National Archives Act, 1986

Retention and disposal of Departmental records.

7.—(1) Subject to the provisions of sections 19 (3) and 19 (4), Departmental records shall, unless they are transferred to the National Archives in accordance with section 8 or are disposed of under subsection (5), be retained and preserved in the Department of State in which they were made or are held, and shall not in any case be disposed of except in accordance with subsection (5); provided that, where more than one copy of such a record exists, the retention and preservation of the original or, if the original is no longer available, of an accurate and complete copy thereof shall suffice.

(2) The Director or another officer of the National Archives designated by the Director for the purposes of this section (in this section referred to as “the designated officer”) may make an authorisation under this section.

(3) An authorisation under this section—

(a) shall authorise the disposal of the Departmental records to which it relates,

(b) may specify conditions relating to such disposal, and

(c) shall have effect in accordance with its terms and any conditions so specified.

(4) An authorisation under this section shall not be made until the following conditions are complied with:

(a) an officer of a Department of State authorised for the purpose of this section has certified that particular Departmental records made, received or held by that Department and specified in the certificate, or a particular class or classes of such records so specified, are not required in connection with the administration of that Department and has requested the Director or the designated officer in writing for such an authorisation;

(b) the Director or the designated officer is satisfied that the records or classes of records specified in the certificate under paragraph (a) do not warrant preservation by the National Archives;

(c) the Chief Justice, in the case of records of the Supreme Court, or the President of the High Court, in the case of records of the High Court, has consented to the making of the authorisation.

(5) Departmental records, the disposal of which is authorised by an authorisation under this section, shall be disposed of by being destroyed in a manner which ensures that their confidentiality is not affected and that their contents are not ascertainable.

(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an authorisation under this section may relate to Departmental records (or to a class or classes of such records) not in existence at the time of the authorisation.

(7) The Director or the designated officer may inspect and examine any Departmental records the disposal of which under authorisation under this section is under consideration.