The Commonwealth Record Series (CRS) Manual

4.1. Organisation - Definition

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   4.1.0.  Organisation definition
   4.1.1.  Last updated

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4.1.0.  Organisation definition

For the Archivesí purposes, organisations are a means of representing the high level administrative context of agencies. An organisation is defined as a whole government, learned society, church or company that is independent (or broadly autonomous), eg

CO 1 Commonwealth of Australia

The business and functions of an organisation are regarded as being exercised through the agencies it controls.

In addition to records of the Commonwealth Government, the Archives has received and, therefore, needs to control and manage records documenting functions that were previously carried out by agencies of colonial, state and foreign administrations. There is also a need, occasionally, to document the movement of an agency (and responsibility for its records) from one organisation to another.

A registration at organisation level is used to link one or more agencies, historically, to their broadest administrative group. It is also used to facilitate the assembling of reports, such as inventories of agencies, which list agencies according to their respective organisations. Ultimately, this allows series and record items to be placed within their organisational context, that is, it can be established that a record was created by a State or Territory government agency rather than a Commonwealth government agency.

It is accepted that agencies can move, essentially unchanged, between organisations over time. The device of separate registration of organisations and linking them to the agencies they control is an efficient way of reflecting administrative changes at the highest level. For example, the transfer of the Canberra Theatre Trust (CA 3285) from the Commonwealth Government (CO 1) to the Australian Capital Territory Government (CO 105) can be shown by a simple amendment to the organisation controlling information in the Agency Registration, eg

CA 3285, Canberra Theatre Trust

Organisation controlling:

21 Jun 1965 - 16 May 1989:   CO 1 Commonwealth of Australia
16 May 1989 - :  CO 105 Australian Capital Territory Government


4.1.1.  Last updated:  27 Jun 2000


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