Records Governance Policy – But what does this mean for me?

On 29 June 2018, we launched our brand new and shiny Records Governance Policy. We know that you all would have spent hours upon hours reading it (and its good friend, the Records Governance Implementation Guide) because what’s more exciting than a new policy about records management!

Despite this, you may still be wondering – okay, but what does this mean for me? Today’s blog post is about answering this question.

The Records Governance Policy replaces both Information Standard 31 (Retention and disposal of public records) and Information Standard 40 (Recordkeeping).

The new policy was designed to make records management simpler and easier with more flexibility for agencies of all sizes and inclinations.

We know how important and valuable records and their keepers are and this policy does too – by positioning records management at the heart of an agency’s core functions.

Below you’ll find a list of what’s changed (and what hasn’t) between the new Policy and the old Information Standards.

The New:

  • Focus on the flexible – The new Policy’s focus is on the what, not the how. How agencies meet the minimum requirements is now more flexible and scalable to meet their needs and resources.
  • Big picture thinking – Recordkeeping needs to be part of broader strategic planning and integrated into the agency’s governance framework and strategies.
  • Supportive – Forget recordkeeping for recordkeeping’s sake. Recordkeeping is about using records and the information they contain to achieve the agency’s strategic and operational goals.
  • Priorities, priorities – Though all records should be managed strategically, agencies must pay special attention to permanent, high-value and high-risk records.
  • Taking it up a notch – Formal records management responsibilities must sit with senior executives. This means the responsibility sits with those who have the power to institute top-down change.

The Old (what hasn’t changed):

  • The Public Records Act 2002 – just like the old Information Standards, the new Policy sits under the Public Records Act and forms part of regulatory framework for agencies
  • Disposal authorities – Agencies must still follow any applicable Disposal and Retention Schedules or other disposal authorities
  • Responsibility – Agencies must still assign formal records management responsibilities but now it must be to senior executive roles with the power to actively shape the information culture of an agency
  • Monitoring and compliance – Agencies must still monitor and measure their own records management performance but the focus is now on how records management helps to achieve the agency’s broader goals, not just compliance.

Still want more? Here’s something we prepared earlier – a factsheet on the changes, which steps through each Principle and Minimum requirement so you can see exactly what’s changed.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog as we unpack every element of this policy over the next few weeks.

Remember, you can contact us via email, telephone, blog, Twitter.

Government Recordkeeping


Featured image: Expo 88 crowds at the Vulture Street entrance, Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 1950, Copyright All rights reserved by Queensland State Archives


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