Records Management

For appropriate records and archives management each public sector organisation must:

  • keep full and accurate records of its activities and operations;
  • implement practices and procedures to safeguard the custody and ensure proper preservation of its records;
  • implement practices and procedures for managing its records that are necessary for compliance with relevant records management standards; and
  • make arrangements for the Archives Service to monitor the management of its records.

Amendments to Part 9 of the Act in May 2009 provided for records management to be divided into 'Records functions' and 'Archives functions'.

Records functions

The Department of Corporate and Digital Development is responsible for the Records Service, which has the following records functions:

  • to prepare, promote and monitor compliance with records standards;
  • to facilitate and promote policy and systems to enable cost effective compliance with records standards;
  • to provide advice (including training) to enable compliance with records standards; and
  • to facilitate the preparation of records retention and disposal schedules.

The Records Service must prepare standards for managing records (other than archives and permanent records). The standards deal with topics such as the creation, maintenance, security and disposal of records.

The Information Commissioner and other relevant organisations are consulted as part of the preparation of each standard and the final standards are approved by the Minister. Standards must be reviewed once every three years and the latest standards were published in August 2010.

Visit the DCDD website

Archives functions

The Department of Tourism and Culture is responsible for Northern Territory Archives Service (NTAS).  The Archives Service has responsibility for the following archives functions:

  • to appraise records;
  • to collect, transfer and preserve archives and permanent records;
  • to to provide access to Territory Archives;
  • to maintain a register of records retention and disposal schedules;
  • to prepare, promote and monitor compliance with archives standards; and
  • to provide advice (including training) to enable compliance with archives standards.

The Archives Service must prepare standards for managing archives and permanent records (whether those records are in the custody of the Archives Service or not) and these standards are also approved by the Minister. The matters that must be dealt with in the standards iinclude, but are not limited to, the topics listed above, the transfer of permanent records from a public sector organisation to the Archives Service and preservation formats for digital records (including archives).

There are a number of offences relating to mishandling of government records, including inappropriate alteration, damaging or disposing of records (see sections 145 - 148 of the Information Act).

If you want to find out more about the records and archives management provisions or view the records management standards, visit the Northern Territory Archive Service website.