Government information is created, received, stored and sent primarily in electronic form.

This includes emails and their attachments, word processing or spreadsheet documents, web pages and databases.

Formal documents such as tax returns, licence and permit applications and other documents lodged with agencies generally originate in electronic format.

Digital information is at high risk of being lost due to constantly changing technology.

Government needs to be able to access information over a long period so as to be able to review, evaluate and develop policies which help in conducting business and to prepare for the future:

Digital records provide evidence about people's rights and entitlements including:

  • records of major life events
  • court decisions and
  • lands title records.

Digital records also document Government's achievements and constitutes our future history and heritage.


What is information and what are records?

Information is codified knowledge, which is transferred and stored by means of:

  • documents and records
  • publications and databases
  • images and plans
  • sound and video recordings.

Information is used by State and Local Government agencies to meet their strategic, operational and legal needs.

Records are a special subset of 'information' which have evidential, legal, administrative or historical value

Records have special retention, accessibility and retrieval requirements.



We are currently reviewing all information management policy to reduce complexity and ensure that the advice is current, clearly understood and easy to implement.  As a result some documents have been replaced.  For more information visit our Information Management Strategy and Policy Reform webpage.

Managing Digital Records in Systems Standard

Minimum Recordkeeping Metadata Requirements

Australian Standard HB 171-2003 Guidelines for the management of IT evidence available from

South Australian Government IT Standards for State Government agencies can be found on the Department of the Premier and Cabinet website.



Cloud Computing and Records Management

Email as Official Records

GDS 21 Guidance - Certification Process


Advice Sheets

RK027 - Digital Rights Management and Records Management 

RK043 - Management of Hybrid Files



We are currently reviewing our policies on digitisation of official records, including scanning requirements. 

For advice or more information on digitisation, please contact us at