The Archives Act, passed in 1983, regulates government record keeping and public access to records held by the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO).
The Archives Act provides for a state archives and the appointment of a State Archivist.
The Act requires state and local governments to keep 'proper' records and to maintain control over them. If this is not happening, the State Archivist can intervene.
Government records over 25 years old must be transferred to the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO) unless the State Archivist has issued an exemption. Records more than 25 years old cannot be altered without the State Archivist's written permission.
The Act sets out a number of instances in which Government agencies can place restrictions of up to 75 years on public access to records they have deposited at TAHO. This includes records where access would allow 'unreasonable disclosure' of personal information about someone, even after they have died. If a private organisation or person deposits their records at TAHO, they can also place restrictions on public access. Otherwise all records are to be available to the public at no cost.
Unless the State Archivist gives written permission, records cannot be damaged, destroyed or transferred to a third party.
Sources used to compile this entry: Pearce, Ian, Recordkeeping advice no. 1: government employees responsibilities in relation to state records, Archives Office of Tasmania, 13 July 2005, http://www.informationstrategy.tas.gov.au/Records-Management-Principles/Pages/Govern.aspx.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 6 May 2014, Last modified: 14 October 2015