Section 43 Registers kept by district registrars
89.Since 1855, identical “master copies” of every register of births, deaths and marriages have been held locally and in Edinburgh. GROS, having in the 1990s completed the electronic indexing of all the registers, has recently completed a project to provide a digital image of every register page, linked to the searchable electronic indexes. This gives registrars throughout Scotland access through a secure computer network to the indexes and to the digital image of any register page. The paper register, however, remains the authoritative source. Subsection (2) enables the Registrar General to determine that the registers are to be kept in electronic rather than in paper form. All of section 43 came into force on 1st October 2006.
90.To ensure the accuracy of register entries, the registers are inspected by “District Examiners” nominated by the Registrar General under section 34 of the 1965 Act. The District Examiner visits each registration district once per year, and checks the previous year’s register entries. Subsection (3) substitutes a new section 34 which allows the District Examiner to examine the electronic version of the register continuously throughout the year instead of by an annual visit – in order to identify and correct any errors more swiftly. The Examiner continues to check entries in the Register of Corrections Etc., but there is no need for those entries to be sent back to the Registrar General. Instead a report is sent of any circumstances arising from the examination to which the Registrar General’s attention should be drawn.
91.Subsection (4) repeals section 35 of the 1965 Act, which allows the Registrar General to copy the paper registers once submitted to him. This is unnecessary when the electronic register comes into force. Subsection (5) is consequential.
92.Subsection (6) adjusts the District Examiner’s power to correct errors in the registers, to reflect the introduction of electronic registers.