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Disposal authorities now online for easy access

Archives New Zealand Press Release 5 September 2007

Disposal authorities now online for easy access

Record keepers in public agencies now have online access to information about what they can do with their public records when they no longer have need of them, said Archives New Zealand’s Manager Appraisal Denise Williams.

“Authorities are granted for the disposal of public records, most usually by transferring them to Archives New Zealand or by destruction,” she said.

Mrs Williams announced the launch of the new online disposal authorities through Archway, Archives New Zealand’s online system for documenting government records in the context of their creation and use, at the Government Recordkeeping Forum in Wellington today.`

“This is the latest development in Archway,” she said. “The agencies and the public have greater access, through the Archives New Zealand website, to the decision making about retention and disposal of public records.”

“As the keeper of the government record, Archives New Zealand promotes the message that agencies need to ensure they have disposal authorities in place,” she said. “Archway will provide record managers with information on what records are covered by current disposal authorities.”

Under the Public Records Act 2005 (Act), public records cannot be disposed of without the authorisation of the Chief Archivist.

The Chief Archivist’s permission is given through the issue of a disposal authority to a public office.

“Disposal of public records should be a systematic and well managed part of any organisation’s recordkeeping processes,” Mrs Williams says.

The disposal authorities can now be linked to:

- agencies or public offices that the Chief Archivist has issued with the responsibility of ensuring the appropriate use of the disposal authority or who may apply it to relevant records, and

- associated public records that have been transferred under a disposal authority.

Archway contains:

- a general description of each disposal authority and its coverage

- the dates it operates within and its current status

- information on connections to other disposal authorities that vary or replace (supersede) it

- documentation supporting its authorisation and use, ie, the appraisal report and schedule

- links to the agency information on Archway whose records are covered by it; and

- links to the records already transferred to Archives New Zealand under it.

Under the Act, the Chief Archivist is also required to keep the following public registers: Access Register, Discharge Register, Prescribed Register and Deferral Register.

Part of the Archway enhancement also makes available:

- the Discharge Register containing information on all discharged public records (ie, cancelling their public record status) and the conditions of discharge, and

- the Access Register containing information on restrictions on public access to public records.

Disposal authorities and the two registers can be viewed at http://www.archway.archives.govt.nz

For further information on disposal authorities contact appraisal[at]archives.govt.nz


Background information

Archives New Zealand’s Archway Disposal Authority Enhancement project commenced in June 2005:

“to capture, manage and display disposal authority information in order to improve the accessibility and usability of these for Archives staff, public offices, records management consultant and researchers”.

The Archway 2006 project commenced to identify and capture into Archway:

- all current (as at August 2006) pre-May 2002 continuing disposal authorities and their associated appraisal reports and disposal schedules; and

- all current post-May 2002 disposal authorities (both continuing and one-off) and their associated appraisal reports and disposal schedules.

There are currently over 400 disposal authorities on Archway.


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