What to do in cases of unauthorised destruction of information

All business information and data created or received by an Australian Government agency is a Commonwealth record.

The Archives Act 1983 prohibits the destruction of Commonwealth records unless specifically:

  • required by any law
  • done with permission from, or in accordance with a practice or procedure approved by, the Archives
  • in accordance with a normal administrative practice (NAP) that the Archives does not disapprove of.

If you discover business information has been destroyed or disposed of without appropriate authorisation, contact the Archives' Agency Service Centre. We will need details such as:

  • the nature of the information and records
  • their titles, format and volume
  • how old the information and records were
  • if they had been sentenced
  • if they were permanent or temporary
  • when they were due for destruction
  • the circumstances of the destruction
  • the governance framework, including policies, guidelines and procedures, used for accountable destruction of agency information and records.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019