Last updated:

December 24, 2020

What laws affect government recordkeeping in Victoria?

Victorian Government agencies come under a number of laws which regulate the creation, management and disposal of information.

The Public Records Act 1973 (PR Act) sets specific requirements for the effective management of public records, and provides the governing framework for PROV and the Keeper of Public Records.

Beyond this, both State and Commonwealth legislation establish significant legal regimes for control of government information, including in the areas of privacy, security and access to information. 

Each individual government agency will be affected differently by these laws. Your agency should investigate how these laws apply specifically to them.


Does the Public Records Act 1973 apply to my agency?

The PR Act applies to public officers which create or receive public records, as defined in the following way.

Public office means:

  • any department branch or office of the government of Victoria;
  • any public statutory body corporate or unincorporated
  • a state owned enterprise within the meaning of the State Owned Enterprises Act 1992
  • any municipal council
  • any other local governing body corporate or unincorporated
  • a royal commission, whether established under the Inquiries Act 2014 or under the prerogative of the Crown
  • a board of inquiry or formal review established under the Inquiries Act 2014.

A public record is:

  • any record made or received by a public officer in the course of their duties
  • any record made or received by a court or person acting judicially in Victoria.

A public officer refers to any person employed in a public office.


What other relevant laws might apply to my public office?

Other legislation which regulates aspects of information management and recordkeeping include, but are not limited to:  

See Victorian Legislation website to access current legislation.

Further information about these laws is provided by the administering authority.




Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples.