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State Records Guideline No. 8

Management of Source Records that have been Copied, Converted or Migrated

Issued: 13 July 2005  Amended: 2 April 2008

 (download the formal issued MS Word version 90KB)

Authority

This guideline is issued under the provisions of Section 10A of the Archives Act 1983. Guidelines issued by the State Archivist under this Section set standards, policy, and procedures relating to the making and keeping of State records. This section also requires all relevant authorities to take all reasonable steps to comply with these guidelines, and put them into effect.

Ian Pearce
State Archivist


Table of Contents


1. Purpose

This guideline is provided to inform State and local government organisations of their legal obligations regarding the destruction of source records that have been copied, converted into another medium or format, or migrated from one system to another.

2. Definitions

agency - is used in this guideline to refer to all agencies, authorities, statutory offices, departments, councils and other organisations that are subject to, and defined in, the Archives Act 1983.

conversion - involves a change of the format of the record but ensures that the record retains the identical primary information (content). Examples include microfilming or digital imaging of paper records, and change of character sets.

copying - is the production of an identical copy within the same type of medium (paper/microfilm/electronic) for example, from paper to paper, microfilm to microfilm or the production of backup copies of electronic records (which can also be made on a different kind of electronic medium).

migration - involves a set of organised tasks designed to periodically transfer digital material from one hardware/software configuration to another, or from one generation of technology to another. The purpose of migration is to preserve the integrity of the records and to retain the ability for users to retrieve, display and otherwise use them. Migration may occur when hardware and/or software becomes obsolete or may be used to move electronic records from one file format to another.

permanent value records - are those that must be transferred to the Archives Office 25 years after the date of creation for retention as State archives.

record - is a document or an object that is, or has been, made or kept by reason of any information or matter that it contains or can be obtained from it or by reason of its connection with any event person, circumstance, or thing. A document includes any printed or written material and an object includes a sound recording, coded storage device, magnetic tape or disc, microfilm, photograph, film, map, plan, or model or painting or other pictorial or graphic work.

reproduction - the output of a copying, conversion, or migration process, i.e. the copy, converted, migrated or reformatted version of the source record.

source records - documents or other records that have been copied converted or migrated, or will be the input for such a process. A source record may be an original record or it may be a reproduction that was generated by an earlier copying, conversion or migration process.

temporary value records - are those that can be destroyed under the authority of an authorised Disposal Schedule after a minimum retention period, or once certain requirements have been met.

unscheduled records - are those that are not described in an authorised Disposal Schedule.

3. Authority to destroy source records

The Archives Act 1983 stipulates that State and local government organisations, must not dispose of records of any type or format without the written approval of the State Archivist. Disposal of records involves their destruction, their removal from the custody of their creating agency, or their transfer to the Archives Office.

The Electronic Transactions Act 2000 facilitates electronic communications and the Evidence Act 2001 changes the requirements for admissibility of evidence for records created or maintained in electronic systems. It should be noted that the provisions of these two acts do not override the provision in the Archives Act 1983 for the disposal of all State records to be authorised by the State Archivist.

4. Permanent value source records

The Disposal Schedule for Source Records - DA No. 2159 covers the disposal of source records created after 1 January 2000 that have PERMANENT status in a current Disposal Schedule and have been copied, converted into another medium or format, or migrated from one system to another.  The reproductions must be retained until 25 years after the record was first created then transferred to the Archives Office.

Agencies wishing to destroy source records that have PERMANENT value created before 1 January 2000 must seek specific authorisation from the State Archivist. Decisions to authorise destruction will be determined by the value of the source records and the quality of the reproductions. Applications for authorisation must be made in writing to the State Archivist and must provide details of the relevant records and the quality of the reproductions. The reproductions must have the required degree of accuracy, authenticity, integrity, accessibility and usability necessary to substitute for the source records as defined in State Records Guideline No. 1, Making Proper Records.

Agencies considering an application to the State Archivist for authorisation to destroy PERMANENT value source records that have been digitised must ensure that the attached reproduction conditions (Appendix 2) are met as these will form part of any formal authorisation that is issued.

The Disp[osal Schedule, DA No. 2159 has been approved by the State Archivist under Section 20 (2) (b) of the Archives Act 1983 and only applies where the reproductions of these records have the required degree of authenticity, integrity, reliability and usability necessary to substitute for the source records in business and regulatory applications.

