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Records Governance Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) QUT is committed to the creation and maintenance of adequate records of its functions and activities. All records created or received by University staff in pursuit of, and which provide evidence of, QUT functions or responsibilities are public records, and must be captured and managed in accordance with the requirements set out in this policy and related procedures, guidelines and standards.

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Section 2 - Application

(2) This Policy applies to all records created or received by QUT staff in pursuit of University functions or responsibilities.

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Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities

Position Responsibility
Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar Holds overall responsibility for the management of QUT's corporate records.
Director, QUT Governance
Is responsible for implementation of relevant records management standards.
Approves destruction of QUT records (under delegation from the Vice-Chancellor and President).
Is responsible for management of permanent, high-value and high-risk records held in the university archives.
Approves procedures made under this policy or in compliance with relevant legislation and the standards prescribed by Queensland State Archives.
Manager, Compliance, Policy and Records
Has operational responsibility for the establishment and operation of the records program at QUT in compliance with relevant legislation and standards, including the corporate records management system.
Implements the information security classification framework for records captured within the corporate records system, QRecords.
Head of Organisational Unit
Is responsible for ensuring that records supporting business activities are created, discoverable and accessible for use and re-use for appropriate periods, as an integral part of these activities.
Ensures that staff within the organisational area are aware of and follow recordkeeping procedures.
Ensures that information systems that support the business activities of the organisational unit capture appropriate records.
Seeks approval for disposal of records in accordance with QUT's established disposal procedures.
All staff
Create records that adequately document the business transactions in which they take part.
Capture records they create in the corporate recordkeeping system by utilising the records management or other corporate business systems made available by the university to support their functions and activities.
Follow records management procedures made under this policy or in compliance with relevant legislation and standards.
Data custodian Is responsible for the reliability and operation of corporate business systems that generate and store records, ensuring that:
  1. records are stored in a secure and inviolate manner;
  2. records can be discovered, accessed and used, and appropriate audit trails are recorded;
  3. adequate consideration is given to the condition of records and business continuity planning so that records can be accessed for the necessary retention period.
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Section 4 - Principles

(3) This Policy is based on the following principles:

  1. electronic records must be captured in either the corporate electronic recordkeeping system, QRecords, or in another corporate business system;
  2. recordkeeping is integrated into the business processes of the university, including through automation where possible;
  3. QUT permanent records must be actively managed according to their value to operations or the risk to QUT or stakeholders that would result from their misuse, loss, damage, or premature deletion;
  4. QUT records must be retained and disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the disposal schedules approved by the Queensland State Archives;
  5. all staff must comply with the requirements of the Public Records Act 2002 (Qld) when creating and managing corporate records; and
  6. QUT records must be discoverable and open access, including the QUT archives, except where records have been classified as restricted access in accordance with QUT’s information security classification framework (Information Security Policy).
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Section 5 - Legislative Obligations

(4) As a public authority in Queensland, QUT is obliged to comply with the requirements of the Public Records Act 2002 (Qld) and the Queensland Records governance policy. The legislation and policy provide for the proper creation, management, and preservation of public records in a useable form for the benefit of present and future generations.

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Section 6 - Digital Records

(5) QUT’s policy is that electronic records must be captured in either the corporate electronic recordkeeping system, QRecords, or in another corporate business system.

(6) Any corporate business system creating QUT records must ensure that the records:

  1. can be proven to be genuine, accurate and trusted;
  2. are secure from unauthorised access, alteration and deletion;
  3. are able to be found, searched and read;
  4. are retained for the full length of time specified in approved records retention schedules; and
  5. can be imported/exported as required to other systems and storage media.

(7) Records may be stored in corporate business systems provided that they meet the minimum recordkeeping requirements set out by Queensland State Archives. System recordkeeping functionality must be assessed using the Business Systems Recordkeeping Capability Assessment Tool.

(8) QRecords has been implemented as the University’s corporate recordkeeping IT system to assist with the capture, retrieval, storage and disposal of university records that are not captured in another corporate business system or where the business system does not meet minimum recordkeeping requirements.

(9) The consistent capture of records into the corporate electronic recordkeeping system or a corporate business system must form part of University business processes and must occur in real time.

