The stages in the archive transfer process are:
- Identify records suitable for transfer
- Propose a transfer of records
- Receive confirmation the records are eligible for transfer
- Prepare documentation about the records, including a list of items, and their access status
- Receive approval for physical transfer of the records
- Physically transfer records and receive receipt of transfer.
Stage 1 - Identify records suitable for transfer
Before you consider proposing a transfer of records it is important to identify all records that are suitable for transfer.
We encourage you to transfer records only once (or maybe twice) a year. So it is important that all records eligible for transfer are identified as part of a proactive disposal program.
To identify records suitable for transfer:
- sort records into their recordkeeping systems by file number or date (or however they were originally arranged) e.g. sort minute books in chronological order, dockets in docket number order, etc.
- separate permanent records from temporary records using an RDS or GDS (we do not accept transfers of temporary value records)
- separate active records from inactive records (we do not accept transfers of actively used records)
- separate sensitive records that will not be publicly accessible (we may not accept transfers of records which are restricted from public access for a long period)
- remove duplicate copies of records where the official records are in digital format (we may not accept transfer of physical records where they duplicate digital records)
- locate any missing records from the sequence that are no longer active, checking all storage areas and offsite storage providers.
We only accept transfers of permanent records which are:
- over 15 years old
- inactive (not needed for any ongoing business purposes or to provide access under FOI)
- publicly accessible, or soon to be open to public access.
If you have records that do not meet this criteria, please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Stage 2 - Propose a transfer of records
Once you have identified records eligible for transfer, you need to prepare a Transfer Proposal. The Transfer Proposal summarises all of the records you want to transfer at the same time.
Records Access and Description Lists and the physical transfer of records will not be processed or accepted unless a Transfer Proposal has been approved by us.
If you are unsure about how to complete a Transfer Proposal contact State Records.
Stage 3 - Receive confirmation the records are eligible for transfer - within 2 weeks from submission of a Transfer Proposal Form
An archivist will review your Transfer Proposal and notify you whether the records are eligible for transfer.
Although you might box and list records for your own storage purposes, you may not want to start completing any documentation required by us (e.g. records access and description lists) until you receive confirmation that the records are eligible for transfer, as the effort may be wasted.
If the records are not eligible for transfer, you will be advised what options are available for managing the records.
Stage 4 - Prepare documentation about the records, including a list of items, and their access status
Once you have received confirmation that the records are eligible for transfer you can start preparing the required documentation, which includes:
- a Records Access and Description List for each set of items from different recordkeeping systems e.g. a list of minute books, a list of correspondence dockets, a list of corporate files, etc.
- answering questions about each recordkeeping system (if the records do not already have a Government Record Series, or GRS, number)
- a public access determination identifying whether the records are openly accessible, or are closed to public access for a set period before they become open as their sensitivity diminishes (if a determination has not already been made).
The required documentation enables your agency to identify what has been transferred to our custody, and helps us understand the records transferred so we can assist the public to access the records.
You need to submit all of the documentation relating to an approved transfer at the same time. We will not action any documentation until it has all been received.
Stage 5 - Receive approval for physical transfer of the records - within 4 weeks from submission of all paperwork
An archivist will review all of the documentation received and advise you whether any changes or more information is required.
Once the documentation has been finalised and approved you will be advised that the physical transfer of the records is approved. You will be offered possible dates and times for the physical transfer of the records, and advised which repository the records will be received at.
Stage 6 - Physically transfer the records
You are responsible for arranging and paying for the transportation of the records to the nominated repository at the agreed date and time.
When the records are received in the repository, they will be barcoded, shelved and our systems will be updated with details of the records.
Step 7 - Receive receipt of transfer
You will be sent confirmation of the records received and reports detailing how the records can be identified in our catalogue.
You should retain this information in your recordkeeping system, as you remain responsible for records of your agency (and its predecessors) which are in our custody.