State Records Act review – preserving our past for posterity

Glacial Rocks below the summit of Mount Kosciusko, N.D. NSW State Archives Collection.

Create NSW with the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation is reviewing the State Records Act 1998 to ensure it continues to support government and satisfy the needs of the community.

While supporting the creation, management and protection of records of NSW public offices and public access to records, the Act also establishes the State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales (SARA) and the SARA Board.

SARA oversees a large collection of historical documents, imagery, film and more, that gives modern day researchers and family historians invaluable insights into the State’s social and cultural past.

Create NSW Deputy Secretary Alex O’Mara said consultation with important stakeholders would be central to the review’s success.

“Commencing this month, the review’s project team will gather information from a range of representative advisory groups to develop and then publish an issues paper,” Ms O’Mara said.

“A second comprehensive and State-wide consultation process will follow during the year to inform a final report on findings that will go to the NSW Government proposing important enhancements to these laws.”

Phase one: information gathering
February – March 2019

Phase two: state-wide consultation
May – June 2019

Report of findings to NSW Government Q3 2019

The review will consider the following terms of reference:

  • Enacting a principles-based regulatory framework for recordkeeping and archiving in NSW, and complementarity of interaction with related government initiatives in areas such as information management, open data and privacy, to support government accountability and integrity.
  • Responsibilities for recordkeeping and information management and ensuring compliance with recordkeeping obligations within a contemporary archives context.
  • Opportunities to promote digital government and to future proof recordkeeping and archiving as new technologies emerge
  • Public access to records identified as having enduring value as State Archives.
  • How the Act can support the use of State Archives in telling the story of NSW since European settlement.
  • Governance and organisational arrangements for the cultural role of State Archives, for recordkeeping and archiving in NSW public offices and whether a statutory authority and a Board should continue to administer the Act, including operating and funding models.
  • Any other matters as determined by the Steering Committee.
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Published: 28 February 2019