Find out about recordkeeping roles and responsibilities

Staff need to be aware of their recordkeeping roles and responsibilities.

Responsibilities may be determined by legislation or assigned to a position by the agency itself.

When developing or reviewing your agency’s records governance framework, you will need to determine who will use the framework, who will manage it and how each will do so.

Consider how roles and responsibilities are currently organised and what changes to your framework may support what you are seeking to achieve. Remember that there are limits to how roles and responsibilities may change.

The following roles will usually have the responsibilities described below.

1. The State Archivist and Queensland State Archives

The State Archivist oversees Queensland State Archives and is responsible for administering the Public Records Act 2002 (the Act).

The Act provides the State Archivist with specific responsibilities including:

  • to develop and promote efficient and effective methods, procedures and systems for making, managing, keeping, storing, disposing of, preserving and using public records
  • to identify public records of enduring value and require that they be retained in a useable form, whether or not they are in the custody of the archives
  • to make decisions about the disposal of public records
  • to manage, keep and preserve records for public authorities and other entities
  • to provide public access to public records
  • to conduct research and give advice about the making, managing, keeping and preserving of public records.

2. Ministers and assistant ministers

Ministers and assistant ministers will make and keep complete and reliable records of activities related to their ministerial portfolio responsibilities or assistant minister duties.

The Ministerial records policy (PDF, 504 KB) establishes how ministers, assistant ministers and ministerial staff can fulfil their recordkeeping responsibilities by:

  • being aware of and fulfilling their recordkeeping obligations under the Act.
  • making full and accurate ministerial records
  • keeping all ministerial records for as long as they are lawfully required to be kept.

See the Queensland Ministerial HandbookQueensland Parliament procedures - Code of ethical standards and CAARA Policy 24 - Social Media Records of Ministers for information on other ministerial responsibilities. See also advice from the Office of the Information Commissioner on documents of a minister.

3. Mayors, councillors and council employees

The Local Government Act 2009 requires mayors and councillors to comply with all laws that apply to local government. This includes the recordkeeping requirements of the Public Records Act 2002.

Mayors, councillors and council employees create public records as part of their roles. Any records that a mayor, councillors or council employees create will be public records if they relate to the:

  • administration of council business
  • responsibilities of the mayor, councillors or council employees under the Local Government Act 2009.

These records will need to be managed as public records by the council.

A council’s CEO is responsible for ensuring their council complies with its recordkeeping obligations.

The joint QSA and Crime and Corruption Commission guideline on council records (PDF), establishes how elected council officials, as well as CEOs and council employees, can fulfil their recordkeeping responsibilities by:

  • being aware of and fulfilling their recordkeeping obligations under the Act
  • making full and accurate public records
  • keeping public records for as long as they are lawfully required to be kept.

For more information on the responsibilities of elected members of council and managing records, see:

4. Chief Executives

Chief executives are required to:

  • ensure recordkeeping is included in business processes
  • provide resources to maintain your recordkeeping system
  • promote and support a positive recordkeeping culture
  • endorse the disposal of records
  • set restricted access periods for records held in the custody of QSA.

The CEO can also delegate certain authorisations.

Find out more about delegating authorisations (PDF, 113 KB).

Resources for CEOs

5. Managers

Managers are required to:

  • ensure all employees are aware of recordkeeping policies and procedures
  • assign recordkeeping responsibilities to the right people
  • ensure recordkeeping processes support business processes–this means making sure recordkeeping is built into your processes
  • ensure there is no unauthorised disposal of records–this means ensuring that disposal is in accordance with an authorised retention and disposal schedule.

6. Employees

All public service employees are required to:

  • comply with recordkeeping policies and procedures
  • create and capture records of work activities
  • secure records from unauthorised access
  • ensure there is no unauthorised disposal of records–find out who is responsible for endorsing the destruction of records in your agency.

See also public records in private accounts and recordkeeping requirements when using mobile and smart devices

7. Records managers/records teams (if applicable)

If your agency has a dedicated records manager or records team, they are required to:

  • establish and manage a recordkeeping system
  • identify business recordkeeping requirements
  • ensure recordkeeping training is provided to all employees
  • coordinate the disposal of records in accordance with approved retention and disposal schedules
  • ensure appropriate access to records (e.g. through control, storage).

