have published a consultation paper outlining their proposals to
improve the management of public records in Scotland. Ministers
have invited public comment on their proposals, set out in the consultation
paper and accompanying Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment.
The full consultation paper can be found on the Scottish Government website.
Subject to the replies received, a Bill implementing the proposals
will be put before the Scottish Parliament when a legislative opportunity
arises. Scottish Ministers encourage you to take part in this process,
to consider the details, and to let them know what you think. Copies of the documents are available here to download: Consultation paper - Acrobat PDF, 144KB, new window; BRIA - Acrobat PDF, 37.2KB, new window. An easy read version of the consultation paper is also available to download here: Easy read consultation paper – Acrobat PDF, 719KB, new window.
Public records provide the essential evidence of who we are as
individuals, as communities and as a nation. They are our collective
memory and the basis for individual rights and obligations. They
ensure government accountability and provide transparency for the
citizen. The government’s proposals will allow public authorities
to address weaknesses in record keeping which have been identified
within individual sectors. The proposals cover named public authorities,
including local authorities, which generate or receive records in
the course of their business. The aim is to improve practice by
authorities across Scotland, enabling them to create not more but
better public records.
In 2009, The
Keeper of the Records of Scotland completed a review
of Scottish public records legislation in light of the recommendations
made by The Historical Abuse Systemic Review of Residential Schools
and Children’s Homes in Scotland (the Shaw Report). The need
for improvement was exemplified by the failures in record keeping
identified by the Shaw Report. This pointed to shortcomings in the
regulatory framework for children in care and identified records
management problems, particularly in relation to the preservation
of historical records and access rights.
The Keeper’s findings were presented to Scottish Ministers
at the end of 2009. A copy is available to download:
to Scottish Ministers on the Recommendations of the Shaw Report,
October 2009 - Acrobat PDF, 403KB, new window
Responses to the public consultation paper are requested by Wednesday 4 August 2010.