Sentencing is the process of applying retention periods to digital or hardcopy information assets from an approved disposal schedule.
It is recommended sentencing occurs when the information asset is created because the retention period is based on the requirements for evidence of the activity or process generating the information asset. Sentencing can also occur prior to disposal.
Sentencing usually involves:
- determining if the information asset has temporary value or is required to be retained permanently (if required permanently must be transferred to State Records in accordance with the Transfer Standard ).
- if temporary, identifying the earliest date when the information asset may be destroyed
- recording the date for destruction or requirement to retain the information asset permanently
- recording the RDS or GDS reference on the information asset itself or in a recordkeeping system such as an Electronic Document and Records Management Systems (EDRMS).
All pre 1901 information assets are permanent due to their rarity and must be transferred to State Records.
In addition to ensuring the information assets are sentenced against a current approved disposal schedule/s, they should also be reviewed to ensure they are not:
- required for a longer retention following legislative changes
- subject to a disposal freeze
- required as evidence in legal proceedings
- required for ongoing business use (Behaviour 5.5).
Reviewing applied retention periods must occur when previously sentenced information assets become due for destruction or transfer to State Records to ensure the sentence applied is still current (for example, the GDS/RDS version and item number still applies).
Resentencing should take place:
- where sentences are no longer current, .
- when a new disposal schedule is issued or an existing disposal schedule is reviewed / amended.
When a revised version of a disposal schedule is issued there will often be changes to existing retention periods.
Some retention periods may be increased from temporary to permanent, while others may decrease.
New classes may be added and / or class descriptions may change resulting in some classes being combined (or rolled up) into one class and other single classes being split into multiple new classes.
Resentencing will confirm the current disposal schedule and item number for the information asset and what retention period applies.