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BILL NO. 25

                                              Government Bill

                 
                                                               
              3rd Session, 56th General Assembly
                         Nova Scotia
                   44 Elizabeth II, 1995-96

                 
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                      An Act Respecting
              Government Records in Nova Scotia




                          CHAPTER 7
                       ACTS OF 1995-96




                 
                                                               
                                                               
              The Honourable Gerald J. O'Malley
               Minister of Supply and Services


                 
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
          AS ASSENTED TO BY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
                       JANUARY 11, 1996






                 
                                                               
                           Halifax
          Printed by Queen's Printer for Nova Scotia
                               
                               
                               
                               
                               
                       An Act Respecting
               Government Records in Nova Scotia



         Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:


         1  This Act may be cited as the Government Records Act.


         2  The purpose of this Act is to

            (a) vest the records of public bodies in Her Majesty in
         right of the Province;

            (b) ensure comprehensive and accurate description
         and classification of records in the custody or under the
         control of a public body; and

            (c) authorize the retention and disposition of the
         records of public bodies.


         3  In this Act,

            (a) "Committee" means the Government Records
         Committee;

            (b) "head", in relation to a public body, means

                (i) where the public body is a department, branch
            or office of the Government of Nova Scotia, the
            member of the Executive Council who presides over it,

                (ii)    where the public body is a board, commission,
            committee, office, foundation, agency, tribunal, task
            force, council, association or other body of persons
            reporting directly to a member of the Executive
            Council in respect of its day-to-day operations, that
            member,

                (iii)   where the public body is a board,
            commission, foundation, agency, tribunal, task force,
            council, association or other body of persons not
            reporting directly to a member of the Executive
            Council in respect of its day-to-day operations, the
            chair or presiding officer of the board, commission, 
            committee, office, foundation, agency, tribunal,
            association or other body of persons, or

                (iv)    in any other case, the person designated by the
            regulations as the head of the public body.

            (c) "Minister" means the member of the Executive
         Council assigned responsibility for this Act;

            (d) "municipal unit" means a city, an incorporated
         town, a municipality of a county or district, a regional
         municipality or village commissioners incorporated
         pursuant to the Village Service Act or to whom that Act
         applies and includes any agency, board or commission
         thereof;

            (e) "Public Archives" means the Public Archives of
         Nova Scotia;

            (f) "public body" means a Government department or
         a board, commission, committee, office, foundation,
         agency, tribunal, task force, council, association or other
         body of persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated,
         all the members of which or all the members of the board
         of management or board of directors of which

                (i) are appointed by order of the Governor in
            Council, or

                (ii)    if not so appointed or specified, in the
            discharge of their duties are public officers or servants
            of Her Majesty in right of the Province,

         but does not include the House of Assembly, its committees,
         the Legislature Internal Economy Board, the Office of the
         Speaker, the Office of the Clerk of the House, the Office of
         the Legislative Counsel, the Office of the Conflict of
         Interest Commissioner, the caucus offices, the offices of
         party leaders or any other offices within the jurisdiction of
         the House of Assembly or the Speaker and, for greater
         certainty, does include

                (iii)   the Office of the Auditor General,

                (iv)    the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, and

                (v) the Office of the Ombudsman,

         and includes a public body designated as a public body
         pursuant to clause 14(1)(c),

            (g) "records" means information or data that is
         recorded or stored by graphic, photographic, electronic,
         mechanical or other means and includes public archives
         vested in Her Majesty in right of the Province;

            (h) "records schedule" means a comprehensive
         description and classification of all records of a public
         body with a plan governing the life cycle of the records
         from creation or receipt to disposition or permanent
         preservation.


         4  (1) This Act applies to all records in the custody or
under the control of a public body, including court
administration records.

            (2) This Act does not apply to

                (a) a record in a court file, a record of a judge of
            the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of
            Nova Scotia, Family Court or Provincial Court, or
            judicial administration records;

                (b) personal, political, party or constituency
            records of a member of the House of Assembly or the
            Executive Council; or

                (c) material placed in the custody of the Public
            Archives by or for a person, agency or other
            organization other than a public body.


