GRDS conversations meet the challenge

Earlier this year we started a conversation with you about the future of the General Retention & Disposal Schedule for Administrative Records (GRDS)^.

Looking at the five challenges we presented in our GRDS Renewal discussion paper, we were pleased to note that most of you liked the options presented, plus added a few more. We’ve received your suggestions and ideas and you’ve certainly given us lots to think about!

You liked the idea of creating an area within the GRDS where the common activities and classes are grouped together; so we’re going to include that in the next version of the GRDS. We’re also looking at doing this in core schedules. This has been done in the Agriculture schedule. Have a look and let us know your thoughts.

With 100% support from all respondents for inclusion of new functions, activities and record classes, we’re going to expand the GRDS. Some of you noted that agency/sector specific schedules should only cover those functions/activities that are unique and not duplicate those in the GRDS. You also asked for specific changes to record classes, and we’re now assessing and evaluating which requests can be included in the next version of the GRDS. We can’t incorporate all these changes at once so will be phasing changes in progressively.

More than half of you supported the idea of a unique numbering system, so we’re going to introduce this into the GRDS. A majority of you preferred a repetitive sequential numbering system where the number itself could be used as the record identifier for disposal. You also felt that version numbers could be removed with schedules structured around a set of active functions/activities/record classes. We are also currently researching other possible unique numbering options and are hoping to have something to share with you soon. There was also general support to introduce real-time GRDS updates.

More than 90% of you supported the adoption of consistent disposal triggers and you told us that triggers need to be more clearly defined. Also that there was difficulty linking these triggers to business processes and more implementation advice was needed. So, we’re looking at disposal triggers and will keep you posted.

But wait, there’s more! You had the option to let us know about unique impacts to your agency where some broad themes emerged.

For example, the use of different terminology and confusion in meanings were mentioned, so we’re looking at current record class distinctions to determine how to clarify criteria for Major/Moderate/Minor/Significant/Other classes.

Another theme involved functional/whole-of-government schedules, and you thought we could take a more whole-of-government approach, so we’re researching and exploring possibilities there.

Sentencing and disposal authorisation was another theme where advice was requested on delegation levels for sign off on destruction. You also mentioned difficulty implementing schedules in a variety of business systems. So we’re hoping to incorporate relevant advice on these two themes as part of our Recordkeeping SPOT – the Single Point of Truth, for all things recordkeeping.

We’ve even already implemented some of your suggestions, for example, adding bookmarks to the PDF format GRDSv7 for ease of navigation and publishing the appraisal log on our website.

All this great feedback means that, in addition to the release of a new version of the GRDS, we’re developing a broader program of work to look at the whole range of retention and disposal issues raised, which we’ll be commencing next year, so stay tuned for more on that.

Developing the next version of the GRDS

We are soon to start consultation on the next version and will be taking a phased approach to this.

We’ll commence through targeted meetings with subject matter experts and then follow with a full whole-of-government consultation. We’ll let you know more about our consultation approach through channels such as Yammer, the listerv & our website. We’ll also continue to release blogs, so look out for more opportunities to shape the future of retention and disposal for Queensland public agencies.

We have started a conversation and we’d like to continue talking with you. What are you thinking? Have you any questions or suggestions?

Remember, you can contact us at any time via email, telephone, blog, Twitter or Facebook on any of these issues.

^Please note: the GRDS Renewal project has finished. The new version of the GRDS was released on 1 September 2016.

Please note: This blog post refers to and contains links to our previous website. All QSA recordkeeping advice has moved to

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