As stipulated by the law (Codice dei beni culturali e del paesaggio, art. 41) the State Archives exercise the function of overseeing the archives produced and kept by the public administration offices.
Such vigilance is exercised by the Commission of surveillance and appraisal, provided for in every suburban and regional public administration office. They are composed of members nominated by the office involved, by a competent representative of the State Archives and from a member of the Ministry of the Interior.
The composition of the Commission needs to reflect the various interests and points of view regarding the care of documents: the representative from the State Archives has the task of ensuring the necessary requirements for their conservation as historical sources for research purposes.
For the Province of Prato there are approximately 13 Commissions of Surveillance active. They gather occasionally and prepare, where necessary, the discarding proposals (that must then be approved of by the Archival General-Director) and the eventual deposits at the Prato State Archives for documents no longer in use for over 40 years.
If delegated by the Soprintendente Archivistico per la Toscana, civil employees of the State Archives can exercise surveillance over other archives, private or public in the jurisdiction (Provincia di Prato).