Last updated:

October 17, 2017

What laws affect government recordkeeping close recordkeeping Definition Making and maintaining complete, accurate and reliable evidence of business transactions in the form of recorded information. in Victoria?

Victorian Government agencies come under a number of laws which regulate the creation, management and disposal close disposal Definition A range of processes associated with implementing appraisal decisions which are documented in disposal authorities or other instruments. of information.

The Public Records Act 1973 (PR Act) sets specific requirements for the effective management of public records, and provides the governing framework for Public Record Office Victoria and the Keeper of Public Records.

Beyond this, both state and Commonwealth legislation establish significant legal regimes for control of government information, including in the areas of privacy, security and access close access Definition Refers either to the process of providing records for researchers to use in PROV reading rooms, or to the process of determining if records should or should not be withheld from researchers for a period of time. to information. 

Each individual government agency close agency Definition Any department, agency or office of the Government of Victoria will be affected differently by these laws. Your agency should investigate how these laws apply specifically to them.


Does the Public Records Act 1973 apply to my agency?

The PR Act applies to public officers which create or receive public records, as defined in the following way.

Public office means:

  • any department branch or office of the government of Victoria;
  • any public statutory body corporate or unincorporated
  • a state owned enterprise within the meaning of the State Owned Enterprises Act 1992
  • any municipal council
  • any other local governing body corporate or unincorporated
  • a royal commission, whether established under the Inquiries Act 2014 or under the prerogative of the Crown
  • a board of inquiry or formal review established under the Inquiries Act 2014.

A public record close public record Definition Any record made or received by a public officer in the course of his duties and any record made or received by a court or person acting judicially in Victoria. is:

  • any record made or received by a public officer close public officer Definition Any person employed in a government agency or who performs work over which an agency has, or should have, direct control and for which an agency has direct liability. in the course of their duties
  • any record made or received by a court or person acting judicially in Victoria.

A public officer refers to any person employed in a public office.

For more information on responsibilities for individuals under the PR Act, please see our resources.  


What other relevant laws might apply to my agency?

Other legislation which regulates aspects of information management and recordkeeping include, but are not limited to:  

See Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website to access current legislation.

Further information about these laws is provided by the administering authority.