This snapshot, taken on
22/06/2011
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Until 2000, the Public Records Act 1958 had been substantially amended once (by the Public Records Act 1967) and in detail many times by other statutes and statutory instruments. Most of these minor changes brought bodies within the scope of the Act.

In 2000, however, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 introduced very significant changes, which came into force in January 2005. The text of the Public Records Act given here is as amended by the Freedom of Information Act.

Read the Public Records Act 1958.

Find out more about the history of the Public Records Act.

Find out more about the public records system today.

Concordat on Welsh public records

The National Archives is the archive for the UK government and for England and Wales. However, the Government of Wales Act 2006, Part 6, sections 146-148 makes provision for Welsh public records, carrying forward provisions originally made in the Government of Wales Act 1998. The effect of the 2006 Act is that Welsh public records fall under the Public Records Act 1958 until an Order under section 147 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 makes Welsh Ministers or a member of the Welsh Assembly Government responsible for preserving them.

Welsh public records include the records of the Welsh Assembly Government and a number of sponsored bodies affiliated to it. The records of the Welsh Assembly and the Welsh Assembly Commission are not Welsh public records under this legislation and the Assembly and Assembly Commission records are responsible for their own records.

The records of the Welsh Assembly, Welsh Assembly Commission, Welsh Assembly Government and affiliated bodies are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Until an Order under section 147 has been laid, The National Archives will continue to carry out its statutory functions in regard to Welsh public records in accordance with the Public Records Acts 1958. A Concordat between the Welsh Assembly Government and the National Archives has been recently updated in order to formalise this arrangement.

English version of the Concordat (PDF, 0.46Mb)

Welsh version of the Concordat (PDF, 0.08Mb)

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