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Records Disposal: Normal Administrative Practice Guideline

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Section 1 - Records Disposal: Normal Administrative Practice

(1) A significant number of the records created, sent and received by ACU are covered by the Records Retention and Disposal Schedule as they act as evidence of business transactions. However, there are records that do not fall within this category. Records of short-term value that lack evidentiary value may be disposed of in accordance with accepted business processes referred to as ‘Normal Administrative Practice’ (NAP).

(2) NAP allows records to be disposed of without formal authorisation from Records and Information Management Services (RIMS). The types of records covered under NAP, as defined by the National Archives of Australia, are detailed below.

Facilitative, Transitory or Short-term Items

(3) This category includes:

  1. appointment diaries, calendars (excluding those of Management Levels 1 to 4);
  2. informal communications that do not act as evidence of business, such as: ‘with compliments’ slips, personal emails, listserv messages, external newsletters;
  3. duplicates of internal circulars and newsletters other than the master copy;
  4. unsolicited letters offering goods or services;
  5. emails or documents that have been captured into corporate record keeping and approved business systems; and
  6. spam emails.

Rough Working Papers and / or Calculations

(4) This category includes:

  1. routine or rough calculations;
  2. working papers and background notes that support the development of drafts;
  3. spreadsheets or word processing documents that have been incorporated into correspondence or a separate final document; and
  4. system printouts used to verify data or answer ad hoc queries that are not part of regular reporting procedures and not required for ongoing work.


(5) The following draft documents are generally not intended for further use or reference:

  1. draft reports, correspondence, addresses, speeches, planning documents, etc., in either paper or electronic form, that have minor edits for grammar, spelling etc;
  2. drafts that do not contain significant or substantial changes or annotations in relation to the final version; and
  3. drafts that do not contain significantly more information than the final version.

(6) Other drafts may need to be retained for specific purposes (e.g. as evidence of legal negotiations between ACU and a third party).

Reference Material

(7) Copies of material retained for reference purpose only include:

  1. duplicates of ACU procedures, manuals, guidelines, plans etc other than the master copy;
  2. copies of records made for reference purposes or to support the development of other documents, including summaries of extracts of records held in ACU’s records management system(s);
  3. unsolicited promotional or advertising material received by ACU; and
  4. external material.

Normal Administrative Practice (NAP) Decision Flowchart

(8) See the Normal Administrative Practice flowchart.

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Section 2 - Review

(9) Unless otherwise indicated, this Guideline will still apply beyond the review date.