Records disposal examples
The following is an example of when a standing endorsement is appropriate.
Joanne's organisation is starting a big digitisation project. To make it easier, they decide to set up a standing endorsement for the disposal of original paper records once they’ve been digitised and checked to make sure the digitised versions meet their quality assurance processes.
Assess whether to use a standing endorsement
The following scenario shows how to assess whether to use a standing endorsement.
James works for a government-owned corporation and they create a lot of records every day. Many of these are routine administrative records that have been sentenced under the General Retention and Disposal Schedule. They also have a twice-yearly disposal program that usually involves a large amount of records like timesheets, leave applications, travel applications and approvals, as well as routine work health and safety inspection records.
James is the records team leader and also the authorised delegate for the agency. He looks at the records involved in the disposal program, and assesses the risks associated with those records. He thinks about the likelihood they will be subject to legal or RTI requests, whether they may be still needed by the business etc. The risks are considered minimal for most of the records involved so James thinks about a standing endorsement for the lower risk records.
However, there are some records that relate to workplace health and safety. These are higher risk records and James would rather look at those before endorsing their disposal. He decides not to include them in the standing endorsement.
A couple of months later, his team gets ready for the next disposal project. This time, they can dispose of the timesheets and forms and other records included in the standing endorsement without getting James’s approval for each group. He only needs to endorse the disposal of any WHS records, meaning the process takes much less time.
Internal disposal freeze
In 2013, the Department of Education issued a disposal freeze for all schools, TAFEs and its own records. The freeze was issued to prevent the disposal of records that may have been needed for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Seeking approval for the destruction of damaged records
Katie works in a local government building that is close to a major river. Last year, the river flooded and inundated the building with water and mud. When they were allowed back into the building, Katie found that several records were very wet. She contacted QSA to discuss possible salvage options. Unfortunately there was nothing that could be done.
After discussing requirements regarding damaged records with the relevant business manager, Katie filled out an Application to dispose of damaged public records . She organised for her Chief Executive to sign the form and sent it to QSA.
The State Archivist reviewed the request and approved the disposal of the damaged records. Katie contacted a specialist destruction company to dispose of the contaminated records, and recorded the destruction in her disposal log .