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Section 7 - Retention and Disposal of Records

(10) University records must be retained while required for business use or to support other legal, corporate or evidential requirements. Minimum periods for retention of all categories of University records are specified in the University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule and the Queensland State Archives General Retention and Disposal Schedule, available from the Records management retention and disposal web page (QUT staff access only).

(11) Staff must not destroy University records without the prior support of the head of their organisational unit and the approval of the Director, QUT Governance, and providing there is no ongoing need for business reasons or to meet legal or compliance obligations. Records management retention and disposal (QUT staff access only) information including requirements for obtaining approval for disposal of QUT records is available from QUT Governance.

(12) Specific records creation and retention requirements exist for records relating to children and vulnerable persons. The Guideline on creating and keeping records for the proactive protection of vulnerable persons issued under the Public Records Act 2002 applies to all Queensland public authorities.

Early Disposal of Digitised Records

(13) Permanent records that are created or received in hardcopy format must be maintained in their original format for the entire retention period as set out in the Retention and Disposal Schedules.

(14) Temporary records that meet the requirements set out in the General Retention and Disposal Schedule (Disposal Authorisation 2074 - Physical Source Records) are eligible for early destruction after scanning into QRecords or an approved corporate business system (Section 6 above).

(15) Approval for the early destruction of digitised records must be sought from the Director, Governance and Performance in accordance with the Guidelines for records disposal (QUT staff access only). Records that have been approved for early destruction are included in the Retention and Disposal Schedules (QUT staff access only).

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Section 8 - Access to Records

(16) QUT records are a corporate resource. Staff need to be informed in order to provide context to the functions and activities which they perform, and may have access to University records in order to fulfill their duties. The University's general approach is one of openness, in that staff should be able to find and access records about university activities, except where the records qualify for restricted access in accordance with QUT's information security classification framework (Information Security Policy).

(17) The University provides a number of schemes to allow individuals to access information held by QUT, including statutory schemes required under the Right to Information Act 2009 and Information Privacy Act 2009. For further details on these schemes, refer to the university's Information Access Policy.

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Section 9 - University Archives

(18) The University corporate archives provide an ordered system for the management of permanent and long-term records of QUT and its predecessor institutions.

(19) Access to these records is sought though the Manager, Compliance, Policy and Records, who may refuse access or impose conditions on how access may occur where records are fragile or awaiting conservation treatment. Bona fide researchers may also be granted access to the material upon application, though in these cases, access may be subject to the records being within the 'open access' periods imposed by the Public Records Act 2002.

(20) The University’s corporate archive is not a collecting archive and does not support the storage or display of artefacts or memorabilia. Donations of records and other archival material from persons or bodies outside of QUT will only be accepted where the archival material is directly relevant to the university's main functions and activities; enhances the corporate memory or history of QUT or its predecessor institutions; and where it is clearly within the power of the donor to make the donation. Wherever possible, copyright and ownership of the material will pass to the university, and access conditions should not normally be imposed on the material. These matters will be formally documented in an agreement signed by the donor.

(21) Where an offered donation is not considered appropriate for the University archives, efforts should be made by relevant areas of the University, such as the Advancement Office, to locate an appropriate repository for the material. Further information is available in the Art Collections and Cultural Venues Policy.

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Section 10 - Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

(22) Plans consistent with QUT’s Business Continuity Management Framework, will be developed, approved, and periodically reviewed. The plans will inform the recovery response to disruption caused by a disaster or serious incident that results in:

  1. loss or damage to QUT hard copy records; or
  2. the unavailability of the corporate electronic recordkeeping system, QRecords.
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Section 11 - Definitions

Term Definition
Record Is defined by Queensland State Archives as any recorded information created or received by an organisation in the course of their business or conduct of their affairs. A record provides evidence of activities. This is irrespective of the technology or medium used to generate, capture, manage, preserve and access those records. Records may be in many formats, both physical/hardcopy or electronic, including unstructured data for example emails, or structured data (any data that resides within the fixed fields within a business system, the combination of which can constitute a record).
Corporate Business System  Is defined as a system that has been implemented to support a specific business function and is supported and funded centrally by the university. It does not include tools such as email services or file storage systems.
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Section 12 - Delegations

(23) Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (VC036, VC037) (QUT staff access only).