Frequently Asked Questions - Transfer of records

I may have records eligible for transfer, what do I do?

For information about transferring records to State Records, see Transferring Permanent Records.

If you are still unsure about where to start, contact the Archive Team, providing information about the type and quantity of records that you have, the disposal schedule that makes the records permanent, the date range, and the system of arrangement of the records. An Archivist will contact you with any further enquiries and to guide you through the process.

What is sentencing?

Sentencing is the process of determining the disposal action that applies to a record using an approved disposal schedule. Agencies must use either a General Disposal Schedule (GDS) for administrative records, or an agency-specific disposal schedule (RDS) for operational records, to determine whether records are:
• to be retained temporarily, and for what period
• to be retained permanently and can therefore be transferred to the custody of State Records once no longer needed by the agency.

Enquiries about creating and implementing a disposal schedule should be directed to Government Recordkeeping Services.

For information about disposal, see the Disposal pages.

How long does the transfer process take?

Transfer paperwork is processed in the order in which it is received and Archivists do their best to ensure that all paperwork that meets requirements is processed as soon as possible.

The transfer process can be involved and may take some time depending upon:
• the stage of the transfer process that your agency is at – ie whether a Government Agency (GA) number and Government Record Series (GRS) number has already been established for the records
• the quality of the paperwork submitted and your response time to requests from Archivists for further information, or amendments to and re-submission of paperwork
• the demand for transfers from agencies at the time
• the demand for agency visits, advice, and other services provided by the Archive team.

If you have an urgent need to move boxes from your work place, you can seek an interim exemption to store records at an Approved Service Provider (ASP) until you have received approval to transfer the records to the custody of State Records. If you wish to apply for an exemption, contact the Manager, Archive.

How do I prepare records for transfer?

For information about preparing records for transfer, see Preparing Records for Transfer.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount of records I can transfer at one time?

There is no minimum or maximum, however for efficient processing of transfers agencies are encouraged to identify all records in a series ready for transfer across the agency and prepare a single consignment for each public access determination. Agencies seeking to transfer multiple small consignments for the same series may find that their request to transfer is delayed or may be asked to consolidate the transfer into a single, larger consignment.

Agencies wishing to arrange the physical transfer of consignments to different series in one delivery should submit paperwork for all of the consignments in the one email and advise the Archive team that you would prefer to arrange delivery of all of the consignments together. While we attempt to accommodate such requests, transfers that have been allocated space in different repositories or large transfers of over 500 boxes may not be able to be received in one delivery, and may need to be split into smaller deliveries on different dates.

The records I have are damaged, what should I do?

Do not attempt to repair records. If you have damaged records to be transferred, contact the Archive Team, providing a description of the records, the damage, and how it occurred. Advice will be provided on a case by case basis.

Further information can be found on the Conservation of records page.

How do I transfer hybrid records?

Hybrid records are those that have both a physical and an electronic file.

State Records is reviewing its policy about the transfer of hybrid records into State Records custody, but current advice is that the hard copy and electronic components of the hybrid file should be closed at the same time. Please record the disposal schedule on the file cover, and note details and location of the electronic records (consider generating a screenshot or screen image showing the electronic files) on the file. The physical file can be transferred to State Records using the usual process but when you submit transfer paperwork you must indicate that the consignment contains hybrid files.

Permanent electronic records must be retained within either the agency’s Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) or business system with recordkeeping functionality, and metadata added that indicates that the physical file has been transferred to State Records.

Agencies that do not have an EDRMS and use a ‘print and file’ approach should ensure that all electronic records have been printed and placed on the hard copy file before transfer to State Records.

For information about the management of hybrid files, see the Management of Hybrid Files information sheet.

For information about the management of electronic records within business systems, see the Management of Official Records within a Business System standard.

Where do I buy State Records boxes?

For information about suppliers of State Records boxes, see Preparing Records for Transfer.

For advice about packaging of records that do not fit in State Records standard sized boxes, contact the Archive Team.

How do I label boxes?

For information about how to label boxes, see Preparing Records for Transfer.

Can I store temporary records at State Records?

No. If temporary records cannot be accommodated on-site at your agency, make arrangements to store them at an Approved Service Provider (ASP).

For information about the management of temporary records, see Storage.

What does it cost to store records at State Records?

There is no ongoing cost to your agency to store permanent records at State Records. However, there are a number of costs involved in preparing records for transfer. These include:
• staff resources (or contractors) to sentence, box, and list records and prepare transfer paperwork
• purchase of State Records boxes
• transport of records to State Records (and return to agency should the records be identified as not meeting transfer requirements).

In addition, if your agency needs to loan a record once transferred, the agency loan request service is subject to State Records’ regulated fees and charges.

How do I request records for loan?

For information about how to request records for loan, see How to request records for loan.

How do I add documents to files held at State Records?

Before being transferred, files should be checked to ensure that they are complete and accurate, that all left-over filing has been done, and the file closed. If you do find documents that belong on a file which has already been transferred to State Records, contact the Archive Team, providing details about series, consignment, unit, file number, and the quantity of documents to be added. Advice will be provided on a case by case basis.

If the situation arises where you want to re-open a file to add new documents (eg a client returns and their client file needs re-activating, or a finished project is re-started after a hiatus and the project file needs re-activating), you should consider opening a new file that contains a reference to the closed file, which should only be used for reference purposes. If the closed file must be re-opened, contact the Archive Team for advice about de-accessioning.

I have found a record that appears to belong with records already transferred to State Records, what do I do?

Contact the Archive Team, providing details about the record you have found, including date range and the series to which you believe it belongs. It is often useful to provide a scan of the front cover/page and a draft listing because this may provide context about the records. An Archivist will investigate and advice will be provided on a case by case basis.

I have found records that were created by another agency, what do I do?

Contact the Archive Team, providing details about the records including system of arrangement, file prefixes, and which agency created the records. It is often useful to provide a scan of the front cover/page and a draft listing because this may provide context about the records. An Archivist will investigate and advice will be provided on a case by case basis.

How do I sentence files with multiple parts?

Some files have more than one part. You should sentence each part as a separate item and either destroy or keep files according to instructions in the disposal schedule. However it may be that parts you plan to destroy contain information needed to understand the parts of the record that will survive. In this case, retain those file parts until the part with the longest retention period is due for destruction.

My agency is about to close, merge, gain or lose some functions, how do I manage the records?

For information about managing records during administrative change, see the Managing Records During Administrative Change guideline.

Ensure that your agency has allowed sufficient time to prepare records for transfer or for destruction, as per the relevant disposal schedule.

Contact Government Recordkeeping Services if you have questions about managing records during administrative change that are not answered by the Guideline.

For information about transferring permanent records, see Transferring Permanent Records, or contact the Archive Team.

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