​Obtaining a Destruction Authority

Having comprehensive Retention and Disposal Schedule coverage, and regular disposal programs in place, is critical to good records management within Tasmanian agencies. However, there may be situations where agencies have 'unscheduled' legacy records, for example when amalgamations or other Government administrative changes take place.

Guideline 2 Retention and Disposal of State Records requires Tasmanian government agencies to obtain authorisation from the State Archivist to dispose of State Records as defined in the Archives Act 1983. One of the key tools for records disposal is an authorised Retention and Disposal schedule. Where possible, records should be identified for destruction or transfer using a current disposal schedule. Agencies that have responsibility for records which have not yet been identified in a current disposal schedule may apply for a Destruction Authority from the State Archivist to deal with these unscheduled records.

For information on the steps to follow, refer to Advice 10 Disposal of Unscheduled Records and the accompanying Checklist. When seeking to destroy unscheduled records, agencies will be required to complete and submit an Application to Dispose of State Records. A copy of the completed checklist must accompany the application. Completed forms should be emailed to

Note that records recommended for destruction that have been submitted through to OSA must not be destroyed, or their accessibility diminished, until a formal Destruction Authority has been issued to the agency.

The destruction method chosen for records subsequently authorised for destruction in a Destruction Authority, should be appropriate to the medium in which the record exists. It is the responsibility of the agency to ensure that the identified records are actually destroyed and that this process is confidential and secure. Refer to Guideline 21 Approved Destruction methods for State Records for additional guidance in this area.