The Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office (TAHO) has clarified the advice they recently issued regarding the management and disposal of records on floppy discs (Recordkeeping Advice 24).
In Recordkeeping Advice 24, the Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office claimed that the technology to read 5.25 inch floppy discs was no longer available and therefore advised agencies that if they didn't know what was on a disc, then it could be disposed of by simply listing the number of unidentified discs in a Register of Records Destroyed. They have since discovered that there may be a way to read these discs after all and have issued a request for us to hold off on destroying any such discs until they can investigate further.
However, in response to our enquiries, they have advised us that business areas may still dispose of unidentified floppy discs (either 5.25 or 3.5 inch) in this way if they prove unreadable when accessed via an appropriate disc drive. In this case, you will need to list the discs in a Register of Records Destroyed. Please use a single entry row, noting the number of unidentified discs and the fact that you have attempted to read them in the description field. Leave the Disposal Schedule, Reference Number and Inclusive Dates fields blank.
Please note that this only applies in the case of floppy discs where you have no idea as to the nature of the contents. If you know what is on a floppy disc, then you will need to identify the appropriate disposal class for the disc's contents from those listed in the disposal schedules and cite its reference number in a Register of Records Destroyed, just as you would for any other record. For more information, see Information Sheet 3: Registers of Records Destroyed and Information Sheet 4: Disposal Schedules.
The Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office plans to issue an amended version of Recordkeeping Advice 24 to reflect these changes in the near future and the Records Management Unit will notify staff when this occurs.