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Financial management

The National Archives’ financial statements for 2018–19 are presented in Part 4 of this report. The Australian National Audit Office issued an unmodified audit opinion of these statements, noting that the National Archives has appropriate and effective financial controls.

Asset management

The National Archives manages diverse and complex assets including:

  • the national archival collection
  • intangible assets such as digital copies of collection items
  • fit-out of office, storage, preservation and exhibition spaces
  • building plant supporting critical infrastructure such as low-temperature storage vaults
  • preservation equipment
  • high-quality digital imaging equipment and cameras
  • exhibition infrastructure
  • information technology infrastructure supporting corporate and archival systems.

The National Archives’ asset acquisitions and replacements are managed through the five-year Capital Asset Plan. The Executive Board provides governance in relation to capital expenditure based on this plan.

Asset management policy

The National Archives applies best-practice asset management principles to its facilities and associated assets. It continues to progressively review and refine its asset management policies and practices.

Heritage assets

The heritage and cultural assets held by the National Archives form the national archival collection. This irreplaceable collection is valued at over $1.5 billion.

The National Archives is responsible for caring for the most significant records of the Australian Government. Most of these records are created, received or held by government agencies. The national archival collection consists of tens of millions of items, and includes records about immigration, military service, transport, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, science and the environment, and much more.

Curatorial and preservation policies for heritage and cultural assets can be accessed at: naa.gov.au/about-us/organisation/accountability-and-reporting/our-operations-andpreservation-policies

Capital works

The National Archives progressed significant capital works projects during 2018–19 to accommodate current and future operational needs.

The work included:

  • relocation of the Western Australia Office from East Victoria Park to a new, purpose-built repository in Belmont and front-of-house and office facility in Northbridge. The repository accommodates 17 kilometres of shelving storage for collection material and records. The Northbridge facility, located in the heart of Perth’s cultural precinct, opened in March 2019 and provides for administration, public exhibitions, seminars and research centre operations.
  • completion of the Information Communications and Technology Data Recovery Centre at the New South Wales Office and repository at Chester Hill in September 2018.
  • refurbishment of the Mitchell storage facility in the Australian Capital Territory. This significant refurbishment project will provide 75 kilometres of storage shelving and is due for completion early in 2019–20.
  • planning for the significant refurbishment of the ground floor exhibition and public spaces at East Block, Australian Capital Territory. The project is expected to be completed by November 2019.