Introduction to the State Records Act 1997
The State Records Act 1997 (SR Act) sets out the requirements and responsibilities of agencies in the management of official records referred to as information assets .
The term 'information asset' incorporates the definition of official record as defined by section 3(1) of the SR Act, and includes information, data and records, in any format (whether digital or hardcopy), where it is created or received through the conduct of government business.
The term 'agency' includes all South Australian state government agencies (including ministerial offices), local government authorities and universities.
The SR Act includes the following Objects:
- (a) to establish the office of State Records
- (b) to ensure that records of enduring evidential or informational value are preserved for future reference; and
- (c) to promote the observance of best practices by agencies in their management of records and
- (d) to ensure that each agency is afforded prompt and efficient access to records in the custody of State Records for which the agency is responsible; and
- (e) to ensure that members of the public have ready access to records in the custody of State Records subject only to exceptions or restrictions that
- (i) would be authorised under the Freedom of Information Act 1991 or Part 5A of the Local Government Act 1934; and
- (ii) are required:
- for protection of the right to privacy of private individuals or on other grounds that have continued relevance despite the passage of time since the records came into existence or
- for the preservation of the records or necessary administrative purposes.
State Records has a wide range of mandated responsibilities under the SR Act, including:
- being the 'principal repository for information assets that are no longer required for current administrative purposes'
- preserving information assets of enduring value regardless of format to ensure their security, integrity and authenticity
- providing public and agency access to information assets in the custody of State Records
- providing information management advice and assistance to agencies
- issuing standards and promoting the observance of information management best practice by agencies
The Information Strategy 2019-2022 and the Information Management Standard set the overarching direction for the management of information.
A wide range of policies are in place to support agencies meet their responsibilities.
Agencies and the State Records Act
To meet their responsibilities under the SR Act agencies must ensure information assets in their custody are:
- maintained in good order and condition
- not destroyed without appropriate authority
To achieve these requirements, agencies need to have a governance model, referred to as an information governance program in place that includes:
- an information asset audit
- a value and risk assessment
- an information management plan
- defined resources, roles and responsibilities
- policy and procedures
- access and discovery schemes
- privacy controls
- security controls
- a disposal program
- complaint systems
- self-assessment and reporting
State Records has developed policies to support agencies meet their responsibilities under the SR Act.