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Types of MOG and administrative changes

1. Amalgamation or merger

What you need to know

Amalgamations or mergers are usually a combination of other types of MOG changes. They include the closure of one or more agencies and the transfer of:

  • all functions to a new or existing agency
  • some functions to a new or existing agency
  • some or all functions to multiple agencies
    or
  • some functions from multiple agencies to a new agency.

See also transfer of functions for functions being transferred to a new agency where the original agencies are not closing.

See also closure of a public authority for amalgamations where the original agency is closing.

Examples of amalgamations

Example 1: Agencies A, B and C are being amalgamated into one. Agency A isn’t closing. Agencies B and C close and their functions are transferred to Agency A. This is a combination of the closure of 2 agencies and the transfer of their functions to an existing agency.

Example 2: Agencies D, E and F are being amalgamated into a new agency, however not all of their functions are going to the new agency. A function of Agency D is being transferred to Agency Z and some functions of Agency E are being transferred to Agency Y. This is a combination of the closure of 2 agencies and the transfer of their functions to multiple agencies.

Example 3: Agencies M, N and O have multiple functions. Some of those functions are similar to each other. A new agency is being created to take on those similar functions and they are being transferred to the new agency. Agencies M, N and O will all continue to operate and carry out their other functions. This is treated as a transfer of functions to a new agency.

What you need to do

You will need to:

  • find out how the amalgamation is enabled and what the legislation includes (e.g. the functions involved, changes of responsibility for records)
  • treat the recordkeeping transition as a separate project to the merger as a whole
  • review your existing recordkeeping system and establish new ones for the new merged agency
  • identify and list the records involved–you can use the sample records transfer list template (XLS, 59 KB) to help you do this, and provide this to the other agencies
  • close existing files before the merger to establish a clear delineation between your agency and the new, merged agency–new files can be created and linked to the closed files to maintain the history of the records
  • reach an agreement about how records should be transferred, managed, and accessed, as well as how you will address custody arrangements or responsibilities will be addressed
  • document any actions involving records, including migration, moving, sentencing, transfer or destruction
  • transfer permanent archival value records to QSA where possible.

Find out more about what to do post-MOG or administrative change.

Find out about reviewing and transitioning between recordkeeping systems.

2. Closure of a public authority

What you need to know

The closure of a public authority will usually involve more than one type of MOG or administrative change.

If the functions are:

  • not going to continue, manage it as both a closure of a public authority and ceasing functions
  • to be continued by another public authority, manage the change as both a closure of a public authority and a transfer of functions
  • to be continued by a private entity, manage the change as both a closure of a public authority and a privatisation.

When an agency closes, there will need to be a successor public authority to take on responsibility and custody of the records. The successor may be identified in the legislation or legal instrument enabling the closure.

Find out how to identify a successor public authority and what they need to know and do.

If the successor is not identified by legislation or legal instrument, you will need a regulation under the Public Records Act 2002 to identify which agency will have custody of and ongoing responsibility for the records.

Your agency and the successor may have different information and recordkeeping practices. Make sure the successor/receiving public authority is involved in the planning stages.

You will need to consult the IT sections of both agencies to ensure IT issues are identified early, and that digital records and systems are migrated correctly.

3. Ceasing functions

What you need to know

When your agency stops one of more of its functions, and they are not transferred to another government agency, it continues to be responsible for the records of that function. They become legacy records.

If functions are to be continued by a private organisation, this should be managed as a privatisation.

If functions cease when an agency closes, this should be managed as a closure of a public authority.

What you need to do

You will need to identify and close the records involved, then decide how they should be managed. 

Find out how to manage legacy records.

4. Outsourcing

What you need to know

When outsourcing core and administrative functions (e.g. recordkeeping, IT, finance, software-as-a-service arrangements), your agency is responsible for records the service provider creates that relate to that function.

Outsourcing may be with private organisations, shared service providers or other government agencies.

Outsourcing includes public private partnerships and cloud based services and storage.

It does not include the privatisation of functions or providing a grant.

What you need to do

You need to make sure:

  • the service provider creates and keeps complete and reliable records of the activities they perform on behalf of your agency
  • the service provider is aware of their responsibilities to create and keep records documenting the function
  • records are kept safe, preserved and returned to you at the end of the agreement unless lawfully destroyed.

What you need to think about

Check what recordkeeping responsibilities and requirements are associated with the function being outsourced (e.g. access restrictions, privacy, preservation) and what the service provider will need to do.

You can delegate responsibility to endorse the disposal or transfer of records to a position within the service provider.

The outsourcing agreement will need to apply to any records on loan to the service provider and any new records created during the outsourcing arrangement. Include specific responsibilities as well as recordkeeping and legislative requirements.

Consider how the service provider will access records in your agency’s custody.

Note: If you are supplying a copy of a record to a service provider, consider whether or not you need to remove any confidential or personal information, including from the metadata (e.g. author details). Information should only be removed from a copy of a record, not the original source record.

Find out about sentencing records managed by a shared service provider.

5. Privatisation

What you need to know

Privatisation can include functions being sold or transferred to an existing private organisation, or a new private entity created to take on government functions.

You need authorisation to sell or permanently transfer public records to the private organisation. The legislation enabling the change may contain this authorisation or the State Archivist may provide it.

Your agency remains responsible for records relating to functions:

  • temporarily transferred to the private organisation
  • that remain with your organisation
  • in the custody of QSA.

If an entire agency is privatised, a successor or responsible public authority will need to be identified to take on these responsibilities. See also closure of a public authority.

You will need to understand and agree on the ownership, custody and responsibility for records during privatisation.

Note: Privatisation does not include the outsourcing of functions to a private organisation.

Accessing records

You should also consider what records the private organisation will need to continue conducting business and how they will access them.

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.

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

6. Transfer of functions

What you need to know

A transfer of functions can be a MOG change on its own or part of another change (e.g. closure of a public authority).

The transfer of functions will always include a successor or receiving public authority. They will need to be involved in the planning.

Under the Public Records Act 2002 (the Act), if a function or power of a public authority is transferred to another authority then the records of that function must also be given to the successor public authority–where the function goes, the records must also go.

Note: Responsibility for the records is transferred regardless of whether the records are physically transferred (e.g. records in off-site storage or at QSA).

No formal agreement is required to transfer records.

What you need to think about

Your agency and the successor will have different information, recordkeeping and storage practices.

You will need to clearly identify the records to be transferred and potential impacts on what records can be transferred and how.

Review your existing recordkeeping processes to help you identify potential issues and what you can do to make the transfer easier.

Discuss potential challenges or considerations with the team leading the change and with the successor agency. You will need to reach an agreement with the successor agency about how all records should be transferred, managed, and accessed.

If records cannot be transferred to the receiving agency, management of the records may need to be outsourced to the original agency until they can be transferred or lawfully destroyed.
You may need to negotiate any custody arrangements or responsibilities for records.

Find out more about what to do post-MOG or administrative change.