National Archives of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)

Triangular consultation

When establishing a retention schedule, an account be kept of the interests associated with an archival record. More information about this is available in the section on ‘Appreciation and appraisal’. To comparatively weigh up these interests, all relevant parties must be able to provide input. For this reason, article 3 of the 1995 Decree on Public Records (Archiefbesluit) specifies that retention schedules concerning government information must be devised with the input of specific experts:

  • one or more officials who are well informed about the organisation and its tasks;
  • one of more officials knowledgeable about the information management practices and type of information produced. Besides information managements, this could also include, for example, those acting as privacy or WOB (Open Government) officers;
  • The director of the State Archives Service.

The involvement of these three parties has led to this phase of the establishment process becoming known as a ‘triangular consultation’. Participants in the triangular consultation make proposals regarding the value of the functional activities included in the records schedule concerned. If the retention schedule relates to the archival records of municipalities, provinces, and water authorities, then provincial archives inspectors and, in certain cases, archivists from the water authorities or municipalities must also be involved.