         5  The Minister has the general supervision and
management of this Act.


         6  (1) There shall be a Government Records Committee
consisting of

                (a) the Provincial Archivist;

                (b) the Deputy Minister of Finance or such other
            officer of the Department of Finance as the Deputy
            Minister may designate;

                (c) the Auditor General of Nova Scotia or such
            other officer as the Auditor General may designate;

                (d) the Deputy Attorney General or such other
            officer of the Department of Justice as the Deputy
            Attorney General may designate;

                (e) the Deputy Minister of Supply and Services or
            such other officer as the Deputy Minister may
            designate; and

                (f) such other persons, not exceeding two, as the
            Governor in Council may determine, appointed by the
            Governor in Council.

            (2) The Provincial Archivist is the Chair of the
Committee.


         7  The Committee shall

            (a) review records schedules submitted to it by a
         public body;

            (b) review procedures for the retention, preservation,
         destruction or alienation of records identified in a records
         schedule; and

            (c) recommend approval of records schedules to the
         Minister.


         8  No person shall destroy, alienate or transfer to the
Public Archives the records of a public body except in
accordance with a records schedule approved by the Minister
pursuant to this Act for those records.


         9  (1) Every head of a public body having custody or
control over records shall prepare one or more records
schedules that

                (a) describe, classify and index all the records in
            the custody or under the control of the public body;

                (b) govern the life cycle of the records, including

                    (i) the creation, receipt, handling, control,
                organization, retention, maintenance, security,
                preservation, conservation, destruction or
                alienation of the records,

                    (ii)     the period prescribed for retention of
                records in the custody or under the control of the
                public body, and

                    (iii)    the disposition of the records, whether
                by transfer to the Public Archives, destruction or
                alienation; and

                (c) provide for retention periods and establish
            whether each class of record is to be permanently
            preserved, destroyed or otherwise alienated from the
            custody or control of the public body.

            (2) The head of a public body shall forward each
records schedule to the Minister for review and
recommendation by the Committee and, upon doing so, so
advise the Provincial Archivist.


         10 (1) Upon receipt of a records schedule from the head
of a public body, the Committee shall review the records
schedule.

            (2) Upon completion of its review of a records
schedule, the Committee shall

                (a) forward the records schedule to the Minister
            with its recommendation for approval; or

                (b) return the records schedule to the head of the
            public body with the Committee's recommendations.


         11 (1) Upon receipt of a records schedule and a
recommendation to approve it from the Committee, the Minister
may approve the records schedule.

            (2) The records schedule of a public body has effect
upon approval by the Minister.


         12 The head of a public body shall

            (a) apply each records schedule for which the head is
         responsible and that has been approved in accordance with
         this Act; and

            (b) protect and maintain records in the custody or
         under the control of the public body so that records are

                (i) usable and accessible,

                (ii)    transferable,

                (iii)   legible and understandable, and

                (iv)    maintained in formats, media and conditions
            that ensure retention and preservation in accord with
            the records schedules.


         13 The records kept by or in the custody of a public body
or any Provincial or municipal officer in pursuance of the
officer's duty as such officer are vested in Her Majesty in right
of the Province.


         14 (1) The Minister may make regulations respecting any
matter or thing that in the opinion of the Minister is necessary
to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act and,
without limiting the generality of the foregoing,

                (a) designating and establishing classes of
            records for the purposes of retention, destruction or
            permanent preservation of the records of a public
            body;

                (b) respecting the practices to be observed in
            dealing with records for the purposes of disposition
            and retention, and respecting the transfer of records to
            the Public Archives for permanent preservation;

                (c) designating, as a public body for purpose of
            this Act,

                    (i) any municipal unit,

                    (ii)     any school board as defined in the
                Education Act,

                    (iii)    a university or college,

                    (iv)     any agency, association, board,
                commission, corporation, office, society or other
                body

                        (A)  any member of which is appointed by
                    the Governor in Council or a member of the
                    Executive Council,

                        (B)  a controlling interest in the share
                    capital of which is owned by Her Majesty in
                    right of the Province or any of its agencies, or

                        (C)  that performs functions pursuant to an
                    enactment;

                (d) defining any word or expression used in this
            Act but not defined in this Act.

            (2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the
authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the
meaning of the Regulations Act.


         15 Chapter 374 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public
Records Act, is repealed.



         16 Chapter 375 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public
Records Disposal Act, is repealed.