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​Appraisal of State records required as State Archives

The Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office (TAHO) is the principal custodian of the documented heritage of the state of Tasmania, including the UNESCO Memory of the World Convict records. The collection contains both State records and records from private collections.

TAHO is responsible under the Archives Act 1983 for identifying State Records that have enduring value as State Archives and for authorising finite retention periods for all other State records, thereby ensuring this information is retained as long as it is required. This identification occurs through the appraisal of State records. Appraisal is the cornerstone of determining which records will become the State Archives of the future.

TAHO seeks to identify and preserve as State Archives the decision making processes of government and the implementation and outcome of those decisions including their influence and effect on communities and individual lives.

TAHO is committed to ensuring professional integrity is maintained in the appraisal of Tasmanian State records and aims to provide agencies with support and guidance in the appraisal process.

What is appraisal?

Appraisal involves evaluating the business activities of an agency to determine which State records should be created and captured and how long they are required to be kept to meet business needs, the agency’s accountability requirements, and community expectations. Appraisal can be applied prospectively for records that do not yet exist and retrospectively for State records which already exist.

Appraisal is a planned and documented process based on research and analysis to provide transparent, reasoned and consistent reasons for the retention or non-retention of records. It is a complex, judicious and subjective process that involves the application of values to functions and records. In the future as we deal with ever increasing volumes of information it will increasingly involve an element of risk assessment.

TAHO is responsible under the Archives Act 1983 for identifying State records that have enduring value as State Archives and for authorising finite retention periods for all other State records, thereby ensuring this information is retained as long as it is required. This identification occurs through the appraisal of State records.

The State Archivist has issued the Appraisal Statement for State records required as State Archives in accordance with Part II Division 2 Section 8 of the Archives Act 1983. This statement applies to all Tasmanian government agencies.