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Six of the best for record management

STANDARDS setting out what WA Government agencies must do to comply with the State Records Act have been released.

Under the Act, Government agencies have to create a record management plan that meets the six standards, a description of which can be found at www.sro.wa.gov.au or be obtained from the State Records Office.

The Office is also running courses designed to help State and Local government agencies and private record management consultants comply with the new law.

Breaches of the Act will be reported to Parliament and the relevant public servant risks a fine of up to $10,000.

The Act will be enforced by the four State Records Commissioners – auditor general Des Pearson, WA information commissioner Bronwyn Keighley-Gerardy, WA Ombudsman Deidre O’Donnell and John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library archivist Kandy-Jane Henderson.

Within two years it will be illegal for any Government agency to misplace or destroy files it should be keeping. Records mismanagement such as this has been the bane of every Royal Commission held in WA.

The need for the Act, which was introduced on January 1, grew out of the WA Inc. Royal Commission, which found that some WA Government departments had destroyed vital records and that senior public servants had failed to keep appropriate records.

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