Letter to the Attorney

To: Hon. Vickie Chapman - Deputy Premier, Attorney-General

This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of Section 32 of the State Records Act 1997 and the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting (PC013).

State Records is a business unit within the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) and as such the administrative reporting relating to State Records that is required under PC013 is included in the consolidated AGD Annual Report.

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.

Submitted on behalf of the State Records of South Australia by:

Simon Froude - Director, State Records

From the Director

During the reporting year State Records continued to refresh its information management policy suite to ensure agencies have access to the information and resources they need to create and manage their information assets now and into the future.

Building on the Information Strategy and Information Management Standard issued in 2019, this year we released the:

  • Managing Digital Records in Systems Standard
  • Minimum Recordkeeping Metadata Requirements Standard
  • Appraisal Standard.

We reviewed and replaced General Disposal Schedule (GDS) 18 for Ministerial Offices with GDS 50. This GDS authorises disposal of official records (including destruction and transfer of records to State Records custody) as a determination in accordance with section 23(2) of the State Records Act 1997.

Our formal response to the Tandanya-Adelaide Declaration was released in September 2020 and work has commenced on establishing an Aboriginal Reference Group.  This Group will play a critical role in guiding the development and implementation of programs, activities and services that relate to Aboriginal people and their cultures.

This year also saw the culmination of three decades of work to achieve the repatriation of an album of photographs by Francis James Gillen dating from 1901-1902 to the Museum of Central Australia. This repatriation means the album can be accessed by the ancestors of the people in the photographs and studied alongside other records of Gillen’s fieldwork in Central Australia.

Looking forward, we have some important initiatives to focus on, including the finalisation of an Information Governance Guideline and self-assessment tool through which agencies will be able to assess their level of information management maturity and compliance with the Information Management Standard.  We will also be looking to progress procurement of new technologies and infrastructure to assist in the management of the Archive, in particular the archiving of digital records.

Simon Froude - Director, State Records



State Records of South Australia (State Records) is responsible for the administration of the State Records Act 1997 (Act) on behalf of the Attorney-General.

Legislative functions, objectives and deliverables

State Records has the following functions under section 7 of the Act;

  1. to receive official records into its custody in accordance with this Act;
  2. to ensure the organisation, retention, conservation and repair of official records in its custody;
  3. to make determinations (with the approval of the [State Records] Council) as to the disposal of official records under this Act;
  4. to publish, or assist in the publication of, indexes of, and other guides to, the official records in the custody of State Records or official records whose delivery into State Records' custody has been postponed or is subject to an exemption granted by the Manager;
  5. to provide for public and agency access to the official records in the custody of State Records in accordance with this Act;
  6. to assist in identifying official records in the custody of State Records the disclosure of which might constitute a contravention of aboriginal tradition;
  7. to provide advice and assistance to agencies with respect to their record management practices;
  8. to issue standards (following consultation with the Council) relating to record management and assist in ensuring that agencies observe the best record management practices;
  9. to promote awareness of State Records and its functions;
  10. to perform any other functions assigned to State Records by this or any other Act or by the Minister.

In accordance with section 7(j) of the Act, State Records also

  • Supports the Privacy Committee of South Australia and the State Records Council
  • Administers the State’s copyright use agreements.
  • Supports the Attorney-General in the administration of the Freedom of Information Act 1991
  • Supports the Attorney-General in the administration of the Information Privacy Principles

At 30 June 2020, State Records comprised four functional teams:

  • Archive
  • Executive
  • Information Governance
  • Operations and Improvement.

  • State Records Act 1997
  • Freedom of Information Act 1991
  • State Records is a business unit of the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD).  As a result, information related to any State Records activity in the following categories is included in the consolidated AGD 2019-20 Annual Report:

    • Employment opportunity programs
    • Agency performance management and development systems
    • Work health, safety and return to work programs
    • Executive employment in the agency
    • Consultant disclosure
    • Fraud detected in the agency
    • Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud
    • Public interest disclosure
    • Public complaints
    • Audited financial statements 2019-20
    • Carers’ Recognition Act 2005.

    Performance under the Act

    Key objective

    Agency’s contribution

    Better Services

    • Develop an engagement strategy built around consultation with our stakeholders.
    • Facilitate and support public and agency access to government records in the archive.
    Open and Transparent Government
    • Develop and maintain information management policy for public sector agencies.
    • Provide education for recordkeeping.
    • Invest in facilities and technology to ensure that records in the archive are maintained and available.




    Progress strategies for ensuring digital continuity across government (including digital archive, digital asset management & archival management system).

    Cabinet is aware of the need for a digital archive and associated technology.

    A business case for a digital archive and associated technology was developed.

    Review and update information management policies.

    Program of information management policy works identified and delivered to support public sector agencies.

    The Minimum Recordkeeping Metadata Requirements Standard, Managing Digital Records in Business Systems Standard and the Appraisal Standard were published in late 2020.

    A draft Disposal Standard was developed for stakeholder consultation.

    Develop a response that supports the Tandanya-Adelaide Declaration.

    Action plan developed.

    Aboriginal Reference Group established.

    An action plan has been developed, and Terms of Reference for an Aboriginal Reference Group have been finalised.

    Develop online education tools.

    Online tools developed and launched on website.

    Tools developed and ready for deployment in a new learning management system in 2021-22.

    Review and replace General Disposal Schedule (GDS) 18 for Ministerial Offices.

    Revised GDS 18 delivered

    GDS for Ministerial Offices finalised and published.

    GDS 18 was renamed GDS 50.

    Repatriation of the Gillen album to Central Australia.

    Deed of Agreement with the Museum of Central Australia developed to cover the repatriation; repatriation takes place.

    The Gillen album was successfully repatriated to the Museum of Central Australia in May 2021.

    Improve public access to the Archive and focus on community engagement.

    Engagement strategy developed.

    Redesign of Research Centre to maximise user space.

    Implement tools and technologies to improve customer experience, e.g. webinars and social media platforms.

    An Engagement Strategy and associated documents has been delivered.

    Redesign and renovation of the Research Centre completed to provide improved accessibility and a more user-friendly reading space.

    Program of engagements commenced.

    Reporting required under any other act or regulation

    State Records Act 1997


    Section 16 – Inadequate record management practices to be reported

    If the Manager is of the opinion that the record management practices of an agency are inadequate, the Manager must report the matter to the Minister.

    Section 32 – Annual Report

    1. The Manager must, on or before 30 September in each year, provide a report to the Minister on the administration of this Act for the 12 months ending on 30 June.
    2. The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before both Houses of Parliament within six sitting days after being provided with the report.


    Section 16 - Inadequate record management practices

    No reports of inadequate record management practices were made during the reporting year.

    More detail regarding programs and initiatives under this Act can be found on the State Records website and in the State Records Annual Statement of Activity for 2019-20.

    Further information

    More detail regarding programs and initiatives under this Act can be found in the Annual Activity Statement of State Records for 2021-22.

    Page last updated: 31 October 2022