§ Lord Lester of Herne Hill
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will publish the review of the Public Records Acts by the Keeper of the Public Records, and her suggestions for improvement, referred to in the Keeper's Annual Report 1996 [HL33]
§ The Lord Chancellor
The Public Record Office has addressed two aspects of the operation of the Public Records Acts. First, its contribution to the management of records in government was considered as part of a joint study with the Cabinet Office. The report, which was placed in the Libraries of both Houses in February 1997, called for administrative rather than legislative change. Implementation is now well under way. Subsequently, the Keeper of Public Records and her staff have been involved in the preparation of the Government's freedom of information proposals. These were published in December 1997 (Your Right to Know; CM 3818) and their implementation will involve some reform of the access provisions in the Public Records Act 1958. Apart from the work on records management and freedom of information, the Keeper has not put proposals for a new archives act to me since this is not in prospect in the immediate future. The adequacy of the current legislation will remain under review.