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National Archives progresses new public service records management plan

Seminar to consider challenges of preserving electronic records

The National Archives will this Friday (October 21st) hold a seminar for civil and public servants to raise awareness of the value and importance of good records management. It will focus on the effective creation and management of public records and in particular, how to deal with the related emerging issues with regard to electronic records.

Speaking today the Director of the National Archives John Mc Donough said:
“The bulk of records being generated today are done so in electronic format and here at the National Archives we are aware of a pressing need for guidance to be provided to Government departments to ensure the long term preservation of the public record in this format.

“Together with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, we have initiated a dialogue to develop and progress a new public service records management plan. It will bring clarity and confidence to public servants in their management of records and ensure that important records are preserved for the public.

“This plan comes at a time of positive growth for the National Archives. Last week as part of Budget 2017, Minister Humphreys announced an increase in day to day funding of almost 20% for the Archives, which will ensure that our strategies can continue to be actively progressed through this Decade of Centenaries. These strategies include advancing the development of the records management plan and a number of digital initiatives.

“In addition, work is continuing on our major redevelopment plan, which will significantly increase the volume of archival storage on the Bishop Street site in Dublin 8. Researchers will benefit from the recently reopened Reading Room which has been upgraded with new lighting and air handling facilities to offer a more comfortable environment for those using this facility and to protect the records themselves.

“As we move towards 2022, and the anniversary of the destruction of the Public Records Office of Ireland, we welcome this on-going commitment by the Minister and her Department to the archival record, and the development of new technologies and approaches to ensuring its preservation and continued accessibility in Bishop Street and online.”


Note to Editors:

The new public service records management plan will include a model records management policy, a classification model for files, and will also identify how long files must be retained by government departments before they may be destroyed (subject to permission from the National Archives) or transferred to the National Archives for long term preservation.

The National Archives is halfway through its own three-year strategic plan and two of its priorities are to increase the Archives’ visibility to users, in particular in government departments and agencies, and also to progress the ‘transition to digital’.