Question: Can I use a standing endorsement for source records disposal?
This has been a popular question since Disposal authorisation 2074 Physical source records was approved under the General Retention and Disposal Schedule (GRDS)!
The short answer is yes, but let’s dig a little deeper.
What can standing endorsements be used for?
Standing endorsements can be a good way to streamline your internal disposal approval processes in certain circumstances. They allow your CEO or authorised delegate to approve the disposal of a specific group of records for a set period of time, without requiring approval each time the records become eligible for disposal.
Depending on the records in question, a standing endorsement may cover records that have reached their minimum required retention period, or it may cover the disposal of source records that have been converted to another format but have not yet reached their required retention period.
A general standing endorsement can be used to cover records that have reached their minimum required retention period under an approved retention and disposal schedule and are no longer required for business or legal purposes. Low risk, high volume records such as timesheets and leave applications are usually good candidates for a general standing endorsement.
Standing endorsement for source records disposal after digitisation
In the case of physical source records disposal, the original hardcopy record is disposed of before it has reached its minimum required retention period under an approved retention and disposal schedule and the digitised version of the source record is managed as the official record for its required retention period.
Only eligible source records can be disposed of, once certain conditions have been met (e.g. records must have a temporary retention period). One of the conditions is the development of a defensible process that demonstrates how your agency meets the requirements and conditions of GRDS disposal authorisation 2074, including details of the records you have identified as eligible for disposal after conversion. The defensible process must be approved by your CEO or authorised delegate, and this approval acts as a standing endorsement of disposal of the records covered under your defensible process.
The final disposal of the records still needs to be completed using a method that is appropriate to the format and security classification of the records, and the disposal documented in a disposal log or similar.
Benefits of standing endorsements
A key benefit of standing endorsements is that internal approval does not need to be sought each time the records covered under the standing endorsement become eligible for disposal, whether that’s through reaching their required retention period or meeting the conditions and requirements of disposal authorisation 2074.
However, standing endorsements should only be used to cover specific records for a set period of time. This allows agencies to regularly review their internal business and legislative requirements and ensure the standing endorsement allows them to meet these requirements.
You can find more information, including templates at the below resources:
- How to destroy records
- Delegating authorisations
- Digitise records
- Dispose of source records guideline
- Managing low-risk, low-value records
- Risks from converting, migrating and digitising records
- Let us be upstanding for endorsements blog post
- Defending your defensible process blog post
- Sample memo of disposal approval
- Sample destruction log
- Sample certificate of destruction