ISSN 1321-6260
August 2017 - Number 124

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August Records Managers' Forum

At the Records Managers' Forum last week our Executive Director Geoff Hinchcliffe gave a presentation on the Digital Records Evolution - solutions for Digital Government.  

Executive Director Geoff Hinchcliffe at the August Records Managers' Forum

Shane Hamilton, CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Office spoke about establishing end-to-end digital business systems and processes and how accurate electronic recordkeeping has contributed to protecting the rights of people.

Shane Hamilton, CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Office

Dr Penny Stannard spoke about the development of the exhibition Captured: Portraits of Crime 1870 - 1930, which will be launched at our Open Day on 8 September, and gave a preview of some of the images that will be used in the exhibition.

Dr Penny Stannard showing one of the images from the upcoming exhibition 'Captured".

We also conducted an interactive session to assist us with planning the services we provide to our jurisdiction. We received the following feedback:

  • over a third of attendees visited the State Archives and Records NSW website monthly while a very dedicated 21% visited it daily
  • the most popular pages are the retention and disposal authorities page and the advice and resources page
  • ease of use of the website was only average for most respondents
  • email and collaborative tools are the preferred method of communication
  • most people had heard about the Community of Records Management Professionals and would be willing to share details of their recordkeeping work
  • the preferred method of training is face-to-face or online self-paced training
  • disposal, digital recordkeeping and risk management are areas where advice and training is needed
  • most people would come to a vendor forum run by State Archives and Records NSW
  • cupboards of unlabelled records, senior management support, compliance, staff issues, training, missing files and security classified records were the issues that kept people up at night.

Sally Irvine-Smith running the interactive feedback session.

We also created a wordcloud!


The podcasts of the presentations and slides will be available shortly from the Future Proof blog.

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New brochures on the importance of recordkeeping

We have published new Recordkeeping Fundamentals leaflets to assist public sector organisations raise awareness of the importance of good recordkeeping.  The leaflets cover why records are important, common types of records, responsibilities for each public sector organisation and employee, and where to access further information. There are tailored versions of the leaflet for NSW Government staff, NSW Local Government staff, and NSW Local Government Councillors. 

We have also published a new leaflet for Chief Executive Officers of NSW public sector organisations.  This leaflet covers the key benefits of recordkeeping and is designed to assist Chief Executives understand why recordkeeping is important. 

While the leaflets can be downloaded and printed for use and distribution, they have been designed to be digital leaflets and contain embedded hyperlinks for further resources. 

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NSW Ombudsman’s Good Conduct and Administrative Practice Guidelines

The NSW Ombudsman has recently published the third edition of their Good Conduct and Administrative Practice GuidelinesThe guidelines are intended to:

  • assist public officials to understand the standards of good conduct and administrative practice that are expected of them
  • provide guidance to managers to assist in the supervision and training of staff
  • assist agencies in the development and review of relevant policies and procedures.

Module 14 – Acting transparently covers the importance of making and keeping records.

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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:

  • Digital transformation in NSW Government: recordkeeping opportunities and risks 
  • Simplify, streamline and consolidate: the OneTRIM for OneFACS case study 
  • Recordkeeping FAQs – keeping records in systems that aren’t EDRMS 
  • Email messages are State records
  • Our machine learning road trip to Canberra
  • Taking a risk-based approach to recordkeeping
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Amendments to General retention and disposal authorities

The Board of the State Archives and Records Authority recently approved a small number of amendments to the General retention and disposal authority: administrative records (GA28) and the General retention and disposal authority: local government records (GA39).

The changes affect the COMMUNITY RELATIONS, HEALTH & SAFETY, and PROPERTY MANAGEMENT functions. Please note that for one class of health and safety records (GA28, entry 14.13.2 and GA39, entry 27.4.4) the minimum retention period has been increased.

In addition to this a number of see references that restricted the use of GA28 have been removed. For more detail see Amendments to the General retention and disposal authority: administrative records and Amendments to the General retention and disposal authority: local government records.

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Before you undertake a revision of a functional retention and disposal authority

Please contact us before you undertake a project to draft or revise a functional authority. Where public offices perform similar functions our preferred option is the development of one authority rather than individual authorities covering the same functions. We can also advise what areas are already covered appropriately by a general authority. If you have any questions please contact us at

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Conservation webinar

State Archives and Records NSW runs free webinars including one on the Basics of Conservation which will be handy for those of you dealing with paper records.

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The following training is being offered in September and October:

  • 14 September - Implementing a Retention and Disposal Authority for Local Government Records - Bathurst
  • 15 September - Retention and Disposal of Public Health Sector Records - Bathurst
  • 19-20 September - Records Management Fundamentals - Western Sydney Records Centre, Kingswood
  • 17 October - Implementing a Retention and Disposal Authority for Local Government Records - Queens Square, Sydney 
  • 18 October - Retention and Disposal of Public Health Sector Records - Queens Square, Sydney 
  • 24-25 October - Records Management Fundamentals - Queens Square, Sydney
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Disposal authorities approved

State Archives and Records NSW recently approved revisions to the disposal authorities for Legal Aid NSW and the Department of Planning and Environment, as well as amendments to the general authorities mentioned above.

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


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