Part 3 of the State Records Act 1998 prohibits the disposal of records of public offices except where it is authorised by the State Records NSW. This permission is given through the approval and issue of a retention and disposal authority (RDA).

The RDA is a formal instrument that identifies the records of a public office and provides ongoing authorisation for the transfer of records as State archives or the destruction of records after the expiry of minimum retention periods.

These procedures assist organisations in developing retention and disposal authorities. Retention and disposal authorities are essential records management tools for an organisation and are an integral part of organisational efficiency and accountability.

These procedures cover:

  • requirements for preparing or revising a retention and disposal authority
  • identifying retention requirements for records
  • the process of submitting a retention and disposal authority for approval by State Records, and
  • using a retention and disposal authority issued to a predecessor or another organisation.

Organisations whose functional records are covered by general retention and disposal authorities (e.g. local government, public health services and organisation, local land services and universities) will not generally need to refer to these procedures as comprehensive retention and disposal coverage is already in place for your organisation's records.