Queensland to bring outdated public record laws into the digital age

Queensland will review public record keeping laws applying to 500 government agencies to bring them up to date with advances in digital technology and recognise the rights of Aboriginal people.

Retired Supreme Court Judge John Byrne

Digital economy minister Leeane Enoch says the current laws don’t recognise the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders or provide any special provisions for first nations communities as they were drafted before the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Public Records Act 2002 establishes the Queensland State Archives and and is designed to ensure public records are managed and preserved for future generations, and that access is consistent with the state’s privacy and right to information laws.

The review will help ensure integrity and good governance in the public sector, she said.

It will be led by retired Supreme Court Judge John Byrne and supported by a panel of experts in information management, digital technology, archival practices, heritage and records related to first nations people.

Recognising change

Justice Byrne noted it’s been two decades since the legislation was drafted and it hasn’t been subject to any reviews since then.

“There’s been significant societal and digital change during that time,” he said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to make sure the Act is dealing with the challenges of modern Queensland and that it reflects community expectations.”

The review will consider:

  • The inclusion of first nations people in decision making about control and acess to records pertaining to them
  • Opportunities to increase accountability and transperacy, including increasing penalties
  • Efficiency gains via the scope of records retained
  • The role of the State Archivist
  • The preservation and management of digital records and emerging technology
  • Legislative frameworks in other jurisdictions

Interim findings will be presented to the government by mid August with the final report due by the end of that month.

The government says it will consult with stakeholders are part of the review.

Stakeholders can register here to find out when the engagement period begins.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required