Provide access to restricted records

People can ask your agency for access to restricted records in QSA's custody.

Your CEO (or authorised delegate) can authorise particular individuals to access records still subject to a Restricted Access Period (under s.18(2) of the Public Records Act 2002).

Where access to a record is restricted, the item description for that record on the QSA catalogue (ArchivesSearch) will state that access to the record is through the responsible agency (excluding records where the item description is also closed).

Individuals can request access to restricted records in the custody of QSA under s18 of the Public Records Act 2002.

If an individual wishes to access a restricted record, they can send an email request to your agency's authorised delegate (or CEO) through ArchivesSearch.

Note: This request is automatically sent to the nominated email address provided in the delegation form (DOCX, 160 KB) .

The delegate must then assess the request and decide to either grant or deny permission to access the records.

This process is separate to a Right to Information or Information Privacy application.

Your CEO or authorised delegate is responsible for deciding whether to grant access to restricted records. When assessing a request, consider the following factors:

  • Who made the access request–a member of the public, academic, or government employee?
  • Why they made the request–family history purposes, academic purposes, to complete work on behalf of the Queensland Government?
  • What type of record(s) is included?
  • Does it cover a single record or many records?
  • When does the RAP expire?
  • Do the record(s) include personal information?
    • Does the record refer to the individual applying for access?
    • Does the record refer to person(s) other than the individual applying for access?
    • Does the record contain culturally sensitive information, or information about a health or criminal matter?
  • Does the person intend to publish information from the record(s)?
  • Would the release of the information breach other legislative provisions, for example the Youth Justice Act 1992 or the Adoption Act 2009?

Consider consulting with the relevant business areas to learn more about the requested information.

You can review the contents of the records before making an access decision. Records can be viewed in our Reading Room, or provided through our File Issue service.

Note: Metadata that contains personal or confidential information (e.g. author details) can be removed from the copy supplied to the requestor by your agency if necessary. Information should only be removed from a copy of a record, not the original source record.

Your CEO (or authorised delegate) must complete an access to restricted records (DOCX, 134 KB) form when granting or denying individuals access to restricted records at QSA.

A separate form is required for each person requesting access.

On the form, you must include:

  • whether access is granted or denied
  • the relevant QSA item or series ID(s)
  • the full name of the person getting access.

If access is granted, also include:

  • a date range for when the requestor can access the restricted records–this cannot exceed 1 year
  • whether or not the applicant is allowed to make or order copies of the records
  • any specific requirements, such as the presence of an agency staff member or that no notes may be taken.

Once the access decision has been made, your agency will need to:

  • notify the requestor of the outcome of the decision and, if access is granted, advise where they can see the records
  • email the completed form to
    Note: it is important to email QSA as soon as possible as the form needs to be processed and delegate details verified before the requestor arrives at QSA.

If you grant access to records at QSA, you must email the access to restricted records (DOCX, 134 KB) form to

When the requestor arrives, our staff will check whether a signed form has been received from your agency.

If a form has been received, they will be able to view the relevant records in our Reading Room under the supervision of the reference archivist on duty. You can also specify if you require a supervising officer from your agency.

Reading Room requests for restricted records in ArchivesGateway

If you are submitting a Reading Room request for restricted records through ArchivesGateway, the person accessing the records must have permission to access these records.

The access to restricted records form (DOCX, 134 KB) must be completed and submitted to QSA at least 1 week before the intended visit.

This form must be completed for anyone in your agency that does not currently have access or anyone in another agency that requires access to these records.

Ensure you include the details of the person requesting the records in the Reading Room request form in ArchivesGateway using the comments/discussion feature.

Anyone requesting to view restricted records in the Reading Room at QSA will need to show their government ID to QSA staff before they will be allowed to view the records.

See the reading room request training video and user guide for further information and steps on how to submit a request.

If you want the requestor to view records at your agency, you can request the record(s) through the File Issue service.

Keep a record of your agency's decision to provide access.

This record should include, at a minimum:

  • the name of the individual (and organisation if relevant) to whom access is granted
  • the details of the record(s) to which access was granted
  • how access was provided (e.g. supervised on the public authority's own premises or through the provision of copies)
  • the date of access
  • the name, position title and signature of the authorised officer who granted permission.

If you choose to provide access to the original record at your agency, it is essential that the access is supervised at all times.

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