Retention and Disposal Authority

The Monash Retention and Disposal Authority has been formulated to help staff manage their records. The Disposal Authority is arranged according to the University's business classification scheme and brings together disposal classes from a number of Public Record Office Victoria Disposal Standards, including:

The following conditions apply to the Authority:

  • Disposal classes apply to records and information in any format (including personal information).
  • Classes refer to original records created within administrative and academic departments, or by boards and committees. Copies distributed for reference may usually be destroyed when no longer required.
  • Minimum retention periods are given - records may be kept longer if still of value to the creating office, and records must be kept longer if litigation is pending (see NOTE below).
  • After consultation with the Archivists, all records recommended for permanent retention should be transferred to the University Archives when no longer required for business purposes.

The University Archives repository provides the temperature and humidity controls appropriate for storage of permanent records, together with the intellectual and physical control of stored records which enables information/research requests to be responded to, in most cases, within 24 hours.

Research Data

While the RDA includes disposal classes for research data, more detailed information on management and disposal of such data is available at Retention and disposal of research data.

Personal information

Personal information is retained and disposed of in accordance with the University's Retention and Disposal Authority, which is based on the Public Record Office Victoria Disposal Standards relevant to the University (listed above). Temporary records that contain personal information must be destroyed as soon as possible after their stated retention period in the RDA. This ensures that the University meets its obligations under the Privacy and Data Protection Act.

Authorisation of records destruction

Any records due for destruction according to the Retention and Disposal Authority must be properly documented and their destruction authorised by the relevant area manager.

Authorisation for Destruction of Records should be retained as a permanent record of disposal activities within the University and may be forwarded to the University Archives for permanent retention.

All records managed by the university's records management software - currently HP Records Manager - will be documented within that system, and their disposal managed by Records and Archives Services. Hardcopy records managed in HP Records Manager, but not physically managed by Records and Archives Services, will require authorisation before they may be destroyed.

Destruction as part of Normal Administrative Practice (NAP)

University records may be destroyed without any further authorisation provided they fall within the category of Normal Administrative Practice. NAP allows for the disposal of:

  • working documents used to assist in the preparation of other records such as reports and statistical tabulations
  • drafts, the content of which has been reproduced and incorporated into the university's recordkeeping system
  • additional copies of documents, emails and publications maintained for reference purposes.

Before destruction of records under NAP consider:

  • is there any further administrative need to retain the record?
  • are others still using the record?
  • if you believe it is just a copy, are you sure that an authorised version has been kept?

NOTE: The Crimes (Document Destruction) Act 2006 and the associated Evidence (Document Unavailability) Act 2006 create formal and specific penalties for destruction of documents that are known to be reasonably likely required as evidence, where the destruction is intended to prevent the documents from coming into court, in situations where no litigation has actually commenced.

Confidential destruction of records

Records destruction refers to the rendering of records as unreadable and irretrievable. PROS10/13 Guideline 3 - Destruction requires that all records should be destroyed with the same level of security maintained during the life of the records. Destruction may be carried out after records due for destruction have been documented and approved (see above - Authorisation of records destruction).

Physical records

Once approved, confidential destruction of hardcopy records, and of microfilm, x-ray, video or audio tapes, can be arranged through Buildings and Property Division.

Electronic records

Simply deleting electronic records does not equal destruction. Destruction of records must be done by professionals using specialised software. When electronic records are destroyed, all existing copies of the records should be located and destroyed, including system backups and those in offsite storage.