About records

Why do we need to keep records?

Keeping records makes it easier to do your job: information can be efficiently retrieved and used when needed. Good recordkeeping allows the University to:

  • be accountable for its actions
  • be open and transparent in its operations
  • operate efficiently
  • comply with Commonwealth legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act, the Archives Act and the Privacy Act.

Do I have to keep records?

As an ANU employee you are required to make and capture records of the business activities you undertake on behalf of the University. The Records and Archives Management policy sets out your responsibility to:

  • document activities performed and decisions made on behalf of the University, and
  • incorporate records created and received into the University's recordkeeping systems.

Can I dispose of records?

University records, whether electronic records in the Electronic Records Management System or paper files, must be reviewed against a disposal authority approved by the National Archives of Australia before they are disposed of. This is done by University Records who will decide whether they should be destroyed at a particular time or retained as University Archives. 

University Records uses the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority and an ANU-specific authority for Student, Research, and Teaching and Learning files (PDF, 3.45 MB) to review both paper files and electronic records in the Electronic Records Management System. If records are destroyed as a result of this process, the University is exonerated if the record is later sought in a legal action or Freedom of Information request.

Do all records need to be captured in the Electronic Records Management System?

There are some records that do not need to be captured in the Electronic Records Management System and can be destroyed or deleted as a normal administrative practice. Examples are:

  • appointment diaries and calendars (except those of the University Executive)
  • unsolicited emails and promotional material offering goods and services
  • copies of newsletters and circulars sent to many staff
  • notes and rough drafts created before a final draft is produced
  • extracts or printouts from Enterprise Systems
  • copies of reports, minutes of meetings, policies, procedures and guidelines where the master copy is already captured in the Electronic Records Management System
  • copies of articles and publications produced by other organisations to which the University has had no input.