Understand the records governance policy

The Records Governance Policy (external) has replaced Information Standard 31: Retention and disposal of public records, and Information Standard 40: Recordkeeping. These information standards have been repealed.

Any references to IS31 and IS40 may be taken as a reference to the current Records Governance Policy if the context permits.

Read more about the changes and what they mean for your recordkeeping practices.

Records governance is how your agency approaches the management of records to meet your business needs and achieve your strategic goals.

Your records governance framework should be aligned with broader agency governance frameworks. It should also contain appropriate and fit-for-purpose records management tools that detail how records management will help your agency achieve its strategic goals.

1. What is the records governance policy?

The Records Governance Policy is a fit-for-purpose records and information governance policy that recognises the diversity of Queensland Government agencies with a flexible and simplified approach to records management.

The Records Governance Policy is the first part of the Queensland State Archives Recordkeeping Transformation Program (PDF, 95 KB), which aims to improve the standard of records and information management across government and instil greater confidence in the government’s ability to manage and value its records and information.

The Records Governance Policy aims to give you the opportunity to approach records management differently. It supports Queensland government agencies on their path to digital recordkeeping maturity and lift records management capability to a strategic level. Thinking about recordkeeping strategically will help your agency:

  • take full advantage of the value records can offer
  • enable the use and re-use of records in support of evidence-based decision making
  • achieve your strategic goals effectively and efficiently
  • find information more easily and when needed
  • obtain hindsight, insight and foresight from the records you create every day.

The Records Governance Policy is mandatory for all Queensland public authorities. It comprises 6 policy requirements:

  1. Agencies must ensure records management is supported at all levels of the business
  2. Agencies must systematically manage records using governance practices that are integrated and consistent with broader agency frameworks
  3. Agencies must create complete and reliable records
  4. Agencies must actively manage permanent, high-value and high-risk records and information as a priority
  5. Agencies must make records discoverable and accessible for use and re-use
  6. Agencies must dispose of records in a planned and authorised way.

It replaces the 9 principles from Information Standard 40: Recordkeeping (IS40) and Information Standard 31: Retention and disposal of public records (IS31).

For more information on the differences between the 2 standards and the new policy, see the What’s changed? The new records governance policy factsheet (PDF, 313 KB).

2. When do you need to be compliant with the policy by?

Agencies do not need to be compliant with the policy straight away.

The introduction of the Records Governance Policy will be followed by the Building Digital Capability – the Records Governance Policy Baseline Survey in late 2019. The survey is based on the Policy and its requirements and is designed to assess the level of recordkeeping maturity across all Queensland public authorities.

Your agency will be required to provide a response to the QSA survey which can be delegated to an authorised officer. The response provided will be the official response to the survey for your agency.

The results of the survey will be de-identified and published as part of QSA’s reporting process.

To get the most value out of the process it is in your agency’s interest to provide a complete, informed and accurate assessment of recordkeeping in your agency.

Results from the survey will help you assess your agency’s recordkeeping maturity, and will inform initiatives to build digital capability and for you to determine what areas of recordkeeping need improving.

Once we have the results of the survey, we will work with agencies to see where more support is needed.

The survey will be repeated annually to help track the progress of your agency and across government towards recordkeeping maturity.

3. How to meet the requirements

Every agency works in a different context with different strategic goals, meaning they each have different recordkeeping needs.

There is no one way for agencies to meet the Records Governance Policy - how you decide to meet the requirements needs to be based on:

These considerations will shape the records you create, how you manage them and what you use them for.

For more guidance on how to meet your obligations and examples of what this can look like, look at the information provided in the implementation guideline.

Current advice will be updated to support and align with the new policy. We will continue to develop our resources as time goes on.

4. Case studies

The following case studies recognise and promote good recordkeeping practice. These examples demonstrate practical and innovative approaches to meeting legislative and policy responsibilities, and achieving the business benefits of good information management.

We welcome contributions from government agencies about successful recordkeeping projects. To share your experiences, email a completed case study proposal form (DOCX, 148 KB) to rkqueries@archives.qld.gov.au.

5. Resources