Record keeping

You must keep accurate records to comply with both government policy and the law.
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What you need to know
  1. You must keep full and accurate records.
  2. Doing so is a legal obligation but will also help you answer any complaints or requests for public information.
  3. You need to keep records of meetings, project documents, working papers and emails.
  4. The government owns these records, not you.

Importance of keeping accurate records

It’s essential that you always keep accurate records of how you plan and manage a procurement and make decisions.

Accurate records are your best defence against legal challenges. They can help you answer complaints, as well as public requests for information. They’ll also provide a useful audit trail if any of your decisions are ever reviewed.

Records you must keep

The State Records Act 1998 says you must make and keep full and accurate records that document both your operation and administration.

The Act defines a ‘record’ as any document or source of information you create or receive in the course of official functions.

You must keep records of the following.

  • Meetings. Details of dates and times, locations, attendees, key discussion points and decisions.
  • Project documents. These include briefing notes, approvals, conditions of tenders, plans, reports and contracts. You must save these into your business systems.
  • Working papers. Drafts submitted for comment can be valuable for explaining significant changes in planning or processes.
  • Emails and letters. You should capture these in your business systems as, legally, they can be requested at any time.

You don’t own these records, even when you create them yourself. The government does.

Your agency may also have additional requirements when it comes to making and keeping records.

Related content

  • Other considerations: Read an overview of some of the things you must consider before you start a procurement
  • International agreements: Find out how your responsibilities under international agreements affect your procurement activities
  • Non-agency buyers: Discover how you can buy under the NSW government procurement scheme even when you’re not a government agency
  • Governance: Read about how the NSW Government governs procurement activities
  • Board directions: Find out what Board directions are and why you must comply with them