Administrative Functions Disposal Authority (AFDA)

The Administrative Functions Disposal Authority (AFDA) sets out requirements for keeping or destroying records of administrative business performed by most Australian Government agencies. This includes functions such as finance, human resources, procurement and publications management.

AFDA Express

AFDA Express is a streamlined version of AFDA. It is an easier, quicker and cheaper option for agencies to use.

There are only 88 classes to choose from in AFDA Express, compared with 1068 in AFDA. Several AFDA classes with similar retention periods have been merged to form one AFDA Express class with an equal or longer retention period.

There is no requirement for agencies to use AFDA Express, and the full version of AFDA is still current and available for use.

AFDA and AFDA Express Review

The National Archives is currently reviewing AFDA and AFDA Express to revise and roll-up functions, address new retention and destruction requirements, improve discoverability through a searchable index, and assist with implementation by mapping old classes to new classes. Revision is expected to conclude in early 2019. The resulting AFDA Express Version 2 will replace both AFDA and AFDA Express 2010.

When to apply AFDA/AFDA Express

To understand when to use AFDA (or AFDA Express) to sentence a record, ask yourself, 'Is this something that only my agency does, or is it something that most agencies do?' If the record documents business that is unique to your agency, then you should use a more specific records authority developed for your agency. If the record documents an administrative function that many agencies perform, then AFDA or AFDA Express is likely to apply.

Should I be using AFDA or AFDA Express?

Your agency can choose the authority which best suits its operational environment.

There are three choices:

  • use AFDA Express – this is recommended by the National Archives for agencies that have not already embedded AFDA into their records management systems
  • use AFDA
  • use both in combination.

Agencies that create large quantities of particular types of low-level records can use the shorter retention period in AFDA for selected types of records and AFDA Express for the balance.

Other sources of information on AFDA

AFDA 2010 – summary of amendments (pdf, 94kb)(doc, 31kb), for amendments that were made to the 2000 version

AFDA 2010 – superseded classes table (pdf, 108kb)(doc, 260kb), for a list of corresponding classes in the 2010 edition and advice on whether records need to be resentenced.

AFDA Express Mapping Guide (pdf, 738kb)(doc, 912kb), this shows the relationships between AFDA and AFDA Express.

AFDA in alternative formats

As well as the AFDA full pdf download (pdf, 1.9mb), AFDA is available in the following formats:

The XML and Excel files are versions of AFDA which may be useful for uploading into information systems. They contain information on the following for each disposal class.

  • function name
  • function scope note
  • function 'for' statements
  • activity name
  • activity scope note
  • activity 'for' statements
  • class description
  • class 'for' statements
  • disposal class number
  • class status
  • the disposal action

They do not contain the full information which is available in the pdf versions, including the introductory information. These files should be used in conjunction with the pdf versions.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019