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Digitise and dispose of records

See the key considerations when assessing whether or not to digitise records.

Destruction of physical records after digitisation

You cannot destroy original records that have been successfully digitised if they have a permanent or agency permanent retention period in a current retention and disposal schedule.

Any original records with a permanent retention period can be transferred to QSA following digitisation. Original records with an ‘agency permanent’ retention period must be kept by your agency in addition to the digitised version. 

Only original records listed as temporary in a current retention and disposal schedule can be destroyed after digitisation.

The Digitisation Disposal Policy (PDF, 198 KB) sets out the high level principles for digitising and destroying original records.

You must meet 3 key principles if you want to destroy paper records after digitisation:

  1. Records being digitised must be of temporary value, sentenced under a current and approved retention and disposal schedule and not subject to a disposal freeze (seek advice from QSA about records created before 1950).
  2. You must complete a risk assessment process. Risks will generally be based on ongoing legal or business requirements (consult with your agency’s legal area). Only records with a low risk rating are eligible for destruction.
  3. You must keep the digitised records in a well-managed system with recordkeeping functionality for as long as required. You must also have processes in place that will support the admissibility of digitised records in legal proceedings.

Before records are destroyed, your agency’s CEO or authorised delegate must sign the Compliance Declaration (DOC, 419 KB) to confirm that your agency meets the policy requirements. You’ll need to keep this declaration permanently.

Paper records that have been successfully digitised can be destroyed under the General Retention and Disposal Schedule for Original Paper Records that have been Digitised.

The Digitisation Disposal Toolkit

Use this toolkit to help you meet the digitisation disposal principles.