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Access Decisions

What is an Access Decision?

An access decision determines whether records are open or restricted.              

Privacy and other legislative or business requirements need to be taken into consideration when determining access to current records. 

There is also a need to determine appropriate access to non-current records or archives under Section 43 of the Public Records Act 2005.

When should access decisions be made?

We recommend that access decisions for all information are made at the time of creation. This will help you manage access to information throughout its life cycle, as referred to in Principle 4 of the Records Management Standard for the New Zealand Public Sector

The adoption of the Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017 and the increased use of digital business and recordkeeping systems in the public sector provide an opportunity for you to embed access regimes into these systems.

Section 43 of the Public Records Act (2005) requires that the status for appropriate external access to public records or local authority archives is made when:

• public records have been in existence for 25 years or
• public records are about to be transferred to the control of the Chief Archivist
• local authority records become archives

How are access decisions made? 

There must be there are good reasons to restrict public access to public records or local authority archives. 

The Making Access Decisions on the Access Status of Public Records guide is to help you make appropriate decisions about open or restricted access to information in both paper and electronic record environments. It directs you to our forms and templates as well as other assistance and relevant legislation. 

Who do I contact for advice on access decisions?

For advice please contact: .


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