ISSN 1321-6260
February 2022 - Number 151

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Upcoming Recordkeeping Monitoring Exercise

In August 2021 we released the new Regulatory Framework for the State Records Act 1998 and the Records Management Assessment Tool (RMAT). We also advised that we intended to use the RMAT for formal monitoring activities from 2022.

Section 12(4) of the State Records Act 1998 requires each public office to report on its records management program in accordance with arrangements made with us. Your organisation will be able to meet its reporting requirements by submitting a RMAT assessment to us between 1 April - 29 April 2022.

Preparations are underway for a new reporting portal on our website which will be used for lodging submissions and viewing results. We will be contacting all Senior Responsible Officers for records management (SRO) over the next month with details about the commencement of the Monitoring Exercise and using the new portal, including how to nominate staff to receive their account details.

This is the first monitoring exercise conducted by us in nine years. We ask that each public office commit to a comprehensive assessment of their organisation and make their best efforts to submit a response by the deadline.

To prepare for the annual monitoring exercise, you should familiarise yourself with the RMAT and commence an assessment of your organisation’s records management.

Remember, the RMAT assessment will provide extremely useful information for your organisation, as well as providing baseline data to us on the state of recordkeeping in NSW Government.

If your organisation will be unable to complete a submission within the timeframe, please contact the Recordkeeping Standards and Advice team at

Remember, your organisation’s submission in this year’s Monitoring Exercise helps to build an understanding of the state of recordkeeping in NSW Government and will assist SARA to identify areas of recordkeeping concern which will inform our planning and development of resources for public offices.

We will publish a summary level report of results of the monitoring exercise on our website and in our Annual Report in the first quarter of 2022-23.

We appreciate your cooperation and participation in the Monitoring Exercise.

For queries about the monitoring exercise please contact the Recordkeeping Standards and Advice team at

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M365 Survey

The recent Satisfaction Survey indicated there is a significant level of interest in guidance regarding recordkeeping in Microsoft 365 (M365).

We invite you to participate in our M365 survey, which will enable us to gain a greater understanding of how public offices have or intend to procure, configure, implement, and manage M365. This will further assist us in creating guidance and a webinar.

All responses will remain anonymous, unless chosen otherwise. The survey will be de-identified, collated, and summarised.

If you would like to assist us by sharing your public office's experience with M365, please tick the option in the survey. We would also like to invite public offices to present at an upcoming forum, or assist us in creating case studies for public guidance.

You are invited to circulate the link to the survey to other staff in your organisation who may be interested in providing feedback.

The survey closes on Friday 11 March 2022 and takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

If you have any questions, please email:

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Upcoming Records Managers Online Forum – Thursday 31 March

We will be hosting our first Records Managers Forum online for 2022. The forum will include the following:

  • Transport for NSW – The Journey to Implementing M365, presented by Gillian Wood, Director of Information & Records Management
  • State Records Act review and future directions
  • Agency Service Portal demonstration
  • SARA Recordkeeping Standards and Advice updates

Please register here. We will send a reminder invitation to our contacts closer to the date.

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Webinars: Records, information and data-based risks – May 2022

Work has commenced on developing a series of one hour webinars. These introductory webinars will cover various topics on records, information and data-based risks, including practical guidance on applying risk management processes as well as identifying and managing high-value and high-risk records, information and data.

Knowledge gained in these webinars will assist public offices in working towards compliance with the Standards on records management and the physical storage of State records.

These webinars are designed for NSW public sector staff who require practical insight into identifying, responding to and managing records, information and data-based risks. This includes professionals in the areas of records and information management, governance, compliance, risk, ICT and other staff interested in managing their records, information and data-based risks. Participants will benefit most from the webinars by having a reasonable understanding of their agency’s functions, including the records, information and data management challenges faced by the organisation.

Registration information for these webinars will be emailed to all nominated senior responsible officers and records management contacts in late March.

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Agency Services mid-year update

Welcome to 2022! Firstly, the Agency Services team would like to pass on a massive thank you to all of the public office staff who responded to our call out for checking systems and searching for material that had fallen out of the custody of NSW State Archives and Records. Some items had been missing for several decades and your efforts has seen 360 cases resolved and the return of over 60 items to the State Archives Collection.

Secondly, we would like to recognise the effort of all teams from the NSW public offices who were able to continue transferring records into our custody throughout the last half of 2021. It was a particularly challenging time in terms of logistics, health orders compliance, remote working and ensuring the safety of all staff involved. NSW public offices have transferred 251 new consignments to the State archives since July 2021, adding 3,446 boxes and over 3,797 MB of digital data to our custody. This is an amazing achievement considering the restrictions we have all been operating under, so thank you for your support in continuing to transfer material into the State Archives Collection.

Agency Services is available to assist all Public Offices in continuing to prepare themselves for the transfer of State Archives. If you have any questions about the process, the team can be contacted on

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General retention and disposal authority: local government records

The General retention and disposal authority: local government records (GA39) was issued in February 2011.

The Board of the NSW State Archives and Records Authority has asked us to review retention and disposal authorities issued over 10 years ago to ensure that they still provide appropriate disposal coverage.

GA39 has been identified as a priority for review due to its age, size (928 classes), and the importance of the government functions that it covers.

We have begun some initial work on revising GA39. The intention is that the authority will be much smaller and will cover records unique to local government rather than including common administrative records (finance, personnel etc.) that are covered by General retention and disposal authority: administrative records (GA28). We expect that we will have an exposure draft to circulate to all NSW Councils and other public offices that use GA39 in the second half of 2022.

Please email us at if you have any questions. 

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Updated Guidance

We have recently updated the following guidance:

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Disposal authority for cemeteries and crematoria operators

We are currently reviewing the retention and disposal of records for operators of cemeteries and crematoria. If you manage cemeteries and crematoria, including closed ones, and would like to provide feedback on the disposal of records, please get in contact with us at

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Disposal authorities approved

The Board of the NSW State Archives and Records Authority recently approved revisions to the disposal authority for the Dust Diseases Tribunal.

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




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