Keep and manage records examples

Request to change a record class

A new policy decision on the zoning of school bus services has been implemented by the Public Transport Department. The department has a current retention and disposal schedule, QDAN888, which was approved after 1 September 2016 and includes a record class for school bus service areas.

Following the change in policy, the class scope needs to be expanded and the disposal action requires reappraisal. Previously, Lily would place an internal disposal freeze on these records until QDAN888 was scheduled for a comprehensive review. Now Lily submits an Application to amend/create a record class to the QSA Government Recordkeeping team to request that they amend the record class for school bus service areas.

Lily works with the Appraisal Archivists from Government Recordkeeping to appraise the records and draft a new class. Following the authorisation of the class by the State Archivist, a new disposal authorisation number is issued that supersedes the previous one for school bus service areas.

Lily implements the amended record class within her recordkeeping system by replacing the previous number with the new disposal authorisation. Lily also notes that the changes to the record class have been published in a QSA change history table by QSA, and QDAN888 has been amended.

Note: If QDAN888 had been approved before 1 September 2016, the entire schedule would have been renumbered to align with the new disposal authorisation numbering, even though only one record class was reviewed. This will assist you to update record classes in future.

Assess records to determine their retention period

Fred works for an agency that assesses development applications in state development areas. He is drafting a retention and disposal schedule, and wants to work out how long his agency should keep certain types of records. When he talks to his business manager, she says her unit sometimes looks at records that are up to 10 years old to answer queries about land use approvals.

Fred then looks at the Limitation of Actions Act 1974 and can see that the records might be needed for legal action which can happen up to 12 years after an event. When Fred looks more closely at the records and what they cover, he can see that they might be needed to understand how decisions about significant environmental changes were made.

Fred thinks these records might be important to people outside his own agency as they show how the land has been used. This may impact the health and well-being of Queensland communities. Fred looks at QSA’s Appraisal Statement (PDF, 697 KB) and sees that the records fit under various criteria for keeping records permanently. Fred writes this up in his appraisal log and sends it to QSA to be reviewed.

Update a recordkeeping system when a disposal authorisation changes

Previously, when a new version of the GRDS was released, Bill always imported the full schedule into his agency recordkeeping applications. Even though importing a new GRDS took his team months to complete, he knew all records would be sentenced against the latest disposal authority.

Now that changes to the GRDS are authorised at record class level, Bill only makes changes within his agency recordkeeping applications to individual classes that have changed or imports a class when a new one is authorised. He no longer needs to import the full GRDS each time a change occurs.

Resentence records when a disposal authorisation changes.

Molly is preparing records for destruction. She previously recorded the record class number, QDAN and QDAN version number on the agency destruction approval form. Molly now uses the relevant disposal authorisation number as the unique identifier on the form. Molly finds this is faster when preparing records for destruction as she easily searches QSA’s change history table (XLS, 41 KB) for amendments to a disposal authorisation.

Use the GRDS Lite

Katie is sentencing research records for her local government. She knows that in the GRDS she needs to keep significant research permamently but other research and short-term research only need to be kept for 5 years and 2 years respectively under classes 1047 and 1048. To streamline her disposal process, Katie sentences the significant research under 1046 of the GRDS and all other research under 1288 in the GRDS Lite. This means Katie can destroy all other and short-term research records in bulk at the same time rather than at different times.

When can I create an implementation version of a schedule?

Katie works in a local government, which creates diverse records supporting lots of different business activities.

She sees that some records made by corporate areas support the local government, like HR or finance. Other records are made by business areas unique to local governments like collecting rubbish or dog registrations.

When Katie looks at the available schedules, she sees the General Retention and Disposal Schedule can be used for her corporate records and the Local Government Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule can be used for sentencing records that are only created by local governments.

Katie decides to sentence her records using:

To make life easy, she merges the 3 schedules together to make a business version so that she only has to implement 1 schedule into her recordkeeping system.

