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This page contains information statements that are required to be published under Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) (FOI Act). It contains information about the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) on the following matters:

1.    Organisation and functions
2.    Categories of documents
3.    Freedom of Information arrangements
4.    Publications
5.    Rules, policies and procedures
6.    Report literature

Statement 1 - Organisation and functions

PROV was established under section 3 of the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic) (PR Act), "for the better preservation management and utilisation of the public records of the State."

The PR Act establishes that the management and control of PROV, and of all public records therein, lies with the Keeper of Public Records (Keeper).  It specifies that the Keeper is responsible for:
•    the preservation and security of public records under their control
•    the logical and orderly classification of such records, and the publication of lists indexes and other guides facilitating their use
•    the duplication and reproduction of public records for official and other purposes
•    the authentication of copies of and extracts from public records required as evidence in legal proceedings or for other purposes. 

More information about PROV can be found on the about us section of our website and in the following pages of our 2018-19 Annual Report:

Category/topic Annual Report
Acts and Regulations administered Page 12
Organisational structure (including chart) Pages 13-14
Reading rooms Page 15
Public Records Advisory Council Page 11


Statement 2 - Categories of documents

PROV holds two types of records:

1.    PROV’s corporate records 

These records were created or received by PROV in the course of its daily operations. Only a small proportion of the records that PROV holds are this type of record.

2.    Records in PROV’s custody

These records were created by and remain the possession of another government agency, but are held in PROV’s custody in its capacity as the archives of the Government of the State of Victoria. The vast majority of the records that PROV holds are this type of record.  

PROV's corporate records

Document types

Examples of the types of documents that PROV creates and receives are:
•    whole of Victorian Government Recordkeeping Standards including  policies, guidelines and advice 
•    compliance surveys and correspondence
•    conservation reports
•    records description lists
•    records transfer administration
•    Retention and Disposal Authorities (RDAs)
•    Access (open or closed) Authorities 
•    PROVguides (Reading Room finding aids)
•    Local History Grant administration
•    media releases
•    exhibition administration
•    publications administration
•    financial records
•    meeting records
•    building maintenance records
•    internal policies and procedures

Document categories

Documents are organised according to PROV’s Business Classification Scheme which categorises documents by PROV's functions:

Function Overview
Access management Managing public access to the records within the Victorian archive within the scope of the PR Act
Appraisal and disposal regulation Authorising and regulating the disposal of public records across the Victorian public sector and the monitoring of agencies with regard to compliance in according with the PR Act
Facilities management Managing the Victorian Archives Centre building
Financial management Managing PROV's financial resources
Health and safety Implementing and coordinating health and safety and associated legislation throughout PROV
Human resources management Managing all employees in the organisation
Information management Managing PROV's internal information resources
Intellectual control Establishing control over the informational content of records and the administrative context in which the records were created, maintained and used
Legal services Providing legal services to PROV including the interpretation and provision of advice to PROV regarding legal matters
Physical control Managing the physical control of material in the custody of PROV
Preservation Devising and promulgating pro-active and preventative strategies for the preservation of records
Promotion and outreach Promoting PROV and its collection through exhibitions, content development, publications, education and presentations
Recordkeeping regulation Developing, promoting and promulgating recordkeeping standards in Victorian Government agencies
Relations Establishing and maintaining relationships with the community, clients and stakeholders
Strategic management Applying broad systemic management with the community, clients and stakeholders
Technology management Developing or acquiring, testing and implementing applications and databases to support the business needs of PROV
Training services Managing and providing training to PROV clients
Volunteer management Managing volunteers undertaking tasks for PROV


Records in PROV's custody

As the archive of the Government of the State of Victoria, PROV has custody of over 100kms of Victorian Government records dating from the mid 1830s until the present day (the Collection).

Most of the records in the Collection are not owned by PROV. Broadly summarised, section 15 of the FOI Act states that a record that is held in the custody of PROV remains in the possession of the agency that placed it there (or if that agency no longer exists, then to the existing agency with the most similar functions). 

Document categories

You can browse the Collection on our website. One way the records in PROV's Collection can be categorised (using the advanced search tool) is by function, the results of which you can find in the PDF here. 

PROV also has an interactive data visualiser tool, which is a handy way of getting a sense of the kinds of records we hold.    

Statement 3 - FOI arrangements

PROV's corporate records

Under the FOI Act members of the public have the right to request information and access documents about their personal affairs and the activities of PROV.  

Before making a request for access

You are encouraged to check if the information or record you are seeking is already publicly available, such as in our annual report or on our website. If you cannot find the information or record you are seeking, we encourage you to contact us via our online contact form located on the contact us page to see if the information you are seeking is available or can be provided to you. In some instances we may be able to provide you with the information you are seeking without requiring you to make a formal request for access.  

Making a request for access to PROV’s corporate records

A request under the FOI Act for access to PROV’s corporate records must be made in writing (via post or email) and accompanied by the applicable fee. It should be addressed to:

Freedom of Information Officer
Public Record Office Victoria
GPO Box 2100
North Melbourne VIC 3051

Or via email to

Once received, PROV will process the request in accordance with the FOI Act.  

For more information on how to make a valid FOI request, please refer to the Office of Victorian Information Commissioner’s website.

Please note the above refers to PROV’s corporate records only.

Records in PROV's Custody

Records in PROV’s custody that are on open access in the PROV Collection are available to anyone who wishes to view them, so an FOI request should not be made. 

You can make an FOI request to access some of the records in the Collection that are closed, but these requests should be directed to the government agency concerned. For further information on how to seek access to records closed under the PR Act click here.

Statement 4 - Publications

PROV produces a number of publications about PROV and the Collection which can be accessed and downloaded from our website. These include resources such as Annual Reports, guides, fact sheets, policies, procedures, and Recordkeeping Standards, policies, and RDAs.   

PROV has published a number of publications here to assist people with their research:

•    Walata tyamateetj – research guide
•    Lands Guide
•    Finding Your Story
•    Private Lives, Public Records
•    Historic Homes
•    Finding Your Mob
•    Footprints

The following free online publications are available online and by free subscription:

•    Provenance (journal)
•    Despatch (newsletter containing  news, research and events from the Victorian Archive)
•    PROV Bytes (bi-monthly news and resources for records management professionals)
•    KRU News (news from the Koorie Records Unit)

Statement 5 - Rules, policies and procedures

PROV has internal policies and procedures related to its core functions which are applicable to its staff, including contractors, consultants and volunteers, some of which are available on our website, including: 
•    Protected Disclosure Policy
•    Privacy Policy 

Access to other policies and procedures that govern our daily operations and support the administrative functions of the Keeper may be made available upon request.

PROV staff must adhere to the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees. A copy of the Code can be found here.

Statement 6 - Report literature

PROV publishes an Annual Report each year.  These reports can be viewed and downloaded here.


Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples