Financial Services

Overarching Retention of Financial Records Policy

The State Records Act prohibits destruction of any University record without reference to a current and approved General Disposal Authority (GDA).

University records, whether in paper or electronic format may not be disposed of except in accordance with the relevant authority.

There are many different classes of financial records, and retention periods vary with the nature and content of the documents. Some financial documents are retained for short periods of time while others, as in the case of policy and procedure, must be retained permanently.

For information about your legislative requirements, consult the University Archivist on (+61 8) 6488 7234.

Policy statement

General Disposal Authorities (GDA)

All areas of the University's records are covered in the General Disposal Authorities (GDAs) and they can be used to establish the minimum amount of time a record needs to be retained.

For further information on the General Disposal Authorities available, refer to Archives and Records Management Services or contact the University Archivist on (+61) 6488 7234.

Financial Services records

Financial Services creates and manages all financial records and historical financial transactions as well as material related to the budget process for the University as an entity. The University must retain these accounting records for as long as they are required by law to provide an adequate audit and management trail to assist the audit process undertaken by both Internal Audit and the Office of the Auditor General.

These accounting records can also act as prima facie evidence in a court of law in the event of a legal dispute.

Faculties/Schools/Business Units financial records

Faculties, Schools and Business Units are also responsible for maintaining a collection of material in relation to the financial practice and management of the daily operations for their Business Unit(s) and for the preparation of annual budgets for their Business Unit(s). This material is also subject to the State Records Act (2000).

Many of the financial records created by Faculties, Schools and Business Units are copies of original material submitted for action to Financial Services, such as T forms and N forms. Often these records only need to be kept for as long as they are used administratively by the Faculty, School and Business Unit; however, it is important that Faculty, Schools and Business Units retain financial records and relevant material during the previous and current financial year as they relate to budget working papers.

Budget working papers should be retained or disposed of according to the General Disposal Authority to which they relate.

Contact the University Archivist directly for further details or queries on the disposal of budget working papers and related material.

Records destruction

When financial records and budget information are scheduled for disposal the University Archivist must be consulted before any destruction takes place.

All destruction must be in accordance with the relevant disposal authority and those records intended for disposal must be submitted on a Records Destruction Certificate.

The Records Destruction Certificate is used to record the lawful destruction of records and ensure compliance with the State legislation. It should be completed fully and signed by the appropriate delegate and sent to the University Archives for final approval.

Records must not be destroyed until final approval is granted by the University Archivist as a delegate for the Vice-Chancellor.

Records must only be destroyed in accordance with the University Guidelines on the Disposal of Records.

For further information on records destruction and the process involved refer to Archives and Records Management Services or contact the University Archivist on (+61 8) 6488 7234.

TRIM records that are no longer active should be returned to University Records with a request to close the file. All sentencing of TRIM files will be conducted by Archives and Records Management ServicesAt no time are you permitted to destroy, transfer or alter a TRIM file.

If you are unsure as to whether a record is a TRIM file, contact Archives and Records Management Services.

Archival records

Not all records should be destroyed. Those that have been identified with continuing value by Faculties, Schools and Business Units should be transferred to University Archives.

For further information on the transfer of archives, contact Archives and Records Management Services on (+61 8) 6488 7234 or (+61 8) 6488 3885.


  • No records are to be destroyed unless authorised by an approved General Disposal Authority.
  • Always complete a Records Destruction Certificate to record the lawful destruction of records within the Faculty, School or Business Unit(s).
  • Always ensure that records are destroyed according to University Guidelines.
  • Records with continuing value must be transferred to the University Archivist.
  • See further information from Archives and Records Management.