​Royal Commission Toolkit

This toolkit supports the recordkeeping recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission) to help Tasmanian organisations make sure they are safe for children.

This toolkit can be used by government and non-government organisations.

Please email us at osa@education.tas.gov.au if you have any questions.


DescriptionResource 

Disposal Schedule for Records Relating to Child Abuse, and our reasons for retention and disposal decisions.

This schedule is relevant to Tasmanian government organisations, non-government organisations can apply it as best practice.

Disposal Schedule for Records Relating to Child Abuse (DA2520)

The Australian Society of Archivists has developed the Records Retention and Disposal Schedule to assist non-government schools with good governance and the retention and disposal of non-government school records.

This schedule is relevant to non-government schools, and there is a cost.

Records Retention & Disposal Schedule for Non-Government Schools (external link)

 

Formal notification of our Disposal Freeze for Records Relating to Children and FAQs

This freeze is for Tasmanian government organisations, non-government organisations can apply it as best practice.

Disposal Freeze for Records Relating to Children

Child Abuse Disposal Schedule and Freeze FAQs

Instructions and form to use to destroy child-related source records during the Freeze.

Approval is for government organisations, non-government organisations can apply it as best practice.

Approval Process to Destroy Temporary Child-Related Source Records

 

Step by step guide to finding records that relate to the Disposal Schedule and Freeze and examples

This guide can be used by government and non-government organisations.

How to Identify Records and examples of Record Types

Australian and international standard for recordkeeping best practice. Concepts and principles for the creation, capture and management of records to meet compliance, business and societal requirements. Applies to all records, regardless of format, business or technological environment. 

This standard can be used by government and non-government organisations. There may be a cost.

AS ISO 15489.1: 2017 Information and documentation - Records management, Part 1: Concepts and principles (external link)

Standards Select online (for Tasmanian government agencies)

Last Update: September 2020.


Background

In 2012, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that a royal commission would be held to investigate the institutional responses to allegations or incidents of child sexual abuse. The Royal Commission ran for five years, and heard statements from nearly 8000 survivors. Nearly one third of the survivors told the Royal Commission they were abused in an institution under government management, most commonly schools, out-of-home care, youth detention and healthcare facilities. [1]

"The Royal Commission has heard from countless survivors about their painful experiences with poor records and recordkeeping practices in institutions. Many have told us that they had difficulty accessing records, including those who were unable to find records about themselves."

"The consultation paper revealed that good recordkeeping practices contribute to survivors' sense of identity, knowledge of past experience and memories and information about their families, culture and community. Good records and recordkeeping practices also assist in better handling of child sexual abuse complaints, redress and criminal proceedings." [2]
At the completion of the Royal Commission in 2017, a seventeen volume Final Report was handed down. Volume 8 Recordkeeping and information sharing examines recordkeeping and information sharing in institutions. Five recommendations were made to improve recordkeeping practice and help organisations make sure they are safe for children.  


The Recordkeeping Recommendations

8.1:  To allow for delayed disclosure of abuse by victims and take account of limitation periods for civil actions for child sexual abuse, institutions that engage in child-related work should retain, for at least 45 years, records relating to child sexual abuse that has occurred or is alleged to have occurred.

8.2:  The National Archives of Australia and state and territory public records authorities should ensure that records disposal schedules require that records relating to child sexual abuse that has occurred or is alleged to have occurred be retained for at least 45 years.

8.3:  The National Archives of Australia and state and territory public records authorities should provide guidance to government and non-government institutions on identifying records which, it is reasonable to expect, may become relevant to an actual or alleged incident of child sexual abuse; and on the retention and disposal of such records.

8.4:  All institutions that engage in child-related work should implement the following principles for records and recordkeeping, to a level that responds to the risk of child sexual abuse occurring within the institution.

  • Principle 1: Creating and keeping full and accurate records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, is in the best interests of children and should be an integral part of institutional leadership, governance and culture.
  • Principle 2: Full and accurate records should be created about all incidents, responses and decisions affecting child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse.
  • Principle 3: Records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, should be maintained appropriately.
  • Principle 4: Records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, should only be disposed of in accordance with law or policy.
  • Principle 5: Individuals' existing rights to access, amend or annotate records about themselves should be recognised to the fullest extent.

8.5:  State and territory governments should ensure that non-government schools operating in the state or territory are required to comply, at a minimum, with standards applicable to government schools in relation to the creation, maintenance and disposal of records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse.