The NSW Archives and Records Authority is the second agency to evaluate the practice of destroying documents by the Governor’s Office before the 2019 NSW elections.
The Labor Party accused the government of using the "Stronger Community Fund" money in the election campaign as a sweetener to the community.
The regulatory agency responsible for overseeing compliance with the State Records Act found that destroying documents violated records retention laws.
Although this violation can result in fines, no legal action will be taken against the NSW Governor’s Office.
Regulators found that even though this is technically illegal, they should enforce clearer information.
The regulator also believes that the records management manual for the director's staff is insufficient.
The Information and Privacy Commission previously assessed that the governor’s employees did not violate the rules.
Part of the Information and Privacy Commission report released on Thursday found no obvious violations.
However, the Bureau of Archives and Records believes that "unauthorized" processing of documents violates the state records law, and that the supervision of document management in the governor's office is insufficient.
They also believe that “the section on records management information in the Director’s Office Manual does not provide sufficient support to the Director’s staff in the creation, acquisition, management, and processing of state records.”
Green Party Congressman David Shoebridge leads an investigation into the governor's office's handling of public records, including the destruction of documents.
He said: "The findings of the State Records Office are fatal."
A spokesperson for the governor's office said the government supports all the recommendations of the State Archives and Records Service, which includes the development of clearer records management programs.
The spokesperson said: "The Bureau of Records noticed that the error occurred because the rules were vague and the advice provided for the classification and handling of documents was not sufficient."
"We have also noticed that the Bureau of Records' view is that the processing of documents is due to misunderstanding, rather than deliberate circumvention of rules. Therefore, we will strengthen the training of employees to ensure that they fulfill their obligations under the Records Act.
This issue was also sent to the Independent Anti-Corruption Bureau by the Information and Privacy Commission.
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