Normal administrative practice
Public records may be destroyed by a public sector employee without any authorisation from PROV provided that they fall within the category of normal administrative practice (NAP).
NAP allows for the disposal of:
- working documents, such as notes or calculations, used to assist in the preparation of other records
- minor drafts and transitory documents, where the content is reproduced elsewhere and the information will not be needed to show how the work has progressed or actions approved
- minor updates of content, such as those in databases, which will not be needed to show actions, decisions or approvals
- communications for the purpose of making minor arrangements
- duplicate copies
- periodic backups of records, information, data, software and settings for recovery in case of technical failure and/or catastrophe and are duplicate copies of official business records/data that is held elsewhere on a managed system.
Who authorises the destruction?
The decision to destroy records under NAP is the responsibility of the government agency.
The following factors should be considered:
is there any further administrative need to retain the record?
are others still using the record?
if you believe it’s just a copy, are you sure that an authoritative version has been kept?
The agency is responsible for ensuring that all staff understand NAP and can apply it correctly in their day-to-day work, for instance, in the management of email records.