Establish roles and responsibilities of the relevant parties

The roles and responsibilities of all parties should be established at the outset of the inquiry. To facilitate this process we recommend that before the inquiry hearings start, inquiry staff meet with The National Archives, and, if applicable, representatives of the sponsoring department. This will help the inquiry put in place effective information management processes and ensure that all parties are clear on how the record will be delivered after the inquiry's conclusion.

Summary of the roles and responsibilities:

The National Archives

  • has a statutory responsibility to advise on best practice and standards in the management of public records 
  • liaises with and provides guidance to inquiry staff
  • agrees the selection of the inquiry record for permanent preservation
  • provides advice and guidance on the preparation and cataloguing of records selected for transfer
  • archives the inquiry website

The inquiry chairperson

  • ensures that the record of the inquiry is comprehensive and well ordered
  • establishes a secretariat that has responsibility for the operational management of the inquiry record
  • transfers custody of the inquiry record to a government department or The National Archives at the conclusion of the inquiry

The secretary of the public inquiry

  • agrees policies and processes for information management
  • ensures that inquiry staff are fully aware of the need to safeguard and maintain adequate records of the inquiry work
  • arranges for the identification and archiving of records with long term historical value

The sponsoring department

  • advises on the operation of records management procedures in the department and inquiry
  • agrees which records will be transferred to The National Archives or government department
  • oversees the transfer of records selected for permanent preservation to The National Archives
  • supervises the timely destruction of records that are no longer required