ISSN 1321-6260
February 2020 - No. 139

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Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

In April 2019 the Commonwealth Government established a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

The Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet has sent a letter to all Secretaries requesting that agencies take appropriate steps to ensure that no records that may be relevant to or may be required in evidence for the Royal Commission are destroyed. In certain cases this may require the suspension of the routine disposal of records in accordance with retention and disposal authorities issued by NSW State Archives and Records. 

NSW State Archives and Records has also issued advice to all Chief Executives on 27 February 2020.

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Agency Services Satisfaction Survey

The Agency Services team is conducting a survey on agencies’ satisfaction with:

  • transferring records to the State Archives Collection
  • making access directions
  • retrieving archives.

We will use the findings to identify opportunities to improve and streamline our processes and provide better support to agencies. 

We invite all public offices to complete the survey: The survey closes 13 March – please take the time to have your say!

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact us at

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Resources for recovering records affected by bushfires

NSW State Archives and Records recognises the impact that the recent bushfires have had on communities, and offers our best wishes to those in our community who have been personally affected by the fires and related events. If your organisation needs information and contacts for disaster recovery, please see the Disaster Management resources on our website.  We also encourage you to visit disaster recovery resources and fire recovery resources listed on the Blue Shield Australia website.  If you require further assistance with records affected by fire, please contact

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1989 Cabinet Papers

The annual release of NSW Cabinet Papers, held as part of the State Archives Collection, is a key component of our overall public engagement program. The annual release aims to increase public awareness of important milestones in the history of NSW and the State Government as we highlight the themes and topics considered by NSW Cabinet from 30 years ago. Head over to the Cabinet Papers release page for more information on the Cabinet papers, notable decisions from 1989, a searchable index of Cabinet decisons, and "Warm, Dry and Green", a contextual essay about the papers by Dr David Clune.

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For your diary

The next Records Managers’ Forum will be held at the Conference Room on Level 4 of the McKell Building, 2 Rawson Place, Sydney on Friday 17 April 2020. Invitations and further information about the Forum will be emailed directly to our contacts soon (there is no need to email us separately to register for the Forum).

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Updated guidance

Digitisation specifications for paper records in public offices has just been published. This applies to State records eligible for destruction under the General retention and disposal authority: Original or source records that have been copied (GA45). Adopting the specifications will enable your public office to meet the copying provisions set out in GA45 without further analysis of technical requirements.

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Disposal authorities approved

The Board recently approved retention and disposal authorities for:

  • Offender management and youth justice (covering Corrective Services, Youth Justice, the NSW Parole Board and the Serious Offenders Review Council)
  • Port and marine services (covering the Port Authority of NSW)
  • Anti-Discrimination (covering Anti Discrimination NSW).

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

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Sentencing Clinics

Last year we sought expressions of interest for sentencing clinics. The clinics are run as teleconferences that give small groups of people an opportunity to receive help with issues implementing disposal authorities. Thanks to everyone who responded. We ran the first sentencing clinic on 26th February for nine people working in the Murrumbidgee, Central Coast, Northern Sydney and South Western Sydney local health districts. The feedback was positive as the clinic gave people from regional areas and those who find it hard to attend to Records Managers Forums a chance to ask questions and raise issues about the disposal of records. We found it useful too as it we received lots of feedback and indications of where we need to follow up certain aspects of recordkeeping in the public health system. There is another clinic scheduled for Snowy Monaro, Bogan, Canada Bay, Lake Macquarie, Warrumbungle and Narrabri Councils on 3 March. 

We also received expressions of interest from individual NSW public offices that aren't part of the public health system or local government. We will follow up with them. We hope to run further clinics after June. Please email us on if you are interested. 

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Cyber security

Cyber security is critical in ensuring the NSW Government provides secure, trusted and innovative digital services to all customers. Cyber Security NSW is a whole-of-government function within the Department of Customer Service, that provides an integrated approach to preventing and responding to cyber security threats across NSW. They have guidance on the 10 Tips for Cyber Security that public offices might find useful. For further information about resources, events and the team, please see  or contact the team at .

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Marriage: Love and Law

The Marriage: Love and Law exhibition is now showing at the Whitlam Institute until 24 April 2020. The exhibition explores the laws, beliefs and social attitudes that have shaped and reshaped marriage in Australia over three centuries. The exhibition is available as a touring exhibition and if your organisation is interested in hosting please contact


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