Records Management Policy

Document Number000285
Date Approved11 September 2006

1.      Introduction

This policy seeks to ensure compliance with the conditions and  standards for record keeping and record management set down in State legislation and Australian Standards. Relevant New South Wales legislation includes, but is not limited to:

  • State Records Act 1998
  • Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998
  • Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002
  • Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA)
  • Electronic Transactions Act 2000
  • Evidence Act 1995
  • Limitations Act 1969
  • Public Finance and Audit Act 1983.

The relevant Australian Standard is: AS ISO15489

Records play a critical role within the University: documenting the  University’s transactions, providing evidence of its actions and decisions, and preserving its corporate memory – its principal source of continuity.  Effective records management and information systems support those functions and satisfy the necessary legal, administrative and audit requirements.

2.      Policy Intent

This policy identifies the principles which will govern the University's management of records. Those principles will ensure that records are created, protected and disposed of appropriately.

3.      Relevant Definitions

In this policy:

Business Unit means the smallest organisational grouping of the University responsible for discrete functions, processes or projects which generate, receive or maintain records.

Business Unit Manager means The designated person with direct responsibility for the day to day operation of the Business Unit (eg. Head of School, Director, or Manager or Coordinator).

record means information created, received and maintained as evidence and information in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business (as per AS ISO 15489.1 Records Management).

4.      Scope

This policy applies to any record in any format, created, received or maintained by University staff or anyone performing work on behalf of the University (including contractors and consultants), in the course of carrying out a University function or activity.

All staff, consultants and contractors performing work on behalf of the University must comply with the standards and procedures issued in accordance with this policy.

5.      Policy

5.1.     Records Management Program

5.1.1.       Records Management operations are to be carried out in accordance with centrally approved standards and procedures.

5.1.2.       The Records Management Program provides the formal standards and procedures which staff are required to adopt.

5.1.3.       Records management and information systems must: support business operations; cater for future expansion and needs; enable statutory and other accountability requirements to be met, and facilitate access to records-based information.

5.1.4.       Responsibility for the Records Management Program rests with Deputy Vice Chancellor (Services) advised by the Director Corporate Information.  The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Services) has the authority to set and issue standards and procedures in relation to records management and to monitor and audit compliance with those standards and procedures.

5.1.5.       Implementation of the Program is the responsibility of the Director Corporate Information, assisted by records management staff.

5.1.6.       Each Business Unit is responsible for making arrangements for managing the records relating to its functions, including allocating the necessary resources in line with University and statutory authority.

5.1.7.       Each Business Unit Manager is formally accountable for the effective management of the Unit’s records.

5.1.8.       Each member of staff is required to manage records in accordance with authorised procedures.

5.2.     Creation of Records

5.2.1.       All staff are obliged to create and maintain records which adequately document the business activities in which they take part.

5.2.2.       Records must be created which document: decisions and commitments (including oral decisions and telephone conversations), and decisions made at meetings and other events.

5.2.3.       The University will ensure that the information processing systems which support business activities will create appropriate records as part of supporting those activities.

5.3.     Protection of Records

5.3.1.       Under the State Records Act 1998, University records are State records. Staff must not alienate, relinquish control over, damage, alter or destroy records of the University of Newcastle without authorisation.

5.3.2.       Records must be appropriately maintained, stored and preserved for the period of retention.

5.3.3.       Regardless of format, records must be accessible over time.

5.3.4.       Staff are to handle records sensibly and with care and respect so as to prolong their life-span.

5.4.     Disposal and Destruction of Records

5.4.1.       Staff may destroy or dispose of records of the University of Newcastle only in accordance with the General Disposal Authorities (authorised by the State Records Authority) and the Guidelines on what constitutes normal administrative practice (Schedule 3, 1, State Records Regulation 2005).

5.4.2.       Staff who wish to initiate the disposal of records are required to contact the Records Management staff within the Corporate Information Unit  of the University.

6.      Essential Supporting Documents

 Guidelines on Creation of Records

 Guidelines for Managing Electronic Mail (Email)

 Guidelines on Record Retention and Disposal

 Other procedures and standards published periodically at

7.      Related Documents

State Records Act 1998

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998

Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA)

Electronic Transactions Act 2000

Evidence Act 1995

Limitations Act 1969

Public Finance and Audit Act 1983


Australian Standard  AS ISO15489

University Policies

Use of Computing and Communication Facilities

IT Security Policy,

Privacy Management Plan

Code of Conduct

Approval AuthorityVice-Chancellor
Date Approved11 September 2006
Date for Review1 January 2009
Policy ContactRecords Manager
Amendment History

Updated FOI to GIPA provisions, 28 September 2010.

Approved: April 1999