What you need to know

All Victorian public sector (VPS) employees are responsible for managing the records they create and receive in their work.

Government Agencies have a responsibility under the Public Records Act 1973 to carry out a programme of efficient management of public records and information.

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) standards prescribe how the information and records you create and receive in your work can be efficiently managed.

The basics

Recordkeeping deals with the ‘making and maintaining of complete, accurate and reliable evidence of business transactions in the form of recorded information’. It is an important component of information management.

Information Management (IM) involves not just managing the records of business but, beyond this, managing information and data in its various forms. IM is a discipline that encompasses strategic planning, budgeting, control, management and use of information resources.

See Information Management for further information.

Public Record is all information created, sent and received by a Victorian public sector employee in the course of carrying out the business of the agency including electronic documents, emails, websites, audio-visual records, databases and system-generated records, as well as physical documents and files.

See our Master Glossary and our A-Z of Topics for help with understanding other records and information management terms.

What you must do

Records management specialists are required to assist the Head of a Department or Government agency to:

  • ensure that full and accurate records of the business of that office are made
  • deliver a programme of records management within the office in accordance with Standards set by the Keeper of Public Records.

Records management specialist responsibilities include:

  • provision of expert records management advice, tools, procedures, standards and guidelines
  • delivery of compliance assessments and services consistent with PROV standards
  • implementation and support of the agency’s records management strategy including change management, training, communications, project management and information technology.

Under Section 13 of the Public Records Act 1973, the Head of a Department or Government Agency:

  • must ensure that full and accurate records of the business of that office are made
  • is responsible for the establishment of a programme of records management within the office in accordance with Standards set by the Keeper of Public Records.

A records management programme must:

  • be adequately funded, resourced and staffed
  • be subject to effective governance
  • be situated within an organisational area
  • be given an organisational mandate
  • incorporate records management strategies
  • include records management policy
  • include regular assessment
  • systematically address areas of non-compliance
  • develop and deliver communications and training.

See PROS 10/10 FS1 Recordkeeping Recordkeeping Responsibilities of Heads of Department and CEOs Fact Sheet for further information.

Victorian public sector employees include all staff working for Government agencies. This includes those employed on fixed term contracts and under casual or contractor arrangements.

To comply with mandatory requirements, all public sector employees must:

  • create full and accurate records
  • ensure records include information that will allow others to easily understand
  • consider recordkeeping requirements
  • ensure records are captured
  • ensure safety and security of records
  • consider the sensitivity of the information
  • only release records when authorised
  • only destroy records when authorised
  • familiarise themselves with organisational recordkeeping policies.

See PROS 10/10 FS2 Recordkeeping Responsibilities for Public Sector Employees Fact Sheet for further information.

A volunteer is a person undertaking work for a government agency on an unpaid basis. This type of arrangement falls outside the definition of a Victorian public sector employee.

Generally, volunteers are not considered public sector employees because they are not paid and they do not have the same rights and responsibilities as paid public servants. This difference in status, may pose recordkeeping challenges for an agency to accurately capture records of activities undertaken by volunteers.

To support effective administration, volunteers should be informed that they need to:

  • create full and accurate records
  • ensure records include information that will allow others to easily understand
  • ensure records are captured
  • ensure safety and security of records
  • not release or destroy records.

See PROS 10/10 FS3 Recordkeeping Recordkeeping Responsibilities for Volunteers Fact Sheet for further information.

About our services to government

PROV provides a range of information and tools on our website that can help you better understand records and information management.

Our government services team is responsible for:

  • issuing recordkeeping advice
  • establishing and maintaining the recordkeeping standards
  • authorising disposal and specifying records to be transferred into Victoria's archival collection.

Read our Government Services Programs Statement and Service Charter to find out more about the full range of services we offer.

As a starting point we recommend you review the following: