Legislation Impacting Recordkeeping

In addition to the requirements of the State Records Act 2000, State and local government organisations should also be mindful of other legislation applicable to the proper management of their records. In particular, the following Western Australian Acts may be of interest:

Corruption and Crime Commission Act 2003
Under section 28 of this Act, public sector agencies are obligated to notify the Corruption and Crime Commission of suspected misconduct. In the context of the State Records Act 2000 this may constitute activity that contravenes the requirements of an organisation's Recordkeeping Plan, such as the destruction of records where not in accordance with an approved disposal authority.

Criminal Code Act 1913
Under the Criminal Code Act 1913 (Section 85) any public officer found guilty of falsifying records by making false entries, omitting to make an entry, damage, or destruction, can incur penalties, including imprisonment.

Electronic Transactions Act 2011
This Act includes provisions relating to the conduct and legal validity of electronic transactions that take place wholly or partly by electronic communication.

Evidence Act 1906 
The Evidence Act includes requirements for records where they are produced as evidence, including implications for the destruction of records and the requirements for creating acceptable reproductions. In 2000 this Act was amended to expand upon the best evidence provisions to facilitate the admission of documentary evidence created using modern information technology.

Financial Management Act 2006
This Act includes requirements for the management of financial and accounting records, including specific requirements outlined in Treasurer's Instructions.

Freedom of Information Act 1992
The Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation prescribes rights and procedures for access to documents held by Government agencies and includes recordkeeping requirements. Once a request for access under the FOI Act has been lodged all files relevant to that request, regardless of whether they are due for destruction, must be identified and preserved until completion of actions on the request and any subsequent reviews by the Information Commissioner or the Supreme Court.

Limitation Act 1935 and Limitation Act 2005
Limitations have been set by law on periods within which court actions can be initiated. Once the period has expired, the party sustaining loss or injury cannot sue, and the party causing loss or injury is no longer held accountable. It is therefore expedient for organisations to select and keep those records that might be useful in the event of having to prosecute or defend an action, for the period of limitation.

Local Government Act 1995
This Act stipulates that a Chief Executive Officer of a local government authority must ensure the proper keeping of records and documents reflecting the operations of the local government. 

Public Sector Management Act 1994
The Public Sector Management Act outlines the functions of Chief Executive Officers of public sector agencies which include responsibility, subject to the State Records Act 2000, for ensuring that the organisation keeps proper records.

All current legislation can viewed at the Western Australian Legislation website.