Section 56 Provision of registration information to public bodies and office-holders
137.The 1965 Act already allows the Registrar General to exchange data concerning all births or deaths in Scotland with the National Health Service and to notify deaths to the Department for Work and Pensions as well as to local council tax departments. Otherwise, the basic personal details involved in birth, death or marriage registration, though publicly available, are not automatically passed on to other parts of government, even at the citizen’s request. In the interests of convenience for the citizen and of efficiency of public administration, section 56 allows for birth, death and marriage details already visible publicly on the registers to be supplied to any relevant government body. Examples are the departments interested in family tax credit, driving licence and passport records, benefits, income tax and student loans. This service will be provided in reaction to specific requests from the public bodies concerned and may be on payment by them of a fee. The consent of the individual citizen would not be required for the provision of this information which is already available on a public register.
138.Subsection (1) allows the Registrar General to provide any registration information to any public body or office holder in Scotland, the rest of the UK or outside the UK. Subsection (2) specifies the registers concerned – births, still births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, divorces, civil partnership dissolutions and corrections. Subsection (3) allows the Registrar General to make charges for the provision of the information. Section 56 came into force on 1st October 2006.