Use a business classification scheme (BCS) mapping tool to help sentence records

In Molly’s agency, the Keyword AAA thesaurus has been used as the basis for their file classification scheme for administrative records.

She wants to find a retention period for records of a presentation made by her agency at a community event. Following the structure used in Keyword AAA, these records have been classified under the function of Community Relations.

When she looks in the GRDS, Molly is unable to locate a function for Community Relations, but she knows that her agency has created a mapping document between the GRDS and their classification scheme. She sees that she can use the classes relating to addresses, presentations and speeches, under the External Relations function. This allows her to sentence presentations made to both members of the public and to other councils/government agencies.

Calculate a retention period based on a disposal trigger

James, who works for a government-owned corporation, has looked up the General Retention and Disposal Schedule and found the record class for his HR records from 1951 to 1971 has a disposal trigger of 80 years after date of birth.

There is no quick way to find the dates of birth from the 500 paper files (50 boxes) because they have not been recorded in any of the metadata or the records database/eDRMS.

James decides to calculate that the youngest age of an employee would be 17 years of age in 1971, which means they would be 80 sometime in 2034. Based on this, James decides that all of the records will be kept until 2035, taking into account birthdays late in the year. The downside is that some records will be kept longer than required. However the storage costs are less than the time and effort needed to individually review each file to find the date of birth.

Sentence significant records

Katie works for a local government. She needs to sentence a number of design and construction files that are no longer required. The files relate to construction of the Council’s Town Hall and a Council depot.

Katie looks at the Local Government Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule and finds that there are 2 record classes she could use. One is for historically significant buildings and one for other types of buildings. The historically significant building files are ‘retain permanently’ and can be transferred to QSA. The other disposal action says the records need to be kept for 7 years after the building is demolished, removed or disposed of.

Katie has to work out how she will determine whether the building is significant or not, and whether it’s been demolished, removed or disposed of. She looks at the records held by the business area that created them and talks to engineers about the buildings. She also looks at the Council’s annual reports from the year the Town Hall was opened. Katie then looks at the appraisal statement to work out which buildings might have local significance.

Katie decides she has to keep the records about the construction of the Town Hall permanently, and the records about the construction of the Council depot temporarily.

When a common activities record class can be used with a core function

The common activities section in the GRDS includes a record class for agreements. Both the Whoville Shire Council and Whoville’s Department of Transport use contractors to carry out transport maintenance. Both agencies can use this record class to sentence these contract records under the relevant functions in their core schedules.

When a common activities record class shouldn’t be used with a core function

The common activities section in the GRDS includes a record class for meetings. Whoville Shire Council uses this record class to sentence most of their routine meeting records. However, last month they held a meeting with concerned residents after the town was overrun with rats, posing a significant threat to public health. Due to the significance of the incident, the records manager decided that the meeting minutes should not be sentenced using the common activities record class. (Instead, she used the Public Health section of the Local Government Sector Schedule.)

When does surveillance footage need to be captured?

Scenario 1: If you are a parking inspector wearing a body camera and recording non-stop on a 7-hour shift, and your day was uneventful, you probably don’t need to formally capture any of the footage as a record. However, you do need to keep it for 90 days as a precaution.

However, if you witness an assault, that footage would be classified as evidence. It must be captured and kept in the event of legal proceedings.

Scenario 2: If your agency has CCTV cameras continuously monitoring premises, you will only need to keep footage if a noteworthy event occurs. For example, if someone drove their car into the front of your building, you need to capture footage of the incident (as well as before and after) in your recordkeeping system. You would also need to hand it over to the police as evidence.

Using multiple paths in the decommissioning business systems workflow

Kate has a business system that needs decommissioning. She’s managed to identify the records it contains, but some of them are covered by a retention and disposal schedule and others are not. Therefore, she needs to follow 2 different pathways in the toolkit to manage both sets of records appropriately.