Open Government Partnership – Australia

3.3 - Government information access - Archived records

Overall status:

Australia will make it easier for the public to find, access and use government data and information. We will do this by making greater use of central portals, digital platforms and other tools to improve discoverability and accessibility.

The most significant records of the Australian Government are held by the National Archives of Australia. To facilitate citizens’ access to these records through digital and online channels, the Archives will continue to lead the transition from paper to digital information practices in Australian Government agencies, digitise paper records of high research value and increase the number of records available for public access.

Current status

National Archives has published the 2016 Report to the Minister on Implementation of Digital Continuity in the Australian government to its website. Since July 2016 the Archives has proactively released for public access over 66,000 records from 126 groups of archival records including key 1992/93 Cabinet records. The Archives has also digitised over 3 million records, including immigration movement records, and made them available online via its RecordSearch database.


National Archives of Australia


Other stakeholders

Government: All Australian Government departments are required to participate in implementation of the Digital Continuity 2020 policy.

Non-Government: National Archives Consultative forums consisting of representatives of historical, genealogical, military and other research interest groups.

Steps to implementation

Implementation Step Status

Lead the transition to fully digital information management practices in Australian Government agencies. Creating and maintaining information in digital formats better supports timely online access to government data online.

  • The Archives will report to the Prime Minister in 2018 on progress towards digital information continuity in Australian Government.

  • By 2020, Australian Government agencies will have entirely digital work processes and will keep information in an accessible digital form, for as long as it is required

(Dec 2016 - Dec 2018)


Increase the number of archival records available in digital formats, including World War II service and passenger arrival records

  • Consult with civil society to identify high demand records for digitisation

  • Digitise and make available online

(Dec 2016 - Dec 2018)


Make additional groups of archival records of high research interest available for public access.

  • Consult with civil society to identify high demand records for public access

  • Release for public access

(Dec 2016 - Dec 2018)

Last updated: 24/07/2017

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