Government Records Act

CHAPTER 7

OF THE

ACTS OF 1995-96

amended 2010, c. 5, s. 29; 2011, c. 5, s. 365

NOTE - This electronic version of this statute is provided by the Office of the Legislative Counsel for your convenience and personal use only and may not be copied for the purpose of resale in this or any other form. Formatting of this electronic version may differ from the official, printed version. Where accuracy is critical, please consult official sources.

An Act Respecting
Government Records in Nova Scotia

Short title

1 This Act may be cited as the Government Records Act. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 1.

Purpose of 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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 2.

Interpretation

3 In this Act,

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

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

(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

but does not include the House of Assembly, its committees, the House of Assembly Management Commission 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

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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 3; 2010, c. 5, s. 29; 2011, c. 5, s. 365.

Application of Act

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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 4.

Minister has supervision of Act

5 The Minister has the general supervision and management of this Act. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 5.

Government Records Committee

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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 6.

Duties of 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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 7.

Prohibition

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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 8.

Records schedules

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

(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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 9.

Review of records schedule

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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 10.

Approval by Minister and effect

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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 11.

Duties of public body

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

Records vested in Her Majesty

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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 13.

Regulations

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,

(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. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 14.

Public Records Act repealed

15 Chapter 374 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public Records Act, is repealed. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 15.

Public Records Disposal Act repealed

16 Chapter 375 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public Records Disposal Act, is repealed. 1995-96, c. 7, s. 16.

homepage statutes statutes by title


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2012 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created October 4, 2012. Send comments to legc.office@gov.ns.ca.