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Manage and provide access to records during a MOG or administrative change

The following considerations become important during a machinery-of-government (MOG) or administrative change:

  • maintaining access restrictions and permissions for records being transferred
  • controlling access to records temporarily on loan to or in the custody of another organisation
  • ensuring access to records is maintained during and after the MOG or administrative change
  • providing access to records required by multiple organisations.

If you have an agreement about how to manage records with the other agencies involved in the change, you can include provisions to address these issues. This will help to ensure records are transferred, managed, and stored in a manner that preserves their usability and accessibility.

Find out what access provisions to include in the agreement.

1. Provide access to records

When identifying the records involved in the change, consider which ones other organisations need to continue business and how they will access them.

This applies to private organisations who are part of a privatisation, service providers carrying out a function on your behalf, and public authorities receiving a transferred function.

Note: Some records will need to be accessed during the transition stages to continue business with minimal interruption.

How records will be accessed or provided will depend on:

  • the function
  • the records involved (e.g. the value, retention period, volume)
  • how frequently they need to be accessed
  • where the records are located
  • who needs access to them and why
  • why records cannot be transferred (if applicable).

Include provisions for how, when, and where records will be accessed or provided in your agreement.

Note: If records contain confidential or personal information (e.g. author details in record metadata) this may need to be removed before transfer. Information and metadata can only be removed from a copy of a record, not the original source record.

If a service provider, private entity, or other public authority needs access to records in your custody, you have 3 options. You may need to use a combination of options depending on the records and each organisation’s requirements.

Lend

You can loan records to a private organisation for a specific period and under certain conditions, as set out in an agreement. For example, you can specify that records are on loan for 2 years and then required to be transferred back to the public authority or to Queensland State Archives (QSA).

You will have all the same recordkeeping responsibilities as if they were still in your custody.

Include recordkeeping and legislative requirements and responsibilities in the agreement.

This option may be appropriate if records need to be accessed frequently, or if the private organisation wants to copy the records.

Copy

You or the private organisation can copy records that they need. This can be done either at the point of transition or on an as needs basis and will depend on the format and the amount of records involved.

Copying records allows the originals to be retained by your agency.

This option is appropriate for high-value records and/or ones with a long-term retention period.

Make available

You can make records available for a private organisation to access as and when required.

This is recommended for records that do not need to be accessed frequently and have to stay in state custody (e.g. permanent archival value records at QSA).

Sell or give

Public records have value to the state and due consideration should be taken before they are sold or given to the private sector. Find out more about selling or giving records to a private entity.

2. Records in the custody of QSA

Any records over 30 years old and open to the public can be accessed at QSA.

If the records have restricted access periods applied to them, they are not open to the public. Your agency, as the responsible public authority for the records, automatically has access to them. If another organisation needs access to them, your agency must give permission for this to occur.

Find out about restricted access periods, providing access to closed records and accessing records after transfer to QSA.

3. Records in the custody of an off-site storage provider

If responsibility for the records is changing, your agency, the receiving agencies and the off-site storage provider will need to amend or change the existing arrangements to transfer responsibility.

If another organisation needs access to these records, you will need to arrange to get the records out of storage before the private entity or other agency can access them.

You may be able to amend your storage agreement to allow others to access the records directly if necessary.

Unless you have an agreement with the storage provider, they won’t be able to access the records directly. Make sure the other organisation is aware of the process to request records from the provider.