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Legislation

PRONI strongroom Privately deposited record Touching up of records

Legislation specific to PRONI

Image of archives in PRONI strongroom.
Two pieces of legislation relevant to the management of public records dictate how the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) conducts its everyday business.

The Public Records Act (NI), 1923

The Public Records Act (NI) 1923 (80KB) Adobe PDF formatted document Opens a new browser window. established PRONI as the place of deposit for public records, created the roles of Keeper and Deputy Keeper of the records as well as defining what public records actually are.  It also permitted PRONI to accept records from private sources.

Disposal of Documents Order, 1925

A further piece of legislation, the 1925 Disposal of Documents Order (80KB) Adobe PDF formatted document Opens a new browser window. was then passed.  This sets out how PRONI and government departments should deal with the disposal of public records once their business need comes to an end.

General Legislation which affects PRONI

In addition to the legislation specific to PRONI, there are several other pieces of legislation that PRONI, as a public body, has to adhere to:

The Lord Chancellor’s Code of Practice, 2000

The Lord Chancellor’s Code of Practice under section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (56KB) Adobe PDF formatted document Opens a new browser window. sets out what the Lord Chancellor requires from public authorities as they carry out their duties in relation to the Freedom of Information Act.

The aims of the code are twofold;
  • the first aim is to provide a suitable set of practices in relation to the creation, management and disposal of public records;
  • the second deals with the arrangements for reviewing and transferring the records to a place of deposit once their administrative use has come to an end.

The Freedom of Information Act, 2000

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 Opens a new browser window. came into force on 1st January 2005.  The Act gives members of the public the legal right to access information held by a public authority.

The Data Protection Act, 1998

The Data Protection Act 1998 Opens a new browser window. gives anyone the right to know what information is held about them by a public authority and sets out rules to ensure that information is handled properly.

Environmental Information Regulations, 2004

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 Opens a new browser window. give rights of access to environmental information under terms similar to Freedom of Information.