Agencies need to account for records that have been destroyed or deleted, including both records disposed of under a records authority and records disposed of under normal administrative practice (NAP). Some agencies keep all drafts; others allow deletion of drafts when a final version is stored. Your agency should document decisions on keeping or destroying drafts in a policy or guidelines.
- drafts in either paper or electronic form of reports, correspondence, addresses, speeches, planning documents etc. that have minor edits for grammar, spelling etc.,
- do not contain significant or substantial changes or annotations, or
- have been assessed as not required to document business activities
Another issue of interest in the decision was Deputy President Levy's rejection of the Department's arguments [28-33] that a memorandum to the minister was exempt as a deliberative process document, based on public interest considerations, as follows. And that government agencies continue to run these kind of arguments:
- Document 44 contains an opinion which may not have been the final opinion of the Department;
- The integrity of the decision making process should be protected by separating the final decision from intermediary ones; and
- It would be contrary to the public interest if departmental officers in the future felt reluctant to properly record issues which are sensitive.