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Since the start of the COVID-19 response the public sector has had to deal with multiple lockdowns, changes in how we work and where we work, and new recordkeeping challenges, such as holding registers to assist in contact tracing. The recent move to the COVID-19 Protection Framework (Traffic Light system) is a good opportunity to review what this means for your ongoing management of Covid-19 related records.

Throughout this time the core Public Records Act 2005 obligation to create and maintain full and accurate records in accordance with prudent business practice has remained more important than ever. As we continue to develop our approaches and adapt to new ways of working it is important to reflect on the following:

  • Has accountability for decisions and actions been recorded and made easily accessible in this rapidly changing environment?

  • How has your organisation ensured that adequate information management support is provided for remote working environments? Do you have a plan in place to control and capture records created outside your core business systems?

  • How has the adoption of new applications and tools to manage your organisation’s work impacted on information management? For example, has adequate information management support been provided for remote working environments?

  • How has information handover been managed for staff who are being cycled through shifts and assignments? Has maintaining a complete and accurate record been supported by system design?

Since the start of the pandemic we have updated General Disposal Authority 6: Common corporate service public records (GDA6) to cover the management of tracing records. The GDAs are designed to be as broad as possible to keep them resilient in the face of significant events and should be sufficient to assist you in managing your records related to COVID-19. If you feel there is insufficient coverage, either within the GDAs or within your organisation’s specific disposal authority, we encourage you to bring it to our attention.

Archives New Zealand staff are available through our online channels to provide advice and to work with you if any issues arise regarding recordkeeping, disposal or the implementation of existing authorities. The primary channel for supporting your information management specialists remains rkadvice@dia.govt.nz.

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