Section 46: Issue of code of practice by Lord Chancellor
157.This requires the Lord Chancellor to issue a code of practice setting out practices which he considers public authorities (and other authorities whose records are subject to the Public Records Act 1958) should follow in relation to the keeping, management and destruction of their records. In doing so, he is to have regard to the public interest in public access to such records. Different provision may be made in relation to different authorities. The Lord Chancellor must consult the Secretary of State and the Commissioner before making or revising the code, and it must be laid before Parliament. Corresponding provision for Northern Ireland is included.
158.For records which are also public records for the purposes of the Public Records Act 1958, the code may also include guidance as to the transfer of records to the Public Record Office and their review before transfer. Corresponding provision for Northern Ireland is included.
159.The requirement to have regard to the public interest in access to records reflects the intention that the code will establish standards of good practice in relation to record-keeping. Good practice would increase the efficiency with which information can be located and retrieved by authorities in response to requests for information, and therefore increase the amount of information which will be available under Part I of the Act consistent with the imposition of cost limits.