Author: Government recordkeeping
PROV is pleased to announce the approval of a new Retention and Disposal Authority (RDA) that provides disposal coverage for records created by redress and reparations schemes in Victoria:
An RDA outlines which records of government are to be retained permanently as State Archives, eventually being transferred into the custody of PROV and made available to the Victorian community. They also set out how long records of temporary value must be kept by the agency responsible for them.
This is a new and rapidly growing function of government that had no existing disposal coverage. In 2022, PROV was approached by the Department of Justice and Community Safety, which administers several current redress schemes and was seeking advice on how they could cover the records they were creating. Given the expansion in the number of schemes, we determined the best course of action would be to internally draft a new RDA to cover all current and any future redress schemes announced by the Victorian government. This would mean that participants could expect consistency across schemes, and that for departments administering multiple schemes they could apply the same rules to all records.
Over several months, PROV staff worked closely with representatives of the existing schemes to learn about their processes, workflows, and the records they create. Extensive feedback from the schemes resulted in a draft RDA that was put out for public consultation. While the staff at the schemes were keenly concerned about the expectations of their participant communities throughout, we also reached out directly to community organisations that support people engaging with all the schemes to notify them of the opportunity to comment. Given the impact of these schemes on the lives of individuals , we wanted to ensure the thoughts of the community were taken into account as we worked out which records comprise the key State Archives documenting the redress schemes, and what appropriate temporary retention periods for the rest of the records look like.
Public feedback received resulted in a number of positive changes and additions to the RDA draft, which was finalised after one last round of consultation with the schemes. This version of the RDA was approved by the Keeper of Public Records on 25 August and is now published on our website and able to be implemented by all the redress schemes.
PROV wants to thank all the staff at the redress schemes, who were extremely knowledgeable and helpful in assisting us with understanding this emerging function of government. We also want to thank everyone across government and the wider community who provided us with feedback on the RDA draft during the public consultation period. We anticipate that this RDA will provide clear disposal coverage for redress scheme records and we look forward to future transfers of permanent records into PROV custody once the schemes have completed their work.
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