Other Australian Government Agencies

The National Archives works with a range of partners towards the common goals of full, accurate and secure records and information.

Australian National Audit Office

The Australian National Audit Office’s (ANAO) provides independent review of the performance and accountability of Australian Government agencies and entities.

Australian Government agencies document their work and demonstrate their accountability through keeping good records. In auditing the Australian Government, the ANAO uses these records to understand what actions have been taken, when and by whom.

The ANAO has also addressed recordkeeping as a specific issue in four audits since 2002:

Australian Government Information Management Office

The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) is a part of the Department of Finance and Deregulation. AGIMO provides direction, advice, tools, and services to help government agencies and organisations use information and communications technologies (ICT) to improve administration and service delivery. Many of AGIMO’s publications and documents are relevant to records and information management. These include:

Australian Public Service Commission

The Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC) assists Australian Government agencies and organisations to deliver agency business priorities through good practice in managing people employed in the Australian Public Service (APS). It assists staff to develop the skills and knowledge they need and supports ethical behaviour within the public service.

Values in the Australian Public Service gives advice to agencies on meeting the APS Values. Good record systems are an indicator of meeting the APS Value relating to accountability.

The APSC reports on records management as a part of its State of the Service reports.

Another key APSC publication is Foundations of Governance which has been created to assist agency heads in the APS. It includes links to relevant policies, legislation and agency websites. The section on the management and use of government information refers to the responsibilities of agency heads to ensure their agencies create full and accurate records, and that information is managed and communicated in a way that supports the role of the Government and the interests of the community.

Attorney-General's Department

The Attorney-General's Department (AGD) provides support to the Government in the maintenance and improvement of Australia's system of law and justice and its national security and emergency management systems. As a part of this role it maintains the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF).  The PSPF sets out policy and guidance designed to provide Government information, functions, resources, employees and clients with protection against security threats.

Australian Signals Directorate

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) is Australia's national authority for signals intelligence and information security. It is responsible for producing ICT security policy and standards for the Australian Government and publishes them in the Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM).

This manual provides direction and guidance to Australian Government agencies on how to protect their ICT systems. It complements the Australian Government PSPF.

Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman

The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman considers and investigates complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by an Australian Government department or agency. Following the investigation of complaints it makes recommendations to bring about significant improvements in the quality of government administration.

It produces reports, better practice guides and other information for agencies to assist them with this. Examples of these include:

The first of the ten lessons / principles identified in these publications is 'Maintain accurate, comprehensive and accessible records'.

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is an independent statutory agency which is led by the Australian Information Commissioner who is supported by the Freedom of Information (FOI) Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner. The OAIC was created to bring together into the one agency the functions of strategic government information policy, privacy protection and freedom of information. The OAIC works to ensure the development of a consistent workable information policy across all Australian Government organisations to promote secure and open government.

The OAIC promotes awareness of and oversees compliance with privacy and freedom of information legislation and issues directions and guidance for the Australian Government organisations. Some examples include:

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The principal function of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) is to provide policy advice to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet on matters that are at the forefront of public and government administration. The guidelines and procedures produced by PM&C to provide advice to Australian Government agencies include Cabinet Handbook – 7th edition (March 2012) and the Federal Executive Council Handbook. Both handbooks provide guidance on handling of Cabinet and Federal Executive Council records.


The Senate is one of two houses of the Australian Federal Parliament and consists of Senators from each of the six states and the mainland territories. It shares the power to make laws with the House of Representatives.

Senate Procedural Order of Continuing Effect No 12 Indexed lists of departmental and agency files requires that every six months each Australian Government department and agency should place on its website an indexed list of all files relating to policy advice, development of legislation and other matters of public administration. These lists are commonly referred to as the 'Harradine reports'.

Office of Spatial Policy

The Office of Spatial Policy (OSP) facilitates and coordinates spatial data management across Australian Government agencies. This includes promoting efficient use of Australian Government spatial data assets. OSP is a central policy unit within the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and incorporates the former Office of Spatial Data Management (OSDM).

The Australian Government custodianship guidelines issued by OSDM provide guidance to government agencies on rights and responsibilities related to the acquisition and management of spatial information. This includes determining how the information will be managed, assigning any access restrictions, and articulating the responsibilities associated with the maintenance, quality and enabling appropriate access to that information.

OSP also provides guidance on spatial information metadata such as ANZMet Toolkit (2009) and ANZLIC Metadata Profile.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2015