ISSN 1321-6260
December 2021 - Number 150

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Monitoring exercise

In 2022 we will re-commence annual reporting processes using the new Records Management Assessment Tool (RMAT)

In early 2022 we will send out communications to all public offices (CEO, Senior Responsible Officer, and Records Management Contacts) to provide advance notice that the annual reporting process to monitor records and information management in public offices will be held in March. We will also communicate further information about the monitoring exercise via the For The Record newsletter.

In March we will send out a second round of communications to all public offices announcing the commencement of the annual reporting process and ask you to complete an assessment of your records and information management at that point in time and provide a report to us. The monitoring exercise will run for 4 weeks.  This reporting will give SARA an overview of the state of records management in NSW Government.

Results of the monitoring exercise will be published in the first quarter 2022-2023. We will publish an aggregate/summary of results report on our website and in our Annual Report. The reporting will be at an aggregate or summarised level (i.e. Sector/Cluster). No public office will be identified in the reporting.

webinar introducing the RMAT is available on our website. 

If you have any queries about the upcoming monitoring exercise, please contact us on

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Agency Interface Portal

We have been working on developing an Agency Interface Portal for use by NSW public offices. In the initial phase of this project the portal will allow public offices to:

  • Check series of records held in the State Archives Collection for which they are the current responsible agency,
  • Request the creation of a new series of records for the State Archives Collection, and
  • Request the transfer of records into the State Archives Collection.

There are further services being developed which will be available to public offices in the second phase of the project all of which are designed to improve the services we offer and to assist you in meeting your obligations under the State Records Act.

We will be releasing the Portal to selected public offices in early 2022. Initially only the transfer components of the portal will be available for use in this release. The Agency Services team will be managing access to the Portal and will be in contact with public offices in 2022 to set up user logins for relevant staff.

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New Circular for Local Government

On 21 October 2021 the Office of Local Government issued Circular 21-33 Compliance with records management provisions and transfer of local government records to the State Archives Collection.

The Circular advises all councils of the:

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Satisfaction survey

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer our Satisfaction Survey in October. The survey assesses levels of satisfaction and use of our services and was completed by 104 respondents.

Key findings

While overall levels of satisfaction are very positive, feedback and suggestions will assist us in setting priorities and feed into our strategy and work in 2022.

Again, a big thank you to everyone who took part in the survey!

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Amendments to GA28 

The Board recently approved the following amendments to the General retention and disposal authority: administrative records (GA28):

  • 4.0.3 and 4.0.4: New entries covering the provision of commercial and consultancy services by public offices
  • 16.1.4: disposal action changed for certificates of title
  • 19.14.1: scope expanded to include planning of core business functions and whole-of-government planning
  • 19.15.1: scope expanded to include operational policies
  • 19.15.3: new entry to cover the development and review of strategic or high-level policies for core functions and whole-of-government policy developed by the agency or where the agency provided substantial input
  • 19.16.1: scope expanded to include procedures on operational matters
  • 19.16.3: new entry to cover the development and review of procedures that relate to core statutory responsibilities where there is a high level of risk or potential impact to the community, or that are developed for whole-of-government use.

The above entries remove the requirement to cover records of consultancy services, and functional plans, policies and procedures in individual functional disposal authorities. Please contact Recordkeeping Standards and Advice via for advice if you have concerns about  differences between your functional retention and disposal authority and GA28. The retention periods in GA28 are minimum retention periods so if your current disposal authority has longer retention periods and this still meets your business needs you can retain them for the longer periods set out in your functional authority.

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Disposal authorities approved

The Board of the NSW State Archives and Records Authority recently approved revisions to the disposal authorities for:

  • Ministry of Health
  • Revenue collection and debt recovery
  • Victims compensation support payments and services
  • Sports and active recreation.

Copies of our retention and disposal authorities are available from our website.

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Recordkeeping in focus: Certificates of title

The Board recently approved amendments to the General retention and disposal authorities for administrative records and local government records (GA28, entry 16.1.4 and GA39, entry 5.2.4) to permit the disposal of certificates of title after administrative and reference use ceases, rather than requiring them to be retained until the property was sold and handing them to the new owners. This reflects changes to the Real Property Act in October 2021 that removed legal effect from certificates of title.

If public offices have historic certificates of title, e.g. produced on linen, for properties that meet the criteria to be retained as State archives, (GA28, entry 16.1.1 or GA39, entry 5.2.1) they can transfer the certificates of title as State archives as part of the associated records. 

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Senior Responsible Officer and records management contacts

The Standard on records management requires each public office to have a designated Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for records management. The SRO supports the Chief Executive by providing oversight of the public office’s records and information management. We recommend that the SRO should be the most senior officer with responsibility for records and information.

It is important that we have up to date contact information for your SRO, so that we can advise of details of the upcoming 2022 Monitoring exercise. If you haven’t nominated a SRO or your designated SRO has changed, or you’re just not sure that we have the current details for the SRO, please let us know using the form available from the website.

We also like to keep in contact with records management staff in public offices. If you would like to advise us of records management contacts at your organisation, please let us know using the form available from the website.

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Over the Christmas break

We will be taking a break during the shutdown period. If you have any urgent matters immediately prior to or during the shutdown please call (02) 9673 1788.

For information on Western Sydney Records Centre’s opening hours over the holiday period, please see:

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Best wishes for the holiday season

Finally, we would like to wish everyone all the best for the holiday season! We hope 2022 is a better year for everyone and we look forward to working with you in 2022. 

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