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Records and Archives Management Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to ensure legislatively compliant recordkeeping practices are followed by all staff of the University through the establishment of a framework for the creation and management of records within the University. The Policy:

  1. ensures records are created, managed and disposed of in accordance with standards and specifications approved by the statutory authority of the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV).
  2. provides the framework for the University’s records management guidelines and procedural material and clearly identifies the responsibilities and accountabilities for record keeping.
  3. enables compliance to be monitored and reported and specifies the potential consequences of non-compliance and/or breaches.
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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Policy applies to:

  1. all staff.
  2. all campuses.
  3. all aspects of University business including any services that the University has outsourced and is implemented through the inclusion of recordkeeping clauses in the contracts of outsourced service provision.
  4. all aspects of University business, all records created during business transactions, and all business applications used to create records including email, database applications and websites.
  5. the management of records, in all formats and maintained on different media including hardcopy and electronic, created or received by the University in support of its business, activities and transactions.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) The University is committed to making and maintaining information and records that fully and accurately reflect its business activities, and undertakes to provide its staff with appropriate guidance, tools and services to ensure its recordkeeping commitments are achieved.

(4) The University is committed to compliance with standards established by Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) and the Australian Standard for Records Management, AS ISO 15489-2002. 

(5) All practices and procedures concerning information and records management within the University are to be in accordance with this policy.

Strategic Management

(6) The University:

  1. ensures that information and records management is strategically planned, implemented and managed.
  2. ensures clear authorities, responsibilities and obligations for information management, records management and recordkeeping are defined, assigned and circulated throughout the University.
  3. complies with the legislative and administrative requirements for recordkeeping, including those for the provision of information privacy and evidence.
  4. ensures all employees, contractors and volunteers receive appropriate training, guidelines and practical advice.
  5. ensures appropriate resources are allocated to the development, implementation, maintenance and improvement of the information and records management program.
  6. ensures that the ongoing monitoring and reporting of information and records management compliance is planned, implemented and managed.
  7. ensures that risk management and business continuity planning are considered as an integral part of information and records management service delivery practices.

Creation, Maintenance and Control

(7) The University:

  1. follows sound standardised procedures for the creation, maintenance and control of all information and records, including those in electronic format.
  2. ensures every business unit and individual representative makes certain that evidence of business activity is created, captured and maintained in the University’s recordkeeping system.
  3. may perform, at any time, the capture, monitor and examination of the records of individual staff members for auditing purposes.
  4. addresses those issues specifically relating to electronic information and records management to ensure that it meets defined business needs and information and records management best practice.
  5. ensures that University information and records, irrespective of format, are managed systematically and cost effectively.

(8) Records created and/or received records by University staff, or by individuals acting on the University’s behalf, are the property of the University and subject to its control.

Access Management

(9) The University:

  1. follows sound procedures for the security, privacy and confidentiality of all information and records, and ensures all recordkeeping systems protect the records’ authenticity.
  2. business units and individual representatives may determine conditions excluding, or restricting access to records, so long as that decision meets legislative and statutory requirements.
  3. ensures public access to University records and archives will only be considered by way of a written application to Records and Archives Services.

Disposal and Transfer

(10) The University:

  1. follows sound procedures for the retention and disposal of all information and records, including those in electronic format.
  2. does not condone the falsification, alteration, or damage of records.
  3. does not condone the destruction of records, except in  accordance with PROV Standards.
  4. ensures records reasonably likely to be required as evidence in current or future legal proceedings must not be destroyed, concealed, rendered illegible, undecipherable or incapable of identification.
  5. ensures disposal must be documented with reference to authorised University retention authorities.
  6. ensures the transfer of University records to archives must be done in accordance with the appropriate process.
  7. ensure records requiring permanent retention will be transferred into the custody of the University Archives in accordance with authorised retention authorities.
  8. ensures that records of longer-term value are identified and protected for historical purposes and those records identified as permanent are transferred to the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) in due course to become part of the state archives.

Storage Management

(11) The University:

  1. follows sound procedures for the storage of all information and records, including those in electronic format.  This includes the development and implementation of appropriate disaster preparedness planning, vital records, and heritage program.
  2. records must be stored in such a way that facilitates access and retrieval upon demand.

Recordkeeping Systems

(12) Recordkeeping Systems at the University manage the following processes:

  1. The creation and capture of records;
  2. The maintenance and management of records;
  3. The storage of records;
  4. The protection of record integrity and authenticity;
  5. The security of records;
  6. Access to records; and
  7. The disposal of records in accordance with approved disposal authorities.

(13) Recordkeeping Systems assist in making full, complete, accurate and reliable records, which include the following characteristics:

  1. Compliant with the recordkeeping requirements arising from the regulated and accountable environment of the University.
  2. Adequate for the purposes for which they are kept.
  3. Complete in content and contain the structural and contextual information necessary to document a transaction or describe an asset.
  4. Meaningful with regards to information and/or linkages that ensure the business context in which the record was created and used is apparent.
  5. Comprehensive in documenting the complete range of business for which evidence is required by the organisation.
  6. Accurate in reflecting the transactions that they document.
  7. Authentic in providing proof that they are what they purport to be and that their purported creators did indeed create them.
  8. Inviolate through being securely maintained to prevent unauthorised access, alteration, removal, or destruction.

