Created: 27 May 2016
Statistics on access examination from the Annual Reports of the National Archives of Australia.
You can click on a trace in the legend to hide/show it. See below for the raw stats. Years may not be directly comparable because the way in which the statistics were collected changed in 2011-12.
And as percentages:
|Items opened without exemption||59,768||137,892||111,803|
|Items opened with partial exemption||1,627||1,528||1,423|
|Items wholly exempt||165||103||227|
|Items containing no open period material||170||197||671|
|Items opened without exemption||137,892||111,803||123,108|
|Items opened with partial exemption||1,528||1,423||2,845|
|Items wholly exempt||103||227||172|
|Other (eg closed period)||197||671||506|
Note the change from ‘Items containing no open period material’ to ‘Other (eg closed period)’.
|Items opened without exemption||111,803||123,108||213,674|
|Items opened with partial exemption||1,423||2,845||4,041|
|Items wholly exempt||227||172||159|
|Other (eg closed period)||671||506||1,213|
|Items opened without exemption||123,108||213,674||110,390|
|Items opened with partial exemption||2,845||4,041||3,511|
|Items wholly exempt||172||159||123|
|Other (eg closed period)||506||1,213||1,840|
|Items opened without exemption||213,674||110,390||112,026|
|Items opened with partial exemption||4,041||3,511||3,979|
|Items wholly exempt||159||123||739|
|Other (eg closed period)||1,213||1,840||2,797|
|Items opened without exemption||110,390||112,026||435,143|
|Items opened with partial exemption||3,511||3,979||4,160|
|Items wholly exempt||123||739||345|
|Other (eg closed period)||1,840||2,797||1,112|
Note the addition of explanatory notes to the table:
|Withheld from public access||739||345||171|
|Other (eg closed period)||2,797||1,112||0|
Note that I’ve kept the format the same as previous years, even though as you can see from the image below, the printed layout has changed. The labels have also changed.
Note change in layout as several previously separate tables are now all munged together:
|Withheld from public access||345||171||245|
|Other (eg closed period)||1,112||0||0|
Note on the ‘wholly released’ total:
‘A decrease occurred because the record series examined and cleared in 2004–05 and 2005–06 comprised fewer individual records than the series examined and cleared in 2003–04.’
|Withheld from public access||171||245||299|
Note that the ‘Other’ category has disappeared completely.
|Withheld from public access||171||245||299||448|
|Total||245 441||222 287||291,172||136,851|
Note on ‘wholly released’:
‘Fewer whole series were opened to public access than in previous years.’
Note that it’s now a four year comparison.
|Withheld from public access||245||299||448||267|
Note that a distinction is made for the first time between ‘simple’ and ‘complex’ access examination.
Simple access examination is managed within the Archives.
Complex access examination generally requires referral to other departments or agencies for expert advice on exemptions. This category includes material with ongoing national security, defence and international relations sensitivities.
There was also a review of access procedures (p. 4):
The Archives Act provides a general right of access to most government records. Records are examined for public access in response to a request from a researcher or as part of our program of proactive examination of records. A significant risk associated with this is the inadvertent release of exempt information, especially that which retains ongoing national security, defence or international relations sensitivities.
To address this, during the year we commissioned an external review of our access examination processes. This review, together with a previously commissioned review, resulted in recommendations to reduce this risk. The majority of recommendations were implemented, including the establishment of a new business unit dedicated to the access examination function, construction of a secure accommodation area, and installation of a dual-site local area network to manage highly classifi ed and sensitive information. Further, an interdepartmental committee on the public release of classified and sensitive archival records was established to oversee the development of whole-of-government access examination processes.
p. 169 – definition of ‘Access Examination’:
The process of examining records to i dentify any exempt information they may contain.
|Withheld from public access||299||448||267||250|
|Wholly released||286,211||132,339||182 525||303 383||170 616|
|Withheld from public access||299||448||267||250||289|
Note there’s now a 5 year comparison.
|Records wholly released||303,383||170,616||102,778|
|Records partially released||4,027||4,732||4,703|
|Records withheld from public access||250||289||285|
Includes a note on the totals for this year:
For 2011–12 all data was sourced from the reference and access module of RecordSearch. In previous years a combination of different electronic databases was used to collate the statistics.
|Records wholly released||170,616||102,778||212,243|
|Records partially released||4,732||4,703||4,376|
|Records withheld from public access||289||285||239|
From 2011–12 all data was sourced from the Reference and Access module of RecordSearch. In previous years a combination of different electronic databases was used to collate the statistics.
|Records wholly released||102,778||212,243||414,453|
|Records partially released||4,703||4,376||5,641|
|Records withheld from public access||285||239||659|
Significant resources were committed to improve the timeliness of examination and to resolve a backlog of approximately 20,000 applications. The Archives undertook extensive consultation with researchers and agencies, and with their support an access examination taskforce was established in October 2013 to target the backlog. The taskforce released records relating to more than 7457 applications. In addition, the taskforce globally opened 357,434 records not requiring examination. A backlog of 12,543 applications remained at 30 June 2014, and will continue to be addressed by the Archives.
|Records wholly released||212,243||414,453||429,423|
|Records partially released||4,376||5,641||9,824|
|Records withheld from public access||239||659||1,026|