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QSA Releases New Guidelines for Records Relating to the Protection of Vulnerable Persons

Apr 6, 2020 | Records Management

In these difficult times, it is important to remember to protect those that are the most vulnerable. This is why it is timely that the Queensland State Archives (QSA) have released new guidelines and disposal authorisations for records relating to the protection of vulnerable persons.

These guidelines apply to all Queensland public authorities, all of whom have a moral and legal duty to protect the rights of vulnerable persons through proper recordkeeping.

Under the new guidelines public authorities must ensure that they maintain complete and accurate records which provide evidence of any allegations, incidents or investigations that are relevant to interactions with vulnerable persons. This is imperative in ensuring appropriate records are available to support legal claims and redress applications.

The new guidelines provided by QSA should be considered an extension to your additional recordkeeping requirements defined under the Public Records Act 2002, and provide advice on the following areas;

  • Creating and managing records that relate to the protection of vulnerable persons from any allegations, incidents or disclosure of abuse.
  • Definition of who is considered a vulnerable person and the forms of abuse.
  • Identifying records that could provide corroborating evidence of contact with vulnerable persons in relation to any allegation, incident, disclosure or investigation of abuse.
  • Sentencing and implementation to determine how long you need to retain records.
  • Identifying, analyzing and mitigating risks associated with interactions with vulnerable persons.

You can download the full guidelines here.

Revoking the disposal freeze for records which are relevant to an allegation of child sexual abuse.

Effective immediately, the State Archivist has revoked the disposal freeze that was previously issued on 1st June 2018 for all records which are relevant to (or may become relevant to) child sexual abuse.

Records covered by the freeze can now be sentenced under any one of the new disposal authorisations in the General Retention and Disposal Schedule (GRDS). These authorisations are as follows;

Disposal authorisation 1558 – covers any records that relate to allegations or incidents of abuse of vulnerable persons.

Disposal authorisation 1559 – requires public authorities to maintain evidence of interactions with vulnerable persons until 31 December 2028.

Disposal authorisation 1560 – records you create that detail the steps your organisation has taken to meet your obligations must be permanently maintained to ensure government accountability.

You can find more information in the latest GDRS, which can be found here. If you have any further questions about how these changes affect your organisation or what you can do to ensure compliance, reach out to one of our records management consultants.

Kylie Lack

Kylie Lack

Lead Technical & Business Consultant

Kylie is a records and information management specialist with a wealth of industry knowledge. She drives information excellence in eDRMS and ECM software design and implementation. Drawing on her analytical acumen, technical aptitude and expert project management skills, she also employs our proven methodologies and industry best practices to deliver valuable insight and support for our clients.

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