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Public Records Appraisal Committee (PRAC)

The appraisal of non-current public records is governed by PART III of the National Archives Act No.22 of 1999 . At the National Archives of Mauritius, the Public Records Appraisal Committee controls and appraises non-current records in every public or statutory body. The members of this Committee are:

  • The Director of the National Archives as Chairman;
  • A representative of the Attorney General's Office;
  • A representative of the National Audit Office;
  • The Director of Statistics or his/her representative;
  • A representative of the National Library;
  • A historian from the Mauritius Institute of Education;
  • A historian from the University of Mauritius; and
  • A historian from a registered History Association.

The objectives of the Public Records Appraisal Committee in pursuance of its appraisal activities are to:-
  1. Identify those records which are deemed to have enduring value
  2. Preserve records with permanent and historical value for reference and research
  3. Overcome space problems in registries and other record rooms of Government departments
  4. Reduce Government expenditure on personnel, building, storage and shelving equipment that are necessary to control, keep and maintain records
  5. Upgrade efficiency in Government organisations where only active records necessary for daily administration are kept and
  6. Safeguard documents of a historical, administrative or legal import against ill-advised destruction.

Procedures

Whenever a Government institution or statutory body wants to dispose of its non-current records, the responsible officer should inform the Director of the National Archives by way of an official letter. The latter will afterwards request the former to prepare and submit a list (s) of records to be disposed of as per the Second Schedule of the Government Notice No. 28 of 2002 . A meeting will afterwards be convened with all the members of the Committee to examine the list(s) of records, in the presence of a representative of the public or statutory body. The latter will have to bring a specimen of each item of records mentioned in the list. With regard to the records to be disposed of or preserved, the representative will have to answer to questions asked by members of the Committee on the enduring value and the importance of the documents.

The Public Records Appraisal Committee, after consultation and deliberation among its members, will decide on the mode of disposal. All members must unanimously agree with respect to the decision taken, regarding the records: retention for a limited period, transfer to the National Archives or outright destruction. Where the Committee decides that a public record is to be destroyed, it has to give public notice of its decision in the Government Gazette and in two daily newspapers. Any person may object to the destruction of that public record within 30 days of the publication of the notice. Where no objection is received after the said period of 30 days, the responsible officer of the public body shall cause the record to be burnt up in the presence of any officer deputed by him. The officer present at the destruction of the public record shall certify to the Director of the National Archives that the public record has been duly destroyed, in the form specified in the Third Schedule of Government Notice No.28 of 2002 .


 

 
Last Updated: 14 September, 2017
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