Review of GDS 20 (5th edition)

Early draft GDS Local Government Records for consultation

The revised draft GDS Local Government Records takes a significantly different approach than the existing GDS 20, being organised by activities or work processes rather than functions.


The reason for taking this approach is primarily to reduce the extensive duplication in the current version.


This draft aims to identify which records are proposed as temporary value and which are permanent value, based on feedback received on the previous document circulated in June which focussed on existing permanent value records.


This draft DOES NOT include all temporary retention periods, and covers most, but not all, records included in GDS 20.


An excel file mapping the existing GDS 20 to the new activities is provided to show how classes have been mapped. Some classes have not been mapped and are identified in the mapping column as TBD (to be determined).


The next phase of the project (through to February 2019) is to work through all classes and analyse the retention requirements for temporary value records based on legislative, policy or business reasons.  This includes analysing retention requirements for council operations specific to one or two councils, such as child care, aged care, airports, electricity provision, etc.


Feedback on this draft, including the proposed new format, is welcome to by Friday 30 November.


Offers to assist with the analysis of retention requirements during the next phase of the project are also welcome.


A presentation on the GDS 20 review was delivered at the LGITSA conference on 18 October 2018.

Revision of GDS 20 (5th edition) for Local Government Records in South Australia

Until a new GDS Local Government Records is approved, GDS 20 (5th Edition) continues to apply.

It is possible that some records which are currently identified as permanent in GDS 20 may change to temporary value (and vice versa), and the retention periods for some temporary value records may also change.

Given this possibility, in the lead up to the release of the revised version of GDS 20 in July 2019, State Records is prioritisng requests to transfer the following permanent records which are older than 15 years:

  • full council and council committee agenda, reports and minutes
  • rate assessment books.

State Records recommends that councils focus on destruction of records that have reached minimum retention periods, and where there is no reason to retain the records longer, to avoid the need to resentence these records under the revised GDS.

State Records will continue to process transfer requests where transfer paperwork has already been submitted, and the transfer meets existing transfer criteria.

If your council has invested money on a transfer project and not yet submitted the transfer paperwork, email Archival Services for advice on a case by case basis.

Revision of GDS 20

Representatives from local councils are working with State Records to revise the General Disposal Schedule for Local Government (GDS 20) 5th edition which is due to expire on 30 June 2019.

Project plan

The working group plan for revision of GDS 20 is outlined below:

May 2018

Review existing permanent value records against State Records’ Appraisal of Official Records: Policy and Objectives (2003)

June – August 2018

Consult with local councils and stakeholders regarding the proposed permanent value records

August 2018

Finalise proposed permanent value records

September 2018

Commence analysis of retention requirements for temporary value records

February 2019

Complete analysis of retention requirements for temporary value records

March – April 2019

Consult with local councils and stakeholders regarding the proposed temporary value records

May 2019

Submit draft revised GDS to State Records Council for approval

Principles for revision of GDS 20

The working group is following a number of principles in its review of GDS 20:

1.     reduce the complexity of the document, such as removing unnecessary duplication and reducing the number of separate disposal actions

2.     clarify whether local councils, or State or Federal Government should retain the authoritative record where business processes cross jurisdictions

3.     remove ambiguity in how records should be sentenced e.g. avoid using words like significant or major to distinguish permanent value records

4.     ensure the disposal actions can be practically implemented and do not require creation of new records e.g. avoid creating snapshots of rate assessments if this is not already undertaken by council for business purposes

5.     ensure permanent value records meet State Records’ Appraisal of Official Records: Policy and Objectives.

Working Group members

Members of the Working Group include:

Rita Coombs

Alexandrina Council

Antonietta Spiniello

City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters

Denise McGarrigle

City of Playford

Di Colls

City of West Torrens

A Ristevski

City of West Torrens

Glen Heaysman

City of Charles Sturt

Jane Ratcliff

City of Adelaide

Zoey Squires

City of Prospect

Anna Rzad

City of Port Adelaide Enfield

Michelle Arbon

City of Port Adelaide Enfield

Danna Slessor-Cobb

The Barossa Council

Julie Darling

Yorke Peninsula Council

Nathaniel Mason

City of Tea Tree Gully

Tony Leviston

State Records SA

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