The documents explained below were written with the assistance of the book "Administrative Documents Manual". The manual was drafted by a team of public employees in the current Deputy Directorate-General of the State and Citizen Services, the Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations, to implement a project of administrative modernisation.
The Administrative Documents Manual represents the first systematic study of the documents used by the public administration and by citizens and proposes a series of forms for different documents.
Administrative activity is distinguished by its documentary nature, that is, by using documents that represent the proof of activity. Administrative documents are the support in which different public administration acts are materialised, externally from these acts.
There are two essential functions that administrative documents fulfil:
- Function of setting on record. The document ensures the survival of administrative actions by establishing their material support. This therefore guarantees that all events and actions are kept on record and their existence can be proven, their effects and possible errors or vices, as well as citizens right to access them.
- Function of communication. Administrative documents serve as a means of communicating the administration's actions. This communication is both internal - between the administrative organisational units - and external - the administration with citizens and with other organisations.
There are a series of characteristics that determine that a document can be considered an administrative document.
- They produce effects: Documents that are not aimed at producing some effect cannot be considered administrative documents, such as summaries, extracts...Administrative documents always produce effects with third parties or within the administrative organisation itself.
- They are issued by an administrative body: The issuer of an administrative document - the party that produces it - is always one of the bodies that make up the organisation of a public administration.
- A document is valid when its issue complies with a series of formal and substantive requirements, required by the regulations that govern administrative activity.