Records of information are at the core of Western Australian government organisations. Records are assets which allow the government to function effectively. They provide evidence of actions taken and decisions made by government organisations and allow the government to be accountable for its actions.

Good records management is a necessary element of good governance and integrity.  A record is defined as any record of information (in any form) created, received, or maintained by a government organisation, Local Government or parliamentary department in the course of conducting its business activities. State records may be in any format on which information can be stored, including paper, film, magnetic and optical media.

The State Records Act 2000 sets the framework for records management of state and Local Government entities. Under the Act, the State Records Commission is required to produce standards and principles. The Act also requires all government entities, including Local Governments, to develop a recordkeeping plan (RKP), outlining how they will comply with the standards and principles. RKPs must be approved by the State Records Commission. Creating and looking after records is central to a Local Government’s CEO responsibility, as a public official. If records are not kept in accordance with the RKP, it is possible that the CEO and individual employees may be charged with an offence under the Act if records are not kept in accordance with the RKP and the State Records Principles and Standards 2000. The penalty for a breach is $10,000.00
In 2019, the Auditor General published their Records Management in Local Government Report which found that although Local Government’s had RKP’s in place, some were not effectively implementing them, or managing their records to promote accountable and transparent decision making. Recordkeeping tools that support implementation, such as policies and procedures, training, and monitoring were not adequately developed. 

One of the key recommendations from the Audit report was that all Local Governments should review their policies and procedures and should implement among other recommendations regular and thorough records training. 

One of the most important components of ensuring that a record keeping system is compliant to the Act is to provide a sustained and supported training program. The records management courses on offer through WALGA Training provide practical introductions to the core principles and elements of a recordkeeping programme.  Participants will be introduced to the best practice concepts advocated by the State Records Office, together with practical tips on how to manage records in their workplace.

Introduction to Managing Business Records in Local Government
Participants will be introduced to the best practice concepts from the State Records Office and from AS ISO 15489 Records Management Standard, together with practical tips on how to manage records in their workplace.