5. Temporary value source records

The Disposal Schedule for Source RecordsDA No. 2159 covers the disposal of source records that have TEMPORARY status in a current disposal schedule and have been either copied, converted into another medium or format, or migrated from one system to another. The reproductions of these records must be retained for the retention periods specified in the relevant disposal schedule.

The Disposal Schedule, DA No. 2159 has been approved by the State Archivist under Section 20 (2) (b) of the Archives Act 1983 and only applies where the reproductions of these records have the required degree of authenticity, integrity, reliability and usability necessary to substitute for the source records in business and regulatory applications.

6. Unscheduled records

Agencies wishing to destroy TEMPORARY value source records that are not covered by a current disposal schedule must seek specific authorisation from the State Archivist. Decisions to authorise destruction will be determined by the value of the source records and the quality of the reproductions. Applications for authorisation must be made in writing to the State Archivist and must provide details of the relevant records and the quality of the reproductions. The reproductions must have the required degree of authenticity, integrity, reliability and useability necessary to substitute for the source records in business and regulatory applications.


Appendix 1 - Compliance checklist

1.

Permanent value source records created before 1 January 2000 are not destroyed unless authorisation has been obtained from the State Archivist.

Yes

No

2.

Applications for authorisation to destroy permanent value source records  created before 1 January 2000  are made in writing to the State Archivist providing details of the relevant records and the quality of the reproductions.

Yes

No

3.

Temporary value source records and Permanent value source records created after 1 January 2000 are only destroyed in accordance with DA No. 2159 and the reproduction conditions set out in this schedule.

Yes

No

4.

The reproductions of temporary value records (destroyed in accordance with DA No. 2159) are retained for the retention periods specified in the relevant disposal schedule.

Yes

No

5.

Source records that are not covered by a current disposal schedule are not destroyed unless authorisation has been obtained from the State Archivist.

Yes

No

6.

Applications for authorisation to destroy unscheduled source records are made in writing to the State Archivist providing details of the relevant records and the quality of the reproductions.

Yes

No


Appendix 2 - Reproduction Conditions for Digitising Source Records

The Archives Act 1983 stipulates that State and local government organisations must not dispose of records in any format without the written approval of the State Archivist. The Act also places a statutory obligation on the heads of these organisations to ensure that all records, regardless of format, remain accessible while they are in the custody of the agency.

The Electronic Transactions Act 2000 facilitates electronic communications and the Evidence Act 2001 changes the requirements for admissibility of evidence for records created or maintained in electronic systems. The provisions of these two acts do not, however override the provisions in the Archives Act 1983 that the disposal of all State records must be authorised by the State Archivist.

Agencies that digitise State records must ensure that the following conditions are met to ensure the reproductions of these records have the required degree of authenticity, integrity, and reliability. Agencies that digitise permanent value State records in their custody must also obtain a formal authorisation from the State Archivist before destroying the source records. The destruction of temporary value source records is authorised in the Disposal Schedule for Temporary Value Source Records DA No 2159.

Source records must not be destroyed if they are required or likely to be required for judicial proceedings, government inquiries or investigations, and for applications for access under Freedom of Information or other legislation. While reproductions may be acceptable for the conduct of these proceedings, the destruction of any relevant record at or around the time concerned may lead to claims of impropriety and impact on the outcome of the investigation or action.

Reproduction Standards

The agency must ensure that:

  • the reproductions have the degree of accessibility and usability necessary to substitute for the source records as defined in State Records Guideline No. 1, Making Proper Records
  • the reproductions are complete and reproduce the information contained in the source records as accurately as possible
  • the reproductions can be taken to be true copies

Conversion process

The agency must ensure that:

  • all material intended to be reproduced is captured
  • quality assurance and verification procedures are in place
  • errors and defects are corrected
  • documentation of the process is comprehensive

Management of the Reproductions of Permanent Value Records

The agency must ensure that:

  • the reproductions are successfully captured into a record keeping system prior to the destruction of the source records
  • the context, meaning and accessibility is maintained
  • backup arrangements are maintained
  • migration strategies are developed when required to move to new platforms
  • the reproductions are to be managed as permanent records under the provisions of the Archives Act 1983, and are to be transferred to the Archives Office of Tasmania in accordance with these provisions

Management of the Reproductions of Temporary Value Records

The agency must ensure that:

  • the reproductions are successfully captured into a record keeping system prior to the destruction of the source records
  • the context, meaning and accessibility is maintained
  • backup arrangements are maintained
  • migration strategies are developed when required to move to new platforms
  • the reproductions are to be managed under the provisions of the Archives Act 1983, until they are destroyed in accordance with the relevant authorised disposal schedule