ISSN 1321-6260
April 2017 - Number 122


Back to top

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse

In September 2016 the Royal Commission released a consultation paper into records and recordkeeping practices. A number of organisations responded to the consultation paper, including the NSW Government, and the submissions are available on their website. The Commission is considering minimum retention periods around records relevant to child sexual abuse as the hearings have demonstrated that it takes victims and survivors an average of 22 years to report their abuse, well after some of the records that are potentially relevant have been destroyed.

A meeting between officers of the Royal Commission and the various State and Territory records authorities was held to discuss the issues around setting mandatory minimum retention periods for relevant records. We will keep public offices informed of any developments. The Commission is aware of the problems associated with long-term retention of records for institutions.

    Back to top

    Review of the Standard on the physical storage of State records

    The Standard on the physical storage of State records establishes the requirements for the storage of active and semi active State records which have a physical format, including:

    • paper files and documents
    • volumes and registers
    • maps, plans, charts and drawings
    • photographic media including photographic prints and negatives, film, microforms, and x-rays
    • magnetic media such as digital tape, video and audio cassettes, and
    • optical media such as CDs and DVDs.

    As it’s now 5 years since the standard was issued for use by public offices, State Archives and Records NSW is commencing a review of the standard to ensure that the requirements remain relevant and assist public offices in implementing best practices for records storage. We will also be evaluating storage requirements for digital records as part of our review considerations.

    As part of the review process, we want your feedback on how you have used the standard, if you have had implementation difficulties, and any suggestions you may have to improve the standard. To assist you in providing feedback we will be conducting an online survey. Emails will be sent out in May to each public office with a link to the survey.

    We look forward to receiving your feedback. 

    Back to top

    Podcasts from the Records Managers Forum now available

    Podcasts and slides from the March Records Managers Forum are now available from the Future Proof blog. Listen to:

    • Dr Ann Turner, Chris Leeming, Jason Covell and Michael King from Family and Community Services on their successful OneTRIM for OneFACS project
    • Denise North from the Public Service Commission (PSC) on the collaboration between Premier and Cabinet and the PSC on electronic approvals 
    • Irene Chymyn from State Archives and Records NSW on social media trends
    • Janet Villata from the City of Sydney on the challenges of developing e-learning modules
    Back to top

    Managing Recordkeeping Risk in Business Systems workshop

    Our half day workshop on Managing Recordkeeping Risk in Business Systems is coming up on 17 May at our Queens Square office. Register here for the workshop. We are also holding the workshop in August if you can't make it next month.

    The workshop is designed to assist participants understand the range of risks threatening their business information, assess business systems for information management risks, plan mitigation strategies to combat key information management risks, and undertake focus assessments on the business systems supporting high risk business processes.

      Back to top

      Review of the General retention and disposal authority: video/visual surveillance records

      State Archives and Records NSW is currently undertaking a review of the General retention and disposal authority: video/visual surveillance records (GDA8). GDA8 covers audio visual (e.g. CCTV) recordings arising from visual surveillance activities carried out for the general protection and security of personnel or property, crime prevention/detection, public safety, etc.

      To assist the review process we will be conducting a survey seeking information from NSW public sector organisations on:

      • the visual surveillance activities carried out by them
      • the visual surveillance technologies and associated record formats in use
      • current retention practices
      • the ease of use of the authority in its current form.

      An email with more information and a link to the survey will be circulated to all nominated senior responsible officers and records management contacts in early May.

      Many thanks for your time.

      Please note this is not a monitoring exercise. The information will only be used to assist the review of GDA8.

      Back to top

      Recent Future Proof blogposts

      State Archives and Records NSW uses its Future Proof blog to post information about current digital recordkeeping issues. On the blog we road-test new ideas, distribute new information and initiate discussion on digital recordkeeping issues. Recent posts include:

      • mobile apps and patient records
      • presentations from the Records Managers' Forum by Denise North of the Public Service Commission on electronic approvals; Dr. Ann Turner, Chris Leeming, Jason Covell, and Michael King, from the Department of Family and Community Services on the OneTRIM for OneFACS project; Janet Villata from the City of Sydney on developing information e-learning modules; Irene Chymyn from State Archives and Records NSW on social media trends
      • metadata, migration and decommissioning
      • information flow within organisations
      • information risks, training and digital recordkeeping issues.
      Back to top


      The following training is being offered in May and June:

      • 9-10 May Records Management Fundamentals (Tamworth)
      • 11 May Managing Digital Records: An overview (Tamworth)
      • 17 May Managing Recordkeeping Risk in Business Systems (Queens Square, Sydney) 
      • 6-7 June  Records Management Fundamentals (Queens Square, Sydney)
      • 8 June  Managing Digital Records: An overview (Queens Square, Sydney)

      For more information see our Training Calendar.

      Back to top

      Disposal authorities approved

      State Archives and Records NSW recently approved a disposal authority for records of the former HomeFund Commissioner.

      Copies of our retention and disposal authorities are available from the Retention and disposal authorities page on our website.

      Back to top