal classes which relate to records of meetings (format neutral).

Please note that disposal of recordings of meetings used to prepare correspondence, papers, minutes and transcripts is also permitted under the normal administrative practice (NAP) provisions of the State Records Regulation 2015, when they are primarily facilitative and when the retention of the final version of a record is sufficient to meet the record-keeping requirements of a public office, so long as they are not required to be retained in order to account for policies, decisions, reasons and actions or not required to function as evidence.

To dispose of recordings under NAP public offices should produce internal policies and procedures to further define how long the recordings will be retained for. For example, in local government the recordings of council meetings are retained until the minutes of the meetings have been confirmed.


Retention and disposal action

Disposal class

Records relating to routine general team, section or unit meetings

keep until administrative or reference use ceases

GA28 Administrative Records: Strategic Management 19.13.1

Records relating to meetings between Chief executives and Ministers, Ministerial  employees or senior executives of other government organisations

required as State archives or dispose of under NAP if other records such as the minutes of the meeting are the primary record

GA28 Administrative Records – 10.8.1 or NAP  

Records relating to committees, task forces or working groups


GA28 Administrative Records: Committees 1.0.0 or NAP

Local government : Recordings of Council meetings

keep until minutes of meeting have been confirmed

GA39 Local government records: Governance – Meetings 13.6.2

Local government: Records relating to administrative arrangements for all meetings, including recordings keep until administrative or reference use ceases

GA39 Local government records: Corporate management – Meetings 4.9.2

Any questions? Email us at: govrec@staterecords.nsw.gov.au

Back to top
Recordkeeping Advice
Recordkeeping A-Z