Disposal freezes for records
A disposal freeze overrides any earlier disposal authority given by the State Archivist for the relevant period. Freezes can be internal (issued by your agency's CEO or delegate) or issued by the State Archivist.
Disposal freezes are issued when it is necessary to temporarily stop the destruction of records (e.g. when records are required for legal proceedings or commissions of inquiry). They are issued for a set period of time, although they may be open ended if an end date can't be determined.
State Archivist issued disposal freeze
The State Archivist may issue a disposal freeze for a particular agency or for certain records. If this occurs, we will consult with impacted agencies and inform all relevant parties.
There are currently no disposal freezes for all public authorities issued by the State Archivist.
Check with your agency for internal freezes.
Internal agency disposal freezes
Before issuing an internal disposal freeze, undertake a risk assessment and/or seek legal advice to determine if one is needed and which records it should cover.
Check with your agency for internal freezes issued by your agency's CEO or delegate.
Note: The Commonwealth Government has established 2 new Royal Commissions that may require access to documents and records held by Queensland public authorities.
The State Archivist has written to agencies that may be affected and recommended that they:
- consider identifying potential records that may be of interest to the 2 Royal Commissions
- protecting identified records from destruction until the work of each Commission has been completed.
Your agency should consider whether an internal disposal freeze is required to temporarily suspend the disposal of these records.
For more information, see:
- Commonwealth Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
- Commonwealth Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
What to do if a disposal freeze is issued
If a disposal freeze is issued, either by the State Archivist or your agency's CEO, you are responsible for ensuring any records covered by the freeze are not destroyed during the freeze. They need to be retained by your agency until the freeze is lifted.
Records covered by a disposal freeze issued by the State Archivist do not need to be transferred to QSA.
It is every agency's responsibility to undertake their own detailed analysis of their legislative requirements, business activities and records holdings to identify affected records.
- identify which records are impacted by the freeze
- tell impacted employees of their obligations
- keep documentation to show that you have acted to prevent the destruction of affected records.
Note: Any physical source records that have been converted from a physical format to a microfilm or digital format and are subject to a disposal freeze cannot be destroyed whilst the freeze is in place, even if the other requirements in this disposal authorisation have been met. Disposal authorisation 2074 in the General Retention and Disposal Schedule (GRDS) for physical source records specifically excludes 'records subject to a disposal freeze'.
Disposal freeze for all records which are relevant to, or may become relevant to, an allegation of child sexual abuse.
The previous disposal freeze for all records which are relevant to, or may become relevant to, an allegation of child sexual abuse, issued by the State Archivist on 1 June 2018, was revoked on 27 March 2020 with the release of the:
- Guideline on creating and keeping records for the proactive protection of vulnerable persons
- Disposal authorisation for records relevant to the proactive protection of vulnerable persons in the General Retention and Disposal schedule (GRDS).
This disposal freeze was issued in response to recommendations arising from the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and covered all records relating to children.
Disposal freeze for official departmental copies of Executive Council Minutes
The previous disposal freeze concerning official departmental copies of Executive Council Minutes, issued by the State Archivist on 18 December 2015, was revoked on 1 September 2016. The State Archivist formally notified affected agencies of this revocation.