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Purpose, role and functions


The National Archives provides leadership in best practice management of the official record of the Commonwealth and ensures that Australian Government information of enduring significance is secured, preserved and available to government agencies, researchers and the community.

Role and functions

The National Archives was established under the Archives Act 1983 (the Act) and is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity (a listed entity) under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and an Executive Agency under the Public Service Act 1999.

The National Archives:

  • sets the information management standards that must be met by Australian Government agencies
  • authorises the appropriate destruction of Australian Government information of no enduring significance
  • manages Australian Government information of enduring significance as part of the national archival collection
  • preserves and secures the national archival collection
  • ensures that public access to the national archival collection is provided in accordance with the Act to the fullest extent, while taking proper account of privacy, security, confidentiality and public interest.