About MOG and administrative changes

Most government agencies will be affected by a machinery-of-government (MOG) or administrative change.

The recordkeeping implications and issues you need to consider will vary depending on the type of change.

Most changes will usually be enabled by legislation or other legal instrument, although outsourcing may be a business decision.

The legislation or legal instrument should provide information on what type of change is occurring and what functions or activities are involved. It may also provide instructions for the transfer of specific public records.

Where possible, arrange for recordkeeping considerations and responsibilities to be included in the legislation or legal instrument enabling the change.

What you need to do

You should:

  • find out exactly what type of change is occurring and how (e.g. in legislation, admin arrangement orders)
  • treat the recordkeeping transition as a separate project to the change as a whole
  • form an implementation team to focus on the transition and consider recordkeeping, IT and logistics issues–you may need to select a lead agency to coordinate the change
  • consider and address recordkeeping implications and processes early–it will require due consideration, planning, governance and decision making from management
  • make sure senior management understand the implications, complexity and decision-making that will be required
  • make sure all agencies involved in the change are involved in the planning stages, especially if records are to be transferred to another agency
  • review your existing recordkeeping processes to see what you can do to make the transfer of records easier
  • consult the IT sections of all agencies to ensure IT related issues and requirements are identified early, and that digital records and systems are transferred or migrated correctly, and that work is not duplicated across multiple agencies
  • ensure all agencies involved agree on how records should be transferred, managed, and accessed, and any custody arrangements or responsibilities
  • include relevant recordkeeping provisions in your MOG or administrative change agreement
  • identify and prepare all records involved for transfer–including any issues that may affect their management or transfer.

See the MOG and administrative change checklist (PDF, 306 KB) to help ensure you complete all necessary activities.

Regardless of the type of change, remember that:

  • all public records are owned either by the state or local government
  • all public authorities impacted by a MOG or administrative change are still required to comply with the Public Records Act 2002
  • your agency is still legally responsible for your records and your recordkeeping responsibilities remain the same, however responsibility for managing records and their ongoing custody may change
  • records must continue to be created, managed, accessible, and retained for their full retention period–before, during and after the change
  • records cannot be sold, given or transferred to a private organisation or other jurisdiction without authorisation
  • you need to document actions involving records, including migration, moving, sentencing, transfer or destruction.

Find out about the different types of MOG and administrative changes and what you need to do.

Toolkit for an administrative or MOG change

Every administrative and MOG change shares 4 main stages.

Use the workflows and supporting advice for each stage to help you plan and manage each stage of the change.

Note: These workflows are a guide only—your agency may have additional steps depending on the situation and the type of change.

Stage 1–Find out what’s happening

Stage 1 covers learning what type of MOG or administrative change is occurring, how it will happen, the legal requirements, and the impact on your agency and its records.

Stage 1 workflow (PDF, 702 KB)

Supporting advice:

Stage 2–Identify the records and prepare them for transfer

Stage 2 is about identifying all the records involved and determining how they should be transferred and managed to ensure they remain complete and reliable records during and after the change.

Stage 2 workflow (PDF, 707 KB)

Supporting advice:

Stage 3–Plan and draft an agreement

Stage 3 will help you and other agencies involved agree how to manage records.

It includes various recordkeeping considerations that you need to think about and may need to include in a formal agreement.

Stage 3 workflow (PDF, 718 KB)

Supporting advice:

Stage 4–Transfer the records and finalise the change

Stage 4 covers the actual transfer of records to another agency or organisation, documenting the change and updating your recordkeeping system.

Stage 4 workflow (PDF, 590 KB)

Supporting advice:

More information

Tools, forms and templates

Guidelines and advice

Tools and templates


The following guidance and publications were used in the development of the machinery of government and administrative change toolkit.