Disposal of State Records

The State Records Office (SRO) advises State and Local Government organizations on the legislative requirements governing State records and the process of gaining approval for their disposal.  Disposal may refer either to the destruction of State records or the transfer of State records of archival value to the SRO for permanent retention.

The effective disposal of records is essential for the efficient operation of any records system. Failure to dispose of records regularly and appropriately results in the unnecessary and costly use of space, equipment and staff.

Under the State Records Act 2000, State records may only be destroyed under an approved Disposal Authority.  The State Records Commission approves Disposal Authorities.

The State Records Commission has issued a notice to all WA State and Local Government organizations in relation to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Disposal Authorities

State records can only be disposed of via one or more of the following authorities:

General Disposal Authorities

To assist State and Local Government organizations in the disposal of State records, the SRO has developed the following General Disposal Authorities for use by government organizations:

General Disposal Authority for State Government Information

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  • Available for State Government organizations, providing broad coverage for records common to State Government.
  • Replaces the General Disposal Authorities for Administrative Records (RD 2003016); Human Resource Management Records (RD 2012004); and Financial and Accounting Records (RD 2005010).

The following resources are available to assist agencies implement the General Disposal Authority for State Government Information:

General Disposal Authority for Local Government Records

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  • Available for Local Government organizations, providing broad coverage for records common to Local Government.
  • Replaces RD 99004.

A Linking Table is included at the rear of the General Disposal Authority for Local Government Records, providing cross referencing from the superseded authority to the new authority.

For guidance regarding resentencing when implementing the General Disposal Authority for Local Government Records, see the SRO Guideline: Implementing a revised Disposal, Authority: Resentencing Records.

Draft Revised GDALG: Request for Feedback

The draft revised General Disposal Authority for Local Government Records (GDALG) is now available for your consideration and comment. The draft incorporates suggestions and amendments collected since the publication of the current GDALG in 2010.  It includes a small number of new or additional classes of records, and in several instances, similar classes of records have been 'rolled up' into one class.

A list of the proposed amendments is also available.

Comments can be emailed to amanda.casselton@sro.wa.gov.au before Friday 22 January 2016.

If you have any questions about the draft revised GDALG, please contact Amanda Casselton, Information Management Advisor, on 9427 3663 or amanda.casselton@sro.wa.gov.au

General Disposal Authority for Source Records

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  • Available to State and Local Government organizations, providing for the legal destruction of source records that have been successfully digitsied in accordance with the authority's accompanying Digitisation Specification.

For queries about General Disposal Authorities please contact the SRO on ph. 9427 3664 or email sro@sro.wa.gov.au

General Retention and Disposal Authority for Administrative Records of National Bodies

Important: This GDA is to be used exclusively by National Bodies, not State and local government organizations.

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National Bodies established under national schemes may be subject to the records and archives laws of multiple State and Territory jurisdictions.

The Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA) have developed a General Retention and Disposal Authority for Administrative Records of National Bodies (the Authority) that allows commons sets of administrative records for all National Bodies established under the various national schemes to be disposed of in a consistent manner.

The Authority does not authorise the disposal of the functional or core business records of National Bodies.

Retention and Disposal Schedules

A Retention and Disposal Schedule is a continuing disposal authority for an organization's core-business / agency-specific records.

Each State Government organization is required to review their Schedule as part of the 5 year review of the organization's Recordkeeping Plan. 

The 'Evaluation of the R&D' section of the RKP Review Report is to describe whether or not:

  • The organization’s functions or processes have changed significantly;
  • New categories of records have been identified or created; or
  • Existing disposal decisions have been re-considered.

The SRO will advise the organization on further actions, if any, on receipt of the RKP Review Report.

For queries about reviews, revisions, and development of R&Ds please contact the SRO on 9427 3664 or email sro@sro.wa.gov.au

See also: Developing a Disposal Authority.

Sector Disposal Authorities

The State Records Office (SRO) has implemented a suite of Sector Disposal Authorities (SDAs) across State Government. The SRO’s SDA program is designed to reduce the need for individual organizations to produce new agency-specific Retention and Disposal Schedules.

The following SDAs are currently available:

The four public Universities in Western Australia - the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University and Edith Cowan University - have collaboratively developed the Western Australian University Sector Disposal Authority (PDF, 1.65 MB).  This SDA was revised in 2013. 

The eleven State Training Providers (formerly TAFE Colleges) have collaboratively developed the State Training Providers Sector Disposal Authority (PDF, 397 KB).

For queries about Sector Disposal Authorities please contact the SRO on 9427 3664 or email sro@sro.wa.gov.au

Ad Hoc Disposal Authority

An Ad Hoc Disposal Authority is a specific instance disposal authority relating to one or a limited number of series, or an identified part of a series of records.  This kind of authority is most often used when old or superseded records are being appraised for disposal.  The purpose of an Ad Hoc Disposal Authority is to authorise disposal action on a once-only basis, i.e. for records in a specific category or date range.

For queries about Ad Hoc Disposal Authorities please contact the SRO on 9427 3664 or email sro@sro.wa.gov.au

Disposal Lists

A Disposal List is an itemised list of records in which individual items, not necessarily from the same series, have been recommended by the government organization for transfer to the SRO or destruction.  A Disposal List is most appropriately used for the urgent disposal of records arising from some kind of damage or contamination of the records which requires immediate action.

For queries about Disposal Lists please contact the SRO on 9427 3664 or email sro@sro.wa.gov.au

Further Information

Transferring Archival Records to the State Records Office.

For advice on destruction methods for State records, refer to the SRO Guideline: Records Retention and Disposal Instructions.

For advice on destruction methods for digital storage media, refer to SRO Guideline: Sanitizing Digital Media and Devices.

 

Last updated 2 March 2016