Go to top of page

Statements required under the Archives Act

Record disposal practices

Section 25 of the Archives Act requires the Director-General to provide the Council with a statement setting out the practices relating to the disposal of Commonwealth records. At each Council meeting, the National Archives also provides information on records authorities issued to Australian Government entities. During 2018–19, the National Archives issued 25 instruments under the Archives Act, including records authorities developed in consultation with individual entities.

Special access to official records

Section 56(2) of the Archives Act provides that an individual may be granted access to Commonwealth records not available for public access. This includes records not yet in the open period and records assessed as being exempt from public access. Applications to access closed period or exempt records are made directly to the agencies responsible for controlling them. Decisions on whether to grant access are the responsibility of these agencies. Special access arrangements have been in place since 1988 to help agencies make decisions about records that are subject to an application for special access.

In accordance with the requirements of section 56(5) of the Archives Act, at each meeting of the Council the National Archives tables a statement detailing requests for, and decisions relating to, access under section 56(2).

The National Archives was notified that nine applications for special access to records under section 56(2) were received during 2018–19. Access was granted in six cases and three applications remained under consideration at the end of the financial year.

Financial information and secretariat services

The Council’s operation is funded from the National Archives’ budget appropriation (Table 31). Major expenditure items consisted of members’ remuneration, travel allowances and airfares to attend Council and other associated meetings. In addition to direct financial support, the National Archives also provides secretariat and administrative services to the Council.

Table 31 | National Archives of Australia Advisory Council expenditure (2018–19)


Cost ($)



Travel allowance




Other travel expenses


Hospitality and catering expenses