Your agency may have a centralised records and/or information management team responsible for major recordkeeping tasks (e.g. creating files, registering documents, managing access and security). If this is the case, you will need to clearly communicate this to all staff. Staff remain responsible for creating and keeping records of their work.

Find out about recordkeeping responsibilities as part of the strategies to prevent corruption.

8. Third party and shared service providers

Third party and shared service providers conducting or providing a government function on behalf of your agency will create, receive and manage public records.

Your agency remains legally responsible for these records, and you need to ensure you can continue to meet your responsibilities even though the records are not in your agency’s custody.

You can delegate responsibility to endorse the disposal or transfer of records to a position within the service provider.

Find out more about outsourcing arrangements, external, third party and shared service providers.

9. Key roles

The Records governance policy requires agencies to assign formal records management responsibilities to key roles within the business to monitor and support the active implementation of the policy.

A key role can be any position that is able to monitor and support the implementation of the policy. It can be multiple positions, for example, a governance board or committee.

The key role should:

  • be familiar with the Records governance policy
  • act as a champion for the policy as well as recordkeeping maturity
  • gather support to help them with the policy
  • lead the determination of what changes are needed to ensure compliance with the policy
  • collaborate with or enable collaboration between different units to achieve records management aims
  • communicate with other parts of the agency to educate on, and obtain buy in, for records management changes
  • allocate or advocate for the allocation of resources for records management projects and objectives
  • report on records management to the executive
  • ensure any delegations are appropriate and regularly review the delegations.

More information about key roles can be found on the Records Connect blog post unlocking your agency's recordkeeping with key roles.

10. Delegating authorisations

In your agency, the CEO can delegate authorisation to:

Delegations should be to people with the appropriate skills, knowledge and authority.

Destruction or transfer of records


  • can only come from the CEO
  • can be to an appropriate position or a named officer
  • can be to an appropriate external position if a service provider manages records on your behalf–for more information see machinery-of-government changes
  • cannot be sub-delegated–this means a delegate cannot give responsibility to someone else.

You do not need to inform QSA if you have chosen to delegate responsibilities around the destruction or transfer of records.

Restricted access periods and authorised access


  • can only come from the CEO
  • can be to a position within your agency (preferred) or to a named officer
  • can be to an appropriate external position or person if a service provider manages records on your behalf–for more information see machinery-of-government changes
  • can include setting or changing RAPs and/or approving access to restricted records held at QSA
  • can be included when delegating responsibilities for endorsing the disposal or transfer of records
  • are established through the public records access delegation of authority form (DOCX, 160 KB)
  • cannot be sub-delegated–this means a delegate cannot give responsibility for setting RAPs or approving access to someone else.

The CEO always retains these powers and does not need to complete the form except to provide a preferred email address for requests.

All access requests will be sent to the CEO if an authorised delegate is not nominated.

You can provide a preferred contact point (e.g. generic email address) in the relevant section of the public records access delegation of authority form (DOCX, 160 KB). Requests from members of the public to access closed records will be sent to this email address. If more than one address is provided, requests will be sent to each address.

Note: It is recommended that a generic email address be used as requests to access records are automatically sent to this address from ArchivesSearch.

There is no expiry date for these delegations, however, if nominated positions or people change, you must complete a new form and forward it to QSA and your agency's ArchivesGateway Senior Agency Administrator (SAA) who will update the delegation details recorded in ArchivesGateway.

Delegations to set or change restricted access periods or to approve access to restricted records must be recorded in ArchivesGateway.

If your agency does not have a SAA, delegations nominated through this form will be applied to the relevant positions or users in ArchivesGateway by QSA.

Find out more about user and permission levels in ArchivesGateway.

More information

Information on delegating responsibilities can be found in s27 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954.

See more about delegating recordkeeping responsibilities (PDF, 113 KB).

11. Communicating roles and responsibilities

Practical ways of communicating roles and responsibilities include:

  • developing and communicating a recordkeeping policy
  • training and awareness–including training programs, employee inductions and regular communications
  • incorporating recordkeeping responsibilities into position descriptions
  • defining recordkeeping responsibilities in contracts and related documents
  • incorporating responsibilities in performance development planning.

12. Resources