Circular 1 of 1963
TO ALL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS, PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATIONS, THE ADMINISTRATION OF SOUTH WEST AFRICA AND THE SOUTH AFRICAN RAILWAYS.
DISPOSAL OF PERSONAL FILES AND SERVICE RECORD CARDS OF OFFICIALS AFTER CONCLUSION OF SERVICE: GENERAL AUTHORITY AP 3
(LAPSED, BUT STILL APPLIES TO SAR/SATS/SPOORNET DOCUMENTATION PRIOR TO 1990-04-01)
Experience has been shown that personal files and service record cards of officials who have left the service are mainly of value should a person apply for reappointment. Their permanent preservation in archives depots, where they take up valuable storage space, cannot be justified therefore.
It has been decided therefore that no further personal files and service record cards will be accepted and that they may be destroyed when no longer required for administrative purposes.
The period they wish to retain such records before destroying them is left to the discretion of Departments and Administrations. They should however guard against hoarding them for longer than really necessary. A systematic destruction programme should be introduced in order to free valuable storage space continuously.
Whenever personal files and service record cards are destroyed, the prescribed destruction certificates1 must be submitted to this office. It is however not necessary to furnish a list of the files or of the names of the persons concerned.
It is worthy of mention that standing destruction authority has been granted to the Public Service Commission2 to destroy ten years after conclusion of service, all personal files of persons who have left the Public Service. The Commission is of the opinion that the retention of such files for a period of ten years serves a useful purpose for that office, since the majority of re-appointments take place within then years and the availability of the personal files facilitates the course of matters in such cases. Problems that might be experienced, were personal files to be destroyed immediately on conclusion of service, would however not be insuperable, according to the Commission.
The instructions contained in Circular No. 10/1/4 of 28 November 1959, issued by the Chief Archivist, are hereby withdrawn.
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See the Records Management Policy Manual par. 126.96.36.199.
From 1994 known as the Department of Public Service and Administration