The Public Records Act (Northern Ireland) 1923

The Public Records Act (NI) 1923 established the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland for the reception and preservation of public records.

The Act

It defined NI public records widely as ‘all records of any court, Government department, authority or office in Northern Ireland with respect to which the Parliament of Northern Ireland has power to make laws’.

It established a point of transfer of 20 years for public records and set out the basis for the disposal and retention of public records in Northern Ireland.

Records management considerations

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 amended S5 of the 1923 Act by providing a statutory right of access to public records disclosed in accordance with Freedom of Information.

Disposal of Documents Order 1925

The Disposal of Documents Order 1925 sets out the provisions for the disposal and retention by public authorities of Northern Ireland public records.

It provides the legal basis for disposal schedules and sets out the need for public bodies to have an officer who is responsible for their records and information.

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