'Protecting the public record: models of international best practice'

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This seminar will explore models of international best practice in the area of protecting the public record.

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The seminar will cover a range of areas such as leading change in records management across government, the lifecycle of the public record including the shift towards digital preservation, access to third party records, data protection and GDPR. Each of the speakers will present from their own national and legislative context, specifically examining how this impacts on their ability to protect public records and information from the moment of creation.

The seminar is specifically targeting government departments, agencies and local authorities as well as other national archives, archivists, records managers, certifying officers and representative bodies such as the Archives and Records Association (ARA).


Stephen Clarke has worked across the New Zealand public service for 15 years in senior information management, data and intelligence roles across a range of agencies including DIA, Inland Revenue, Office of the Auditor General and the Office of the Ombudsman. He took up the role of Chief Archivist in December 2020 after being the Chief Data Officer for Waka Kotahi NZTA. Internationally, Stephen is known as a thought-leader and standards expert, having developed standards for information management for the governments of Australia and New Zealand and internationally for the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Council on Archives (ICA).

Hugh Hagan is Head of Public Records Act Implementation at the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and has almost thirty years’ experience as an archivist and records manager at the NRS. His responsibilities have included advising government departments and agencies on records management and providing guidance to these bodies on archive issues. Hugh was a member of the Bill team that successfully guided the Public Records (Scotland) Act, 2011 through the Scottish Parliament and he manages the Keeper’s assessment team which was established to implement the provisions of the Act.

Helen Hewson is a Keeper in the National Archives in the Archives & Government Services Division. She oversees the transfer of 30-year old records from government departments and various State bodies as well as requests for disposal of government records of all ages.

Following the recent amendment of the National Archives Act, 1986 and the introduction of a 20-year rule for certain classes of official records, Helen and her team will oversee the transfer of 20-year old records relating to Northern Ireland and Anglo-Irish relations later this year, gradually bringing Irish archival legislation in line with that in the UK. Helen joined the National Archives in 2004, having previously worked in a range of information management and archival institutions in the education, arts, religious and scientific sectors.

Poul Olsen is Chief Counsellor and Data Protection Officer at the Rigsarkivet, the Danish National Archives. He has extensive experience working in archives in Denmark and internationally. His international work includes membership of the UN Relief and Work Agency for the Palestine Refugees Project Advisory Board; the International Council on Archives Committee of Archival Legal Matters; the EU National Archives Expert Group; the NATO Archives Committee and the Bilateral Archival Committee Denmark/US Virgin Islands.

He has written extensively on Danish history and archives, particularly Danish emigration and has represented the Rigsarkivet at both national and international events. He holds a Masters in History from the University of Copenhagen and a Master of Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School.


Orlaith McBride is Director of the National Archives, having assumed the role in April 2020. Prior to her appointment, she was Director of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon from 2011–2020. She has worked across different public service and voluntary organisations throughout her career including those in the arts, culture, education and local authorities.

Orlaith served on the Governing Authority of Dublin City University from 2008–2014, was Deputy Chair of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Cultural Agencies from 2014–2020 and is currently a board member of the Brian Friel Trust and the MacGill Summer School.

Please note:

• The seminar will be recorded and made available to view on the website of the National Archives shortly after the event.

• The link to attend the seminar will be sent on Wednesday 23 June to the email address attendees register with.

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Organiser National Archives, Ireland

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The National Archives is the official archives of central government in Ireland and we preserve the records of the Irish State. Our vision is to ensure the future of the public record and its availability as an information resource and to safeguard citizens’ rights. We also acquire records of private origin and contribute to the cultural life and memory of Irish society.

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