State Records Act 1998 No 17
Part 2 Records management responsibilities of public offices
9 Application of Part to Governor, Parliament and courts
(1) This Part does not apply to the following persons, or to the State records for which they are responsible, except as may be provided by agreement between the person and the Authority:(a) the Governor acting in the Governor’s vice-regal capacity,(b) the Houses of Parliament,(c) a court or tribunal, in respect of the court’s or tribunal’s judicial functions.(2) The Authority may enter into agreements for the purposes of this section providing for the application (with or without specified modifications) of any of the provisions of this Part to those persons and their records.Note.Section 5 should be referred to to understand how this Part applies to State collecting institutions.
10 Chief executives to ensure compliance with Act
The chief executive of each public office has a duty to ensure that the public office complies with the requirements of this Act and the regulations and that the requirements of this Act and the regulations with respect to State records that the public office is responsible for are complied with.
11 Obligation to protect records
(1) Each public office must ensure the safe custody and proper preservation of the State records that it has control of.(2) A public office must ensure that arrangements under which a State record that it has control of but that is in the possession or custody of some other person include arrangements for the safe keeping, proper preservation and due return of the record.(3) A public office must take all reasonable steps to recover a State record for which the public office is responsible and that the public office does not have control of, unless the record is under the control of the Authority or of some other person with lawful authority.
12 Records management obligations
(1) Each public office must make and keep full and accurate records of the activities of the office.(2) Each public office must establish and maintain a records management program for the public office in conformity with standards and codes of best practice from time to time approved under section 13.(3) The Authority may permit such departures from the requirements of the standards and codes as it considers necessary or desirable to accommodate the particular needs of a public office or class of public offices.(4) Each public office must make arrangements with the Authority for the monitoring by the Authority of the public office’s records management program and must report to the Authority, in accordance with arrangements made with the Authority, on the implementation of the public office’s records management program.
13 Standards and codes of best practice for records management
(1) The Authority may from time to time approve standards and codes of best practice for records management by public offices. Records management extends to include all aspects of the making, keeping and disposal of records.(2) The Authority is not to approve of a standard or code of best practice unless the Board has approved of the standard or code.(3) The Authority is to consult with public offices on any proposed standards or codes under this section. It is sufficient consultation if the Authority gives notice in the Gazette of the availability of any proposed standards and codes and invites submissions on them.(4) The Authority is to keep under review the standards and codes for the time being approved under this section.(5) The Authority is to notify its approval of a standard or code by notice published in the Gazette.
14 Obligation to maintain accessibility to equipment/technology dependent records
(1) If a record is in such a form that information can only be produced or made available from it by means of the use of particular equipment or information technology (such as computer software), the public office responsible for the record must take such action as may be necessary to ensure that the information remains able to be produced or made available.(2) This section applies only while the public office has control of the record or has the record in its custody or possession under an agreement with the Authority.Note.A public office can comply with this section in a number of ways, such as by “migration” of existing records into new technology, creating records or copies of records using technology that outlasts technological change, or by retaining existing technology. The Authority can provide guidance on how to comply with this section.
15 Authority entitled to access to records
A public office must give the Authority and the Authority’s officers such access to State records that the public office has control of as may be reasonably necessary for the purpose of enabling the Authority to monitor compliance by the public office with the requirements of this Act and the regulations.
16 Chief executive in special cases
(1) The Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet is the chief executive of the following public offices for the purposes of this Act:(a) the Cabinet,(b) the Executive Council,(c) a Royal Commission or Special Commission of Inquiry.(2) The regulations may provide that the holder of a specified office is the chief executive of a specified public office for the purposes of this Act.
17 Disputes between Authority and public offices
(1) If there is a dispute between the Authority and a public office concerning the operation of this Act and the parties have after reasonable efforts been unable to resolve the dispute themselves, either party may request a review of the matter by the responsible Ministers (namely, the Minister responsible for the Authority and the Minister responsible for the public office concerned).(2) If the same Minister is responsible for both the Authority and the public office concerned, the review is to be by that Minister.(3) There is to be no review under this section of a decision of the Authority to give or withhold permission for, or to approve of a practice or procedure involving, the taking of any action referred to in section 21 (Protection measures).(4) If the dispute is not resolved by the responsible Ministers or Minister, the dispute is to be referred to the Premier or to such other Minister as the Premier may designate in a particular case.(5) The Authority and the public office are to give effect to any direction given by a Minister or the Premier in resolution of the dispute.
18 Special arrangements for public offices exercising inter-government functions
(1) If a public office has inter-government functions, the Authority may enter into an agreement with the public office making provision for the rights and obligations of the public office with respect to the making, keeping, protection and control of and access to such of its records as relates to those functions.(2) Any such agreement may, for the purpose of enabling the agreement to be given effect to, exclude or modify the operation of any of the provisions of Parts 2, 4 and 6 in their application to records to which the agreement applies, and this Act has effect in respect of any such records in accordance with the agreement.(3) In this section:inter-government functions means functions exercised by a public office under a law, or under an agreement or other arrangement between governments, that provides for the exercise of functions by the public office jointly or in co-operation with a public body of another State, a Territory or the Commonwealth.
19 Records storage facilities and other services
(1) The Authority can provide services (including assistance, advice and training) in all areas of records management, including creation, scheduling, storage and disposal.(2) In particular, the Authority can establish and maintain (either alone or jointly with others) repositories and other facilities for the care, management, use and servicing of State archives and other State records.(3) The services provided by the Authority:(a) can be provided on a commercial basis, and(b) can be provided in respect of records of any kind (whether or not they are State records), and(c) can be provided to any person (whether or not a public office), and(d) can be provided within and outside the State, including outside Australia.(4) The Authority can accredit repositories and other facilities provided by other persons (including any public office) for the purpose of their use for the care, management and servicing of State archives and other State records.
20 Reports by Authority about compliance
(1) The Authority may report to the Minister responsible for a public office any failure by the public office to comply with the requirements of this Act or the regulations or any other matter of concern to the Authority with regard to the public office’s obligations under this Act or the regulations.(2) The Authority can include in its annual report under the Annual Reports (Statutory Bodies) Act 1984 a report of any incidences of failure by public offices to comply with the requirements of this Act or the regulations.