Staff Responsibility

(14) Records Management is mandatory and required of all stakeholders including staff, contractors and volunteers.

(15) All Directors, Managers and Coordinators are responsible for monitoring staff under their supervision to ensure that they understand and comply with records management policies and procedures, fostering and supporting a culture within their workgroup that promotes good record management practices, assessing and monitoring compliance with this policy and the Standards and reporting any identified compliance breaches or incidents.

(16) All members of staff (including volunteers and those under contract) have a responsibility to create, capture and manage appropriately complete and accurate records of the University’s business, including records of decisions made, actions taken and transactions of daily business.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(17) Refer to the:

  1. Records Disposal and Transfer Procedure
  2. Records Management Procedure
  3. Archives Management Procedure
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Section 5 - Definitions

(18) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Access (AS ISO 15489.1-2002, s3.1): Right, opportunity, means of finding, using, or retrieving information.
  2. Appraisal (AS 4390-1996, Part 1, 4.3): The process of evaluating business activities to determine which records need to be captured and how long the records need to be kept, to meet business needs, the requirements of organisational accountability and community expectations.
  3. Archive (AS 4390.1 -1996, s. 4.4): The whole body of records of continuing value of an organisation or individual.  Sometimes called 'Corporate Memory'
  4. Capture (AS 4390.1 -1996, s.4.7): a deliberate action which results in the registration of a record into a recordkeeping system.  For certain business activities, this action may be designed into electronic systems so that the capture of records is concurrent with the creation of records.
  5. Destruction (AS ISO 15489.1-2002, s3.8): process of eliminating or deleting records, beyond any possible reconstruction.
  6. Disposal (PROV Master Glossary): A range of processes associated with implementing appraisal decisions which are documented in disposal authorities or other instruments. These include the retention, destruction or deletion of records in or from recordkeeping systems. They may also include the migration or transmission of records between recordkeeping systems, the transfer of ownership or the transfer of custody of records, e.g. to Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV)
  7. Document (Freedom of Information Act 1982, s.5, Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984, s.38, Evidence Act 1958, s.3): includes, in addition to a document in writing-
    1. any book, map, plan, graph or drawing; and
    2. any photograph; and
    3. any label marking or other writing which identifies or describes anything of which it forms part, or to which it is attached by any means whatsoever; and
    4. any disc, tape, sound track or other device in which sounds or other data (not being visual images) are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced therefrom; and
    5. any film, negative, tape or other device in which one or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (as aforesaid) of being reproduced therefrom; and
    6. anything whatsoever on which is marked any words figures letters or symbols which are capable of carrying a definite meaning to persons conversant with them; and
    7. any copy, reproduction or duplicate of any thing referred to in paragraphs (i) to (vi); and
    8. any part of a copy, reproduction or duplicate referred to in paragraph (vii)

      - but does not include such library material as is maintained for reference purposes;
  8. Normal Administrative Practice (NAP) (PROV Master Glossary): The destruction of some public records is permitted under normal administrative practice (NAP). NAP covers the destruction of ephemeral material of a facilitative or duplicate nature created, acquired or collected by public sector employees during the course of their duties.
  9. Public Record (PROV Master Glossary):
    1. any record made or received by a public officer in the course of his duties; and
    2. any record made or received by a court or person acting judicially in Victoria-

      but does not include-
    3. a record which is beneficially owned by a person or body other than the Crown or a public office or a person or body referred to in s. 2B [of the Public Records Act 1973]; or
    4. a prescribed record held for the purpose of preservation by a public office to which it was transferred before the commencement of the Arts Institutions (Amendment) Act 1996 by a person or body other than the Crown or a public office; or
    5. a record, other than a prescribed record, held for the purpose of preservation by a public office to which it was transferred, whether before or after the commencement of the Arts Institutions (Amendment) Act 1996, by a person or body other than the Crown or a public office.
  10. Records (AS ISO 15489.1-2002, s.3.15): Information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person, in pursuance of legal obligations, or in the transaction of business.
  11. Records Management (AS ISO 15489.1-2002, s.3.16): Field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposal of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the forms of records.
  12. Records System (AS ISO 15489.1-2002, s3.17): Information system which captures, manages and provides access to records over time
  13. Registration (AS ISO 15489.1-2002, s.3.18): Act of giving a record a unique identifier on its entry into a system.
  14. Retention & Disposal Authorities (RDAs) (PROV Master Glossary):
    1. Standards issued by the Keeper under section 12 of the Act that defines the minimum retention periods and consequent disposal action authorised for classes of records which are described in it. RDAs provide continuing authorisation for the disposal of these classes of records. RDAs may be specific to an agency or applicable to more than one agency.
  15. Transfer (AS ISO 15489.1-2002, s.3.20 - 3.21: (custody) change of custody, ownership, and/or responsibility for records.  (movement) moving records from one location to another.
  16. Vital Records (PROV Master Glossary): Records that contain information essential for the continued operations of an agency.
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Section 6 - Stakeholders

Responsibility for implementation – Manager, Records and Archives.
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Manager, Records and Archives; and Executive Director, Planning and Governance.