How to get ahead with recordkeeping… Acknowledgements: State Records NSW WorkCover NSW National Archives of Australia February 2010
Overview • Introduction • Understanding recordkeeping in NSW • Recordkeeping and you • Where to get help
What is a record? • A “record” is any document or other source of information compiled , recorded or stored in written form or on film, or by electronic process, or in any manner or by any other means. • A “state record” is any record made or kept, by any person in the course of the exercise of official functions in a public office, whether before or after the commencement of this section.
Why do we need records? • Evidence • Accountability • Decision-making • Memory
Who owns State records? • records do not belong to the individual • records are an asset of [name of public office] • information costs money - it’s an expensive resource so must be managed and used properly
NSW legislation • State Records Act 1998 • Privacy & Personal Information Protection Act 1998 • Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 • Electronic Transactions Act 2000
State Records Act 1998 Designed to: • ensure Government records are managed throughout their existence; • promote more efficient and accountable government through improved recordkeeping, and • provide better protection for an important part of the State’s cultural heritage.
Key requirements of State Records Act 1998 • All public offices must make and keep full and accurate records • All public offices must have a formal program for the management of records • Electronic records must be available/accessible for as long as they are needed • Records destruction is illegal without approval of State Records
Standards and codes of best practice • records management standards • Appraisal and disposal of State records • Digital recordkeeping • Counter disaster strategies for records and recordkeeping Systems • Full and accurate records • Managing a records management program • Physical storage of State records
General retention and disposal authorities • For example, those covering: • Administrative records • Imaged records • Local government records • Personnel records
Recordkeeping in [name of public office] • Good recordkeeping is important • Recordkeeping is part of all of our responsibilities • Newsflash – IT hasn’t solved all of our recordkeeping problems • Keep ahead of your recordkeeping
Recordkeeping and you  You should: • make records of what you do • put your records in the recordkeeping system • give your records a meaningful title • maintain corporate records
Recordkeeping and you  • You must not: • destroy, delete or alter corporate records without authority • remove corporate records without permission • lose records that are in your care • provide inappropriate access to restricted records
‘A stitch in time saves nine’ • Ensure consistency of information provided to external (and internal) clients • Improve efficiency by cutting down research time • Know what decisions were taken • Learn from previous activities – good and bad
When should you make a record? Make a record if you need to show: • what happened • what was decided or recommended • what advice or instruction was given • when it happened • who was involved • the order of events and/or decisions
Ask yourself these questions • Does it relate to my work? • Did I write or send it in the course of my work? • Am I required to act on it? • Is it external correspondence I have received? • Is it something I have used to do my work or to reach a decision? • If yes – make a record!
Meetings • Make a record of meetings where business decisions are made, including: • agenda (if any) • minutes of the meeting • any papers presented at the meeting
Oral communications • Make a record of work-related discussions where business decisions are made or directions are given, including: • phone calls • voice mail messages • conversations with your supervisor
Correspondence • Make a record of any internal or external correspondence you send or receive that relates to your work, or is referred to you for action • Don’t forget – this includes email.
File notes • Include: • your name and details of other parties involved • what was discussed or considered • what was decided or recommended • what advice or instruction was given • the date the discussion occurred • the date the note for file was made
Where should you keep records? • Keep corporate records in the recordkeeping system,NOT: • in your private store • on floppy disk drives • your computer hard drive • in networked folders!
Do you have to keep all records? Normal administrative practice allows for the disposal of information that is: • duplicated • unimportant • of short-term use e.g. junk mail that is not acted upon; duplicates of documents kept only for reference
Can anyone access our records? • Access can mean: • being able to find or retrieve records, and • the right to view corporate records • as a NSW public office employee • as a member of the public
Reasons to restrict access • confidential or sensitive material, eg protected, commercial in confidence • personal information, eg personnel records • caveats or restrictions for operational reasons
What is our records management program? • Records management policy – [Describe: sets out recordkeeping responsibilities of all staff] • Recordkeeping system/s – [Describe: could be records management software or paper filing system] • [Keyword thesaurus (or other language tool)] – use for titling files • Retention and disposal authority -prescribes retention periods for [public office] records - approved by State Records NSW
Where do you fit in? • Use the records systems • Follow the records procedures • Keep your user ID and password secret • Use the [thesaurus] to name and classify records • Keep records in authorised storage areas • Ask if you are not sure what to do
Where to go for help • <your records manager> • <phone number and email address> • <intranet or other source of recordkeeping information> • <State Records website www.records.nsw